by Roger Aitken—Standish Mellon Asset Management (‘Standish’), a BNY Mellon investment boutique with around $158 billion (£121bn, €143bn) of assets under management, has joined the Climate Bond Initiative Partnership Program. Their move follows other blue chip firms that have recently teamed up with the partnership, including asset manager BlackRock, global audit firm EY and Thomson Reuters.
The Climate Bonds Initiative is an investor-focused ‘not-for-profit’ organisation that promotes large-scale investment. Banks, NGOs, institutional investors and governments are eligible to join as Climate Bond Partners to assist in growing the green and climate bonds market.
Specifically, Climate Bonds Partners develop initiatives to grow investment in climate solutions, participate in different market development committees and help define policy agendas for sector, country and sub-national programs. Their underlying mission is to mobilize the debt markets for climate change solutions and to ensure consistent standards are applied to debt issues labelled as green or climate bonds.
Standish describes its move in joining the Program as supporting efforts to use bond markets to “positively impact” climate change and ensure that the industry uses “consistent standards” for the issuance of green or climate bonds.
With a backdrop of increasing demand for innovative and sustainable investment solutions to address climate, carbon and environmental issues, Standish, a global leader in fixed-income investment that serves a diverse range of investors, touts what it describes as strategies for investors who wish to make “climate change mitigation” an explicit investment objective.
Mike Faloon, Chief Operating Officer at Standish, commenting in the wake of the Boston, MA-based firm’s decision said: “We believe that green and climate bonds will become core holdings for investors seeking to minimize climate degradation within their fixed-income allocations.” CFA-designated Faloon is responsible for risk management and technology implementation and oversight at the firm.
Standish’s commitment to sustainable investing dates back to 2007 when the firm incorporated Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) screens into their investment process.
Stephan Bonte, CFA, Director of Sustainable Investing at Standish, referring to the firm’s responsible investing and ESG initiatives, explained: “In 2012 we further strengthened our commitment by becoming a signatory to UN Principles of Responsible Investing (PRI). And, today we have a fully integrated, proprietary Corporate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Risk Metrics & Analytics process in place.” His role at the firm involves driving their sustainability/ESG integration efforts.
Remarking on Standish’s decision to join the partnership program, Sean Kidney, CEO of Climate Bonds, said: “[It] adds significant depth and capability as we intensify our efforts to build robust and sustainable green bond markets.”
In relation to BNY Mellon’s own efforts to integrate climate change risks and opportunities into its operations, products and services as well as supply chain, it has made a number of strides of late. Evidencing this BNY Mellon was recognized last year by CDP’s Climate ‘A’ List and the S&P Climate Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI). Additionally, it is a signatory as part of the White House’s American Business Act on Climate Pledge and the UN’s Paris Pledge.