Sustainable Junk - September 2021 Wrap
- Josh Latham
- +Alex Manolopoulos
ESG markets were back in business after the summer break, with a host of deals to whet investors' appetite. Sustainability-linked debt continued to garner interest amongst issuers in a quieter month that saw €1.35bn in green issuance.
However, the concept of ESG is not to all investors' tastes. Aswath Damodaran - Professor of Finance at the Stern School of Business, described ESG as a Gravy Train for consultants, measurement services and investment funds. The NYU professor also hinted at correlations between larger companies and better ESG scores, which is understandable as they have more time and resources to play the ESG ‘score game’.
We highlighted some low scoring issuers this month through our ESG Quicktakes. Little disclosure was found by Consolidated Energy, even though they claim to be the world’s second largest producer of methanol. Methanol is often misleadingly described as a clean energy, but it may in fact have higher emissions than traditional marine gas oil.
Pasubio sustainability documents may be misleading. Their OM stated that “leather is by nature a sustainable product” and the company claims to be "an ESG leader with a clear vision, driving sustainability innovation in the leather industry". However, a 2020 EarthSight report alleges Pasubio purchased more leather from areas involving illegal destruction of crucial Paraguayan forest than any other company.