Sustainable Investment Awards 2023

Climate index provider of the year: FTSE Russell

FTSE Russell celebrated a year of firsts as it launched innovative products in several Asian and North American countries and broadened its offering in Europe.

Last year, insurance and pensions company Scottish Widows selected a range of custom FTSE Russell indexes for its passive funds, with £20 billion ($26 billion) in assets tracking 15 of the provider’s sustainable investment products.

Scottish Widows this year allocated £1.4 billion to newly-launched environmental and “climate-aware” investment funds tracking three FTSE Paris-aligned and climate transition benchmarks.

The mandate wins came alongside several product launches across Asia.

In Japan, it launched “net zero” indexes in partnership with Japan Exchange Group (JPX), which were designed to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

It also unveiled an index for investors seeking to integrate sustainable investment considerations into their listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) portfolio in Japan, the FTSE EPRA Nareit Japan REIT Green Focus Select index.

Similarly, it worked with BlackRock’s iShares division to unveil the iShares Japan Green REIT exchange-traded fund (ETF) and launch the first sustainable fixed income ETF listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the iShares Climate Risk-Adjusted Global excluding Japan Government Bond JPY- Hedged ETF.

Meanwhile, in Malaysia it grew its FTSE Bursa Malaysia index series with the launch of sustainability variants, including the Top 100 ESG Low-carbon Select index and a Shariah-compliant version.

In Singapore, it worked with CSOP Asset Management to create “the world’s first” low-carbon ETF with a geographical focus on developed and emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region, the CSOP CGS-CIMB FTSE Asia Pacific Low Carbon ETF.

In North America, it introduced sustainable investment fixed income indexes for the Canadian market, providing exclusionary and impact investing approaches for several bond asset classes.

Solange Le Jeune, head of sustainable investment equity product management at FTSE Russell, said: “Whether it is understanding the evolving green economy, assessing current climate risks and performance against decarbonising targets, or identifying the right metrics to assess companies preparedness to the climate transition we apply our robust and transparent methodologies to develop new and innovative climate transition indices.

"Our data, and the insights it provides, can help investors understand how their investment portfolio are performing in the race to net zero   which will be the main driver of economic growth and investment performance in the decades to come. Collaborating and knowledge sharing with the investment ecosystem, is a key priority for us, and helps investors embed climate considerations in their investment strategies."