European pension funds have provided some straight-talking feedback on recommendations made by an advisory body to the European Commission on sustainable finance.In trade body PensionsEurope’s submission to the consultation by the High Level Expert Group (HLEG), it said “pension funds have the purest approach to long term/sustainable investment”.“Sustainability is already and by definition has been an integral part of pension funds’ risk-return decisions,” the organisation added, voicing support for the Commission’s “ambitious” agenda on sustainable finance.The consultation asked respondents about various aspects of the HLEG’s recommendations. On green bonds, PensionsEurope advocated that standardisation should be based on the Green Bond Principles, an industry initiative. It said that an explicit connection between the proceeds of a green bond and the environmental, social and governance policies of the issuer was needed.Regarding infrastructure, PensionsEurope pushed back somewhat on the HLEG’s idea of creating an organisation for developing infrastructure projects and matching them with investors. The focus should be less on match-making and more on building out on the European Investment Advisory Hub, an investment support service formed by the Commission and the European Investment Bank.On the much-discussed issue of long-term investment, the trade body said policy horizons needed to be longer.“The EU and the member states should provide for a good investment climate, stable pricing/tariffing (on pricing and subsidies) and a stable policy framework in order to provide long term investors with certainty,” it said.Securitisation got PensionsEurope’s support as a means of gaining long-term exposure to, for example, European project finance, including wind and solar projects, thereby helping institutional investors support green energy.Regulators could promote a concept of green securitisation, said the organisation, in keeping with the HLEG’s recommendations.A theme running through PensionsEurope’s submission was that sustainable finance also needed to recognise the importance of social stability, and not just environmental issues.
Source = Essence Suites Taringa Essence Suites Taringa was officially openedEssence Suites Taringa was officially opened by the Hon Kate Jones MPLeading the way for the medical tourism sector, Essence Suites Taringa’s 63 luxuriously appointed suites are situated directly above the Westside Private Hospital in Brisbane’s west.With the brand-new building now complete, the hotel forms part of the $65-million 10-storey development and is managed by Essence Apartments and Suites’ parent company UniLodge Australia.UniLodge CEO Tomas Johnsson said while the hotel’s convenient location is perfect for outpatients, who have discharged from the hospital below, Essence Suites Taringa is also ideal for short and long term business and leisure stays.“As a uniquely integrated hotel and hospital building, Essence Suites Taringa is a fantastic new addition to our growing portfolio of healthcare accommodation properties and cements our role in the tourism space,” said Mr Johnsson.“The offering is ideal because patients will come in early, settle into the hotel, have the operation or treatment they need and rather than go straight home, they can rest and recover in the hotel with their loved ones, which is ideal for those living in both regional as well as metro locations.”UniLodge is hoping to open more integrated developments in the future because recent research from the accommodation provider shows Australia’s hospitals are currently experiencing a shortage of beds with studies suggesting the need for approximately 3,000-10,000 more beds.“This new concept frees up hospital beds for other patients, and creates further demand for more integrated hotel and hospital developments.“UniLodge and Essence have a number of live projects we are exploring; we are looking at major capital cities and other high-demand areas, with a selective approach to working with health partners alike.”The Hon. Kate Jones today said: “This is what we think is a first in Australia. It shows that innovation is real and it’s happening right here in Brisbane. This really does provide a seamless welcoming experience for people that come to Brisbane with a world-class facility.“When you couple a world class hospital with all of the allied services that are also here as well as a wonderful stay, I am sure it will be absolutely booked out.“I am very confident that this brand new product will absolutely put Essence on the map. I am very proud as a Queenslander that this is happening in our backyard.“When you listen to what consumers want, that is when you drive growth. We know that around 2 million Australians every year travel for surgery so to be able to provide them with a real seamless and world-class experience is something that the market has been crying out for, for a real long time.”