SO2, CO2, and H2O tell a story about threats to the environment. At the same time, these three chemical compounds stand for the possibilities of sustainable investment. Why Gerold Permoser, Chief Sustainable Investment Officer of Erste Asset Management, is hoping for H2O to become the next SO2 .
Dr. Strangelove is one of my favourite films. Pure genius, all the way through! In one of the bizarre scenes that illustrate the madness of the nuclear threat, the manic Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper (nomen est omen) explains to Captain mandrake, played by Peter Sellers, why he has just triggered a nuclear war and thus the end of the world: the Soviet Union are trying to destroy the West by contaminating the water.
Volkswagen: the largest German car manufacturer. The Porsches: the wealthiest family of Austria. Ferdinand Porsche, the engineering genius who would build the cars that ultimately dominated the German autobahn after Hitler’s war. VW is a part of (industrial) history.
But recently, Volkswagen has also written a different sort of history: do you remember José Ignacio López de Arriortúa, who was accused of having misappropriated trade secrets when he left his post as Head of Purchasing with VW and took a position with GM, and who was also the eponym of the López effect? Do you remember the sex scandal where prostitutes had been paid for and flown in from Brazil by the company specifically to “convince” the shop stewards committee of the proposals put forth by management? Do you remember the takeover battle between Porsche and VW and the rollercoaster ride it caused on the stock exchange? Do you remember the headlines about the fight for power between the Supervisory Board president Piech and the CEO Winterkorn. A multi-billion euro company with hundreds of thousands of employees had been temporarily reduced to the pawn of two alpha males.
Gerold Permoser, Chief Sustainable Investment Officer at Erste Asset Management, finds a perfectly clear answer to this: When investors communicate with companies (both investable and not), this dialogue will lead to improvements. The publicity that might follow does not harm, either.
Real global economic growth was surprisingly weak in Q1. The preliminary estimate for the annualised growth rate of Q4 2014 to Q1 2015 is only 1.5%. This is mainly due to disappointingly weak growth of the GDP in the USA (+0.2%), in China (+5.3%), in the UK (+1.2%), and in Japan (+1.5%; estimate). Brazil (-2.4%) and Russia (-11.5%) have even shrunk (both figures are preliminary estimates). In line with this situation, the data surprises have been largely negative, and the trend of downward revisions for economic growth has continued.
Last Friday, 24 April marked the second anniversary of the collapse of the Rana Plaza complex in Bangladesh, in which more than 1,100 people perished. Immediately following the disaster, which represented the climax of a string of similar events in the textile industry there, the Bangladesh Memorandum was adopted. ERSTE-SPARINVEST was one of the first major asset management companies to join this initiative as a signatory. In this interview, Alexander Osojnik, Senior ESG Analyst at Erste Asset Management (EAM), speaks about developments in the global textile industry.