Reflecting on ESG in 2021 with James Clark: Renewables and repurposed funds

ESG Clarity asks readers if their sustainable New Year's resolutions and ESG predictions for 2021 came true

It’s that time of year again – the days are getting colder and the festivities are beginning. Last year, we asked ESG Clarity readers how they were going to spend a sustainable Christmas and heard about recycled wrapping, staying local, Zoom carols and much more.

We also asked for our readers’ sustainable resolutions and predictions in the ESG space for the year to come. Now the year is drawing to a close we wanted to see whether they stuck to their resolutions and how their predictions played out over the course of the past 12 months.

First up, we have James Clark, senior fund analyst at Hawksmoor Investment Management.

His sustainability New Year’s resolution was to sort out a gas and electricity supply deal for his new house, backed by 100% renewable generation. “I’d also like to get a nice bean-to-cup coffee machine, to cut out the use of coffee pods (although we do use compostable ones),” he added.

This year, he is pleased to report both have been achieved. “And thankfully the utilities deal wasn’t with one of the providers which has recently gone under,” he added. “The DeLonghi Magnifica bean-to-cup coffee machine has been getting a good workout during working from home. I actually had one or two fund group sales reps contact me for a recommendation after reading the original article this time last year!”

His prediction there would be more sustainable fund launches this year has also played out.

Last year, he said: “It’s not a big prediction as such but I think there’ll be more launches of (and more promotion of existing) regional sustainable equity funds, and more thematic funds, alongside the top-quality cohort of global sustainable equity funds. We’ve deliberately gone down the global rather than regional route within our Sustainable World services given the quality of the global funds, but this needn’t always be the case.”

See also: – Lack of regional ESG products causing ‘unintended risks’ in managed funds

Reflecting on this Clark said: “It wasn’t exactly pushing the boat out but I think this prediction was right. Something we’ve certainly seen this year is existing funds being converted or ‘repurposed’ into sustainable funds – something I think should be treated with a healthy degree of scepticism. I still think we’ll see more launches of regional sustainable equity funds, but we remain confident in the top-quality cohort of global funds.”