In the News

Samir featured in the Financial Express: “Watch the Green Ticker”

New Delhi, 29th of May 2012
Please find here the link to the original article and the website of g-Trade.

When you are investing in a company next time, just do not go for cash-rich companies. Rather choose the corporates that are ‘green’ efficient. And there is help too, to guide you make this decision. Three months back, Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE) along with g-Trade, a privately held company in India, had come up with a Green Index called Greenex. This is India’s first carbon-efficient live index listing the top 20 companies which are carbon efficient. As of now, only the carbon emission of top 100 BSE companies is assessed by this partnership and the index is created. But the aspirations of Samir Saran, founder and CEO, g-Trade are high. “We are in the process of creating a similar index across BSE 500 companies in the next six months,” he says.

The idea of creating something like Greenex came to Saran while he was studying in Cambridge and working on a project on energy efficiency. “I knew that we needed to reduce carbon emission intensity in our country and corporates will have to do this first. Thus, this was the best way to measure how environmentally efficient companies are and how they can improve themselves,” he says.

Now, the fact sheet: India is fourth largest carbon emitter in the world, behind China, USA and Russia. The European Union put together would be above Russia. Japan is after India. And to add on, Indian corporates (business and industry as a whole) contribute almost two-thirds of carbon emissions, other major contributors are transport, agriculture and waste sectors.

Saran spent 16 years in the energy sector. For a long time, he was working with Reliance Industries in the policy space especially with oil and gas and petrochemical sector. He feels that the corporate behaviour towards climate and environment of top corporates needs to be checked. “The main issue is that we need to manage emissions. Emission efficient and carbon efficient companies will manage the growth of our economy. And investment towards these companies should be encouraged. They should be given priority over companies that are less efficient by investors.” Even the government has committed voluntarily to improve the emission intensity of the country’s economy (GHG emissions/GDP) by 20-25% during 2005-2020.

Usually large companies come out with reports of disclosure of their carbon emissions under Form A of The Companies Act. The Companies (Disclosure of Particulars in the Report of Board of Directors) Rules, 1988 mandates a company to disclose, in its Director’s report, the energy conservation, technology absorption, foreign exchange earnings and outgo.

Form A does not include sectors like retail and supply chain. The government has identified the high energy industries and included it for disclosures by companies. It does not include new industries which have come up.

It also does not include all energy intensive sectors like electric utilities and oil and gas exploration and production firms. Saran says, “To derive a meaningful emission, we have derived our index by giving 50% weight-age to emission intensity and 50% to financial performance.”

Green effect on the balance sheet

Companies that are low on emission intensity (GHG/revenue) also generally perform well on financials—mainly due to their lower energy costs, better operational controls, better resource management, better general sensitivity, and better market image. This is a global trend. “Companies that have less carbon emissions are more efficient and are likely to succeed in the future,” says Saran.

Sample this: IDFC, a financial services company, being least efficient in the low emission intensity group, has underperformed the BSE Sensex by 31% between January 2010 and January 2012. The Green Index does not include big names like Reliance Industries, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), cigarette maker ITC and even IT companies like Wipro and Infosys. However, the names topped in the list are BHEL, GAIL, DLF and L&T.

Companies must realise that there are many benefits to be on the Green Index. Saran says that based on this index, banks would lend to green efficient companies on better interest rates. It would also help the insurance sector in giving pension funds. In the west, insurance funds and pension funds usually invest in green stocks only. This trend could also be followed in India. And in Europe, this kind of an index was developed 11 years ago called FTSE4good. This means that our country still has a lot to catch up!

But, what would make revenues for g-Trade? Saran is clear on this front too. “Some companies want us to create a customised index for them so that they know where can they invest. We also come out with exhaustive reports where we inform lenders and investors that where should they invest in India. This will help in foreign investment in India. We create structured products for big hedge funds etc who want to invest in different countries.”

Let us hope the Indian companies get green rich and realise that they will be incentivised on their efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

In the News, Water / Climate

BSE-GREENEX to Promote Green Investments in India: Think to Sustain Website

Please find here the link to the original article.

The BSE-GREENEX is designed to promote ‘green’ investing mindset among investors and assesses corporate on quantitative metrics for carbon performance.

Mumbai – Indian markets witnessed the launch of the first-ever live carbon index, BSE-GREENEX, at the hands of Dr. (Shri) M. Veerappa Moily, Hon’ble Minister of Corporate Affairs, Government of India at BSE on February 22.

BSE Ltd. (Formerly Bombay Stock Exchange Ltd.) in association with gTrade (supported by GIZ) and promoted byFederal Republic of GermanyObserver Research Foundation and IIM Ahmedabad)  has constructed BSE-GREENEX – designed specifically to promote green investing, with emphasis on financial performance and long term viability of companies. It is based upon purely quantitative and objective performance signals to assess carbon performance. BSE-GREENEX includes top 20 companies based on greenhouse gas numbers, free float market capitalization and turnover.

In keeping with BSE’s efforts to create fund friendly Indices, it is the third Index which is calculated based on the capping methodology. This Index will be helpful to asset managers for creation of various products, to help investors to invest in the green theme of India. BSE-GREENEX is expected to have a feedback effect on companies’ reputation. It will help the Government to gauge policy implementation and acceptance with regard to energy usage and efficiency measures, as the market follows an efficient signaling mechanism which adjusts positively or negatively to any news/policy shifts.

At the launch ceremony at BSE, Dr. (Shri) M. Veerappa Moily, Hon’ble Minister of Corporate Affairs, said, “It is my belief that companies and investors in developing countries like India, need to recognize the value created by corporations through the efficient and sensible use of energy. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has been very active in this regard. I am delighted to be here at the launch of BSE-GREENEX that lists companies that are able to marry financial performance and carbon efficiency. I feel that this Index’s objectivity will be its strength and the differentiator.”

Shri Madhu Kannan, MD & CEO, BSE, stated, “India is in a unique position to create a low-carbon green economy. So far India has focused on the fiscal aspect of economic growth. Now, it’s time we think about the environmental aspects of growth also. I am delighted that BSE in keeping with its tradition of innovation is today launching a carbon index – the ‘BSE-GREENEX. BSE will continue to contribute in full measure towards the Ministry of Corporate Affairs efforts of green and sustainable development in India Inc.”

Shri Rajiv Agarwal, whole time member, SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India)Shri Sunjoy Joshi, Director, ORF (Observer Research Foundation), Prof. (Shri) Amit Garg, IIM Ahmedabad and Shri Samir Saran, Chairman, gTrade, were also present at the launch and spoke on the subject.

For more information about the Index, do check the following link:

Source: BSE.

In the News

BSE-Greenex, the 25th dynamic index on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), is being unveiled.

On Wednesday, BSE-Greenex,  the 25th dynamic index on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), is being unveiled. Besides the BSE, Greenex will be run by gTrade Carbon Ex Ratings Services Private Limited (gTrade;, the structure involving Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad researchers, think-tank Observor Research Foundation, and private investors.

by Rohit Bansal, Daily Pioneer
Please find here the link to the original article.
Please find here the entire media package of the launch of g-trade: g-trade media package

Does India Inc need to be told its ‘carbon performance’ based on quantitative, performance-based criteria? “Yes,” is the simple answer. An economy of our size and aspiration needs to green flag by way of an inclusive market-based mechanism. If I may go a step further, large business entities in India need to offer themselves for deeper probing, way beyond mandatory disclosures. A new index is merely a way to harmonise and discipline.

Green ethos is a tool of soft diplomacy. It interests global industries, investors and Governments. That said, moving beyond tokenism, printing an annual report of recycled paper being the cliche, makes real green flagging a pain that those who sit on the BSE100 must bear. I did some checks on whether Greenex is treading on territory already covered by global indices. It is not (links** to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, the S&P Environment, Social and Governance Index and the FTSE4Good Index are flagged below). Its basis, as per gTrade chairman Samir Saran, a London School of Economics alum, is publicly-disclosed energy and financial data, not subjective parameters. With this, Saran aims to promote sustainable investing in India. His is a multi-pronged approach of increasing investor awareness, advocating progressive regulatory reform, and targeting energy intensive industrial sectors. “gTrade seeks ethical investments in green technologies and follows a first of its kind business model, and aims to launch ethical financial products in the carbon markets,” he says.

With an interest in nine sectors, pharma and biotech, steel, cement and cement products, fertilisers and agri chemicals, textiles, financial services, utilities, machinery, and oil and gas, is gTrade is aiming to compare energy guzzlers within, say, cement or steel, as also inter se with, say, financial services. Here trust evoked by IIM-A may be crucial. Sector-specific proprietary algorithms must sensibly compare energy efficiency performance of various companies/sectors.

gTrade will employ index constituent weight capping.  Index constituent weights will be capped at 6 per cent during dynamic rebalancing, in an effort to increase the diversification within the index and ensure greater compliance with international regulatory and statutory investment guidelines.

Greenex’s nirvana lies in providing a tool for use by “green” retail and institutional investors to track the performance of India’s largest and most liquid, energy efficient stocks. Also, license beyond familiar territory and help in the development of green financial products including mutual funds, ETFs and structured products.

How the “winners” are incentivised might determine the success of green flagging. I include here, how the “losers” are punished. Social media activists must watch this space. You, not just gTrade, drive social expectation. Your questions will keep India Inc mindful of their social contract, in the instant case with green flagging.