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2015-04-13

Sustainalytics: New Sustainalytics' Report Offers Insight Into the ESG Investment Risks and Opportunities for the Utilities Sector

With Traditional Business Models Under Pressure, Leading ESG Issues Are in Focus for Utilities Companies
TORONTO, Apr. 13, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sustainalytics
, a leading provider of environmental, social and governance (ESG) research
and analysis, today released a new sector research report titled,
"Utilities-The Great Transformation Begins," which examines through an ESG
lens the investment risks and opportunities of 234 public and non-public
utilities companies. The utilities industry is confronted with a variety of
systemic challenges, including weakening electricity demand, shifting
consumer expectations and an influx of homegrown electricity, which are
threatening the traditional business model of providing electricity from
large central power plants.

ESG issues, such as climate change, carbon regulation, water scarcity and
community relations, have become boardroom issues for utilities companies as
they strive to meet growing demands for sustainable products. Sustainalytics'
analysis can help investors identify companies that are well positioned to
navigate the industry's sweeping market and regulatory changes. The research
focuses on the most material ESG issues for the utilities sector, which
include:

* Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions and Effluents and Waste: Utilities companies
are responsible for 31 percent of total global GHG emissions and many
companies are likely to struggle under tightening carbon constraints.
* Community Relations : Community opposition to power plants and
infrastructure projects remains strong, yet advanced stakeholder engagement
programs are lacking across the sector.
* Product Sustainability : The global installed capacity for grid-connected
solar panels increased by 338 percent from 2009-2012, illustrating the
simultaneous threat and opportunity posed by solar for utility incumbents.

"While management at most developed market utilities companies is aware of the
challenges facing the sector, there is no consensus among industry leaders
about what the modern utility will look like," said Sustainalytics' Managing
Director of Thematic Research Dr. Hendrik Garz. "The transformation of the
industry will have dramatic implications on the competitiveness of industry
players, and investors should understand how their portfolio holdings may be
exposed."

Sustainalytics' research shows the top developed market performers are Terna

, the Rome-based electricity grid operator, and Acciona

, the Spanish renewable energy leader. The top emerging markets-based
performers are concentrated in Brazil, and include many of the country's
large hydroelectric producers.

On Thursday, April 16 at 10:00 a.m. EDT/4:00 p.m. CEST, Sustainalytics will
host a webinar to present the findings from its Utilities Sector report. To
register for the webinar, please click here. To download an executive summary
of the report, please click here.

About Sustainalytics

Headquartered in Amsterdam, Sustainalytics is an independent ESG research and
analysis firm supporting investors around the world with the development and
implementation of responsible investment strategies. With 13 offices
globally, Sustainalytics partners with institutional investors who integrate
environmental, social and governance information and assessments into their
investment decisions. Today, the firm has over 200 staff members, including
more than 120 analysts with varied multidisciplinary expertise of more than
40 industries. For the past three years, Sustainalytics was voted best
independent responsible investment research firm in Extel's IRRI survey. For
more information, visit www.sustainalytics.com.
Media Contacts:
Sarah Cohn, Director of Marketing
sarah.cohn@sustainalytics.com
P) +1 646.963.6944

Melissa Chase, Marketing Specialist
melissa.chase@sustainalytics.com
P) +1 647.317.3646

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This announcement is distributed by NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions on behalf of NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions clients.
The issuer of this announcement warrants that they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.
Source: Sustainalytics via Globenewswire

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