IJGlobal ESG Awards – deadline extended

Due to popular demand – and possibly people getting their heads around a whole new set of criteria – we are extending the deadline for submissions to the inaugural IJGlobal ESG Awards.

You now have until Thursday 15 July to submit and we heartily encourage you to access the portal through here…

These awards are designed to celebrate the individuals, organisations and transactions that have turned the dial on the environmental, social and governance front. They reflect market activity from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.

Having fielded a number of enquiries on how/what people should submit for these categories, now seems the right time to share a little of our expectations… while accepting that – given it is the first time we have hosted these awards – we may be completely wrong.

Talking to people in the advisory community, our recommendation is to identify transactions you have worked on for clients that support environmental developments (not just another wind farm / solar park) and how they have supported clients to meet their ESG credentials.

One amazing thing that submitters could point to (that we would keep confidential, beyond judges seeing it) would be to identify mandates you have turned down based on your internal ESG policies. This information would never make it into print.

There is also the “ESG philosophy” element that has caused some concern. For this, we envisage a focus on your internal processes and how you have evolved your company in the past year.

It is always good to point to physical achievements from across the judging period, but there’s also room for strategies enacted. We plan to be fairly flexible on this front… but actual/enacted developments will win the day.

For funds, we imagine this will target strategy enacted to shift vehicle focus to reflect your (possibly newly-enacted) ESG principles, say, cleaning up your act on assets owned – selling thermal power plants and buying into offshore wind, for example.

But there’s a lot more to be said on this front for the S&G components. In IJ, we were writing the other day about a wind farm in the Netherlands that had complete buy-in for the community and financial reward for those who live nearby. That’s the sort of engagement that will demonstrate both the second letters of ESG.

When it comes to lenders, again this can be strategy enacted – a switch in focus away from “dirty” to “clean” – as well as internal changes which (and this stands true for other categories) could include building out a team to review portfolios and bring them in line with ESG principles.

On transactions, we are looking for deals that turn the dial on as many of the ESG components as possible. Airports where loan margins are reduced to reflect lowered carbon impact, prison PPPs where reduced recidivism is built in as a KPI, you name it…

We know there are a lot of clever people out there doing revolutionary things to transform the way infrastructure and energy is delivered around the world. We want you to tell us what you are doing to achieve this… and to celebrate the roles you played in making this possible.

As an aide memoire, we launched the IJGlobal ESG Awards in early June and revealed the judging panel the following week.