His comments come less than a week before a parliamentary group is set to recommend whether the fund should divest its coal and petroleum holdings.Slyngstad also explained why NBIM felt the need to allocate part of its research budget to responsible investment and sustainable finance.“We do this because we think there needs to be both a better set of data and more rationality around the whole discussion,” he said. “We need to go from just words to numbers.”The chief executive also said the 1% of the fund earmarked for environmental purposes, up from the initial 1% of the equity portfolio, surprised him due to the absence of renewable energy projects.“A lot of those investments are really more on the technology side,” he said, noting the importance of technology that facilitates energy saving.“The whole area of renewable energy is, of course, something we follow closely, but it is not that large of an [amount] of the fund today.“Renewable energy was, of course, the starting point, but energy storage has become more important, transportation, of course, is [in] there, waste and water management are very important as we go along, and even agriculture.”Slyngstad said the environmental portfolio, currently managed by seven external managers and consisting well over 150 companies, could have enjoyed “enormous enthusiasm” had it been very profitable.However, while NBIM outperformed environmental indices, it still underperformed the market as a whole over the past five years.Despite this, the last two years have been “very, very profitable”.The environmental mandate was doubled by the government in April, with consideration initially given to a standalone renewable energy mandate. Yngve Slyngstad, head of Norges Bank Investment Management, has called for more rationality in the sustainable investment debate, with data underpinning all decisions.The chief executive at NBIM, in charge of the NOK6trn (€699bn) Government Pension Fund Global, said the wish for better data to underpin investment decisions was one of the reasons the central bank’s asset management arm had allocated funding to research on responsible investment.Speaking at the Geneva Summit on Sustainable Finance, organised by the University of Geneva’s Institute for Environmental Sciences, Slyngstad outlined the sovereign fund’s approach to sustainable, long-term investing and how it factored into matters of engagement and ethics.He told delegates that it was for politicians to consider all matters of ethics, not NBIM, and said he stood by his comments from earlier in the year that coal was not a particularly profitable industry.
Forget about how poorly the USC baseball team (17-22, 3-12) is playing.Forget about Pete Carroll not drafting Taylor Mays.And forget about the men’s volleyball team dropping its quarterfinals match to Cal State Northridge.There is something that every Trojan can rejoice about after a highly disappointing weekend of sports.The USC men’s tennis team.Though the team might not be getting the same attention as baseball, football or volleyball this spring, the men’s tennis players should be earning more praise than any team just mentioned above.Why?Well, unlike the baseball team, the tennis team actually wins matches, both in and out of conference.Unlike football, tennis is actually an in-season spring sport.And unlike the men’s volleyball team, USC tennis players were actually successful in postseason play.It may have been hidden under the cloud of negativity encompassing USC sports last weekend, but senior tennis player Robert Farah swept both the Pac-10 singles championship and, along with sophomore Steve Johnson, the Pac-10 doubles championship Sunday in Ojai, Calif.Freshman J.T. Sundling also captured the freshman Pac-10 Invitational singles title.Farah got things started Sunday with a sweep against defending singles champion Bradley Klahn of Stanford 6-2, 7-6 (5) to earn his first Pac-10 singles championship.But the USC veteran wasn’t done.Fourth-seeded UCLA was waiting for the senior and Johnson in the doubles championship, but the Trojans dismantled their crosstown rival 6-3, 7-6 (4), giving Farah his second crown of the day.Added to Sundling’s success in the freshman invitational, the tennis team captured the Anson S. Thacher Cup, awarded annually to the top team performance in the Pac-10 tennis championships.See Trojan nation, there was something to appreciate over the weekend. You probably just didn’t see, hear or read about it.I’ve seen this argument in so many Daily Trojan sports columns in the last four years, but teams like this should be getting more attention from the USC community.Often, it seems as though if it’s not football, basketball or baseball, a lot of people just don’t care. This university is lucky to have so many top-notch athletes and dominating programs; it’s a shame that their efforts go under the radar.I urge everyone out there to give these programs the attention they deserve.Farah, Johnson, Sundling and the rest of the tennis team: I applaud you. And for all the other teams hidden beneath more dominating headlines, the same goes for you.With less recognition, youcontinue to fill USC with sports programs that the rest of the Pac-10 fears and respects.Now, in my last few paragraphs before officially signing off, I want to recognize the other guys that go through the weekly column grind with me.Pedro, Kenny, Grant, Schwartz and James, I take just as much enjoyment in reading your columns as I do in writing mine. Only you guys know the process we go through on a weekly basis, and I think, as a whole, we made our own great sports team.I also want to thank all of you readers, of course.As Grant pointed out last week, it’s not about whether you agree or disagree with what I’m writing, it’s about whether you take the time to read it.In my first three years at USC, whenever I’d pick up a Daily Trojan, I’d be sure to read the sports column first. It was always the most interesting part of the paper to me. I couldn’t be happier that I got the chance to be a part of that my senior year, and I hope many of you readers found the columns on the back page just as creative and enticing as I did.Personally, I can’t thank youenough for reading my input.But all good things must come to an end.So, this marks the last time you’ll see my name in the Daily Trojan, the last time you’ll get to stare at my goofy picture and the last time you’ll get to question my column name.Fight on and read on everyone.“Soft Hands” ran on Tuesdays. To comment on this article, visit dailytrojan.com or e-mail Jon at [email protected]
Former Liverpool right-back Glen Johnson is on the verge of signing for Stoke, according to Mark Hughes.No deal has been officially confirmed but the Potters chief admitted on Saturday morning the 30-year-old England international’s experience would be a valuable addition to the squad.Speaking to Sky Sports from Stoke’s pre-season tour to Singapore, Hughes said: “Glen’s a very experienced player, we obviously feel that the qualities that he has will help us.“We’re a team that’s trying to progress and you do that by getting good players into your squad and they will help us.“Glen has played at a high level for a very long time and we can benefit from that.”Johnson is a free agent after being released by Liverpool when his contract ran out at the end of last season.The right-back spent the last six years at Anfield having previously played for Portsmouth, Chelsea, Millwall and West Ham.He has won 54 caps for England since making his debut in 2003 and was part of Roy Hodgson’s squad at last summer’s World Cup. 1 Glen Johnson in action for Liverpool