Resources & Information related to Investment & Markets, Socially Responsible Investing, SRI, Socially Conscious, Ethical Investing and more.

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Companies, Communities Step Up to Inspire Nations to Help Syrian Refugees

If Nova Scotia’s Mi’kaq First Nations are successful in their petition to the Canadian government, the island of Cape Breton will be a new home for Syrian refugees. And if the Israeli company SodaStream gets its way, it will be able to provide jobs for 1,000 refugees – in Israel. A variety of companies and communities are stepping up to help the burgeoning flow of refugees – in some cases, to the consternation of their governments. Is this the new humanitarian movement, or just a gentle encouragement for governments to help? Either way, they are committed to making a difference in Syria’s humanitarian crisis.

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Why Are Investors Paying Over Market Rates For Green Bonds?

So do low interest rates explain why green bonds are selling for 20bps (.20%) over market rates? That’s a big deal in fixed income land. Barclays was reported by Bloomberg saying “Sales of “green bonds” have been increasing, but so have their prices.” It may be that the case for investing in the underlying assets – solar, wind, green infrastructure – is so strong that investors are willing to pay the green premium. But is that all that’s happening?

McDonalds, organic, fast food, beef, Germany, Leon Kaye

McDonald’s Serves Up Its First 100% Organic Hamburger

The “McB,” McDonald’s first 100% organic beef burger, is coming to a store near you–if you happen to be in Germany and Austria this fall. Is this a step towards the Golden Arches revamping its menu . . . and image?

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CSR-Friendly Tax Policy: Unlocking Value and Aligning Interests

Tax policy can enhance the social impact of business and support business at the same time, says Wayne Dunn, president of the CSR Training Institute. We are seeing some governments making corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy into a tax, setting minimum amounts that companies must spend on CSR, often with little thought for value and impact.
Dunn puts forward the case for replacing that with its polar opposite – using tax breaks to incentivize and enhance CSR to everyone’s benefit.

Pulp and paper, paperless offices, Paper and Packaging Board, paper

Dear Paperless Users: The Paper Industry Wants You Back

The paper industry is pushing back. The Paper and Packaging Board has launched a site that touts paper’s benefits. The campaign, called “How Life Unfolds,” showcases studies on how paper is better for learning, can forge stronger emotional connections from that wedding invitation to that saved football game ticket and also promotes the industry’s environmental stewardship.

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Policy Points: Government Shutdown Would Be a Job-Killer

535 Americans returned from a month-long vacation recently, only to find they had a month to avoid something that could cost the economy billions of dollars. We’re talking, of course, about the threat of a government shutdown.

Just Do It

Climate Finance: Just Do It!

The landscape of climate-oriented finance, says Sean Penrith, executive director of the Climate Trust, can be boiled down to one overwhelming message: Just get out there and do it!

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The Endowment Economy

Most endowments are the result of wealthy individuals setting aside money for a particular cause or set of causes. Or, in the case of universities, it is the result of an accumulation of donations and grants. So, it makes sense that we don’t have thousands of massive endowments. On the other hand, we have witnessed numerous injections of capital into the economy by the federal government in the form of stimulus packages and quantitative easing. So, why don’t we have more big endowments?

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Seeking Optimistic Sustainable Investment Managers

What will it take to pivot to aggressive investment in a better future? We need sustainable investment practitioners to shift from “less bad” to “more good.” Less money into companies tidying up things on the business-as-usual vector, and more money into new businesses or models that design for a sustainable future. Less GM, more Tesla.

Minigrid and PEU

Productive Energy Use: A Catalyzer for Rural Energy and Water Access

Pico-solar lighting and solar home systems have proved themselves as revolutionary entry-level energy access technologies for low-income rural communities. These technologies have kick-started a base-of-the-pyramid push toward energy independence, and it is critical to continue this forward momentum in order to deliver a real long-term solution for rural energy and water access.

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Hacking Human Suffering is the Only Real Growth Industry

The painful truth is that solving the problems of human and environmental disease is one of the only guaranteed growth industries. That may sound like a dismal pronouncement, but I also see it as the greatest opportunity of our time.