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BlackRock managers listen to Greta: Sustainability becomes an investment standard – what is behind it?

Volker Weber, CEO of the Forum Sustainable Investments (FNG), said exclusively to wallstreet: online: “With BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager is now entering the sustainability stage. But why now? Success arouses desire and BlackRock has recognized that an asset manager cannot avoid addressing sustainability and investment issues. It remains to be seen what the specific sustainability strategy of BlackRock looks like in detail. What shifts in the portfolio follow from the announcements? However, decision-makers in business and politics will place even greater emphasis on the topic of sustainability and will also be prompted to take further action. Overall, the activities should not only relate to component E, but also to the S and G areas in the ESG network. ”

For Klaus Gabriel from CRIC, a community of investors to promote ethics and sustainability when investing, it is fundamentally gratifying that BlackRock has now discovered the topic of sustainability. But he has doubts. Exclusive to wallstreet: online, he explained: “Investment products such as BlackRock’s Impact World Equity Fund are based on an understanding of materiality, which in its consequence can mean the opposite of sustainability: The selection of stocks does not focus on the effects of companies on society and the environment or the effort to make these companies more sustainable. Rather, the focus is on the opportunities and risks of companies that arise from social and ecological crises. To put it bluntly, the main thing is not to invest in companies that make a contribution to sustainable development, but in companies that benefit from climate change. Sustainability looks different. “

BlackRock claims it manages nearly $ 7 trillion (7,000 billion) in customer funds. The US financial giant is invested in more than 15,000 companies worldwide. The US asset manager is also the largest single shareholder in many DAX groups.

Market observers assume that a real change in sustainability at BlackRock would be a climate protection milestone and that there could be a boom in the sustainable investment market. So far, however, the US asset manager has invested in particularly climate-damaging coal companies with a record investment volume of more than $ 17.5 billion. This emerges from the “Global Coal Exit List (GCEL)” of the non-governmental organization urgewald.

But: BlackRock starts with the coal divestment: “We have started to sell listed securities, i. H. Eliminate bonds and stocks from companies that generate more than 25 percent of their revenue from coal production from our discretionary active investment portfolios. This process should be completed by mid-2020, ”said BlackRock’s letter to customers.

Author: Ferdinand Hammer, wallstreet: online

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