With many companies dedicated to building solutions for everyday problems, others are increasingly focusing on tackling major societal issues. With proper investment strategies, such as impact investing, companies and tech startups in particular can be catalysts for solving some of the most pressing global social issues.
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US$6.2 trillion is a wall of money. Today, trillions of dollars are being managed with ‘sustainability inside,’ based on self-reported, unverified, voluntary disclosures by investors globally. For many in the investment industry, it’s both inspiring and a little bewildering. The number keeps growing, but what’s in the number is not exactly clear. It’s also not enough.
The divestment campaign – a grassroots movement to get public pensions, university endowments, and other large funds to remove fossil fuels companies from their portfolios – has garnered some huge victories recently.
Always wanted to win $20 million? Well, now’s your chance. Figure out how, and what to convert the world’s carbon emissions to, and you’ll have the attention of scientists all over the world. Oh, and you may just solve one of the biggest challenges yet facing our battle against climate change.
On October 1, TriplePundit, SAP, and our esteemed guest panel came together for a special Twitter chat about Africa and EU Code Week at #SAPYouthChat.
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.
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?
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?
Tonight’s winner? A group from National Chengchi University in Taipei called IMPCT.co whose PlayCares concept aims to revolutionize the way kids in urban slums receive care and education.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.