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Finance & Investment

The latest in the spheres of socially responsible investing, impact investing, and other ways investors and shareholders are asserting their desire for ethical investment options.

Wilmar Embraces Sustainability-Linked Finance, Unveils Child Protection Policy

Wilmar International, the world’s largest producer of palm oil, has announced major steps forward in reducing its environmental and social impacts. The company has worked out an innovative financial deal with ING to link its existing loan to its sustainability performance, and has unveiled a policy aimed at protecting children living on its palm oil plantations. But human rights campaigners say it may be little more than a band-aid.

'We Haven't Even Scratched the Surface': Insights from the World Forum on Natural Capital

Factoring the value of nature into governance and corporate decision-making is not an easy task, but governments and businesses are starting to recognize the importance of natural capital accounting. According to the Natural Capital Coalition, 68 countries are looking to produce natural capital accounts, while 10 percent of WBCSD member companies mention the Natural Capital Protocol framework in their sustainability reporting.

Catalyst Credit Line: A Financial Lifeline for Pre-Profit, Sustainable Startups

Young, sustainable companies have it tough. With all that excitement and idealism in building a new company comes a mountain of obstacles to overcome. But for purpose-driven companies pursuing opportunities that also create impact, that risk/reward ratio may be even higher.

CDP: Inaction on Deforestation Is Putting $941B at Risk

A new report by CDP has revealed the extent to which deforestation threatens the global economy — and the numbers are staggering.

JPMorgan Chase Sinks $900K Into Sustainable Infrastructure for Detroit

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPMorgan Chase) is doing its part to get Detroit back on its feet, announcing a $900,000 investment to support sustainable infrastructure projects in the former Motor City. The firm has also revealed plans to retrofit over 70 percent of Chase branches in the city with LED lights and new building management systems.

CPAs and Sustainability Thought Leadership: An Interview with RISCPA CEO Bob Mancini

Ahead of his attendance at this week’s New Metrics ’17 conference in Philadelphia, we caught up with Bob Mancini, CEO of the Rhode Island Society of CPAs (RISCPA), to learn more about why the concept of sustainability is finally being recognized in the finance world, and what this means for the future of the industry.

Water Stewardship Ramps Up, But More Investment Needed to Mitigate Climate Change

Corresponding with the kickoff of COP23, the World Water Council (WWC) has shed light on the current state of water infrastructure and what it means for mitigating climate change and delivering on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The key takeaway: water infrastructure investment must triple to €255 billion annually in order to meet sanitation targets and tackle climate change.

HSBC Pledges $100 Billion to Tackle Climate Change

HSBC is making moves to tackle climate change, unveiling five new commitments aimed at helping drive the transition to a low-carbon economy. A major component of the financial giant’s climate push is a pledge to make $100 billion in financing available for sustainability projects by 2025.

Visa Launches Foundation, Grants $20M to Support Women Entrepreneurs

Building on its larger social impact strategy, which seeks to support the growth of micro and small enterprises around the world, Visa has launched the newly-incorporated Visa Foundation. As its first order of business, the Foundation has made a financial commitment of up to $20 million to Women’s World Banking.

CDP: Eight-Fold Increase in Global Companies Pricing Carbon Since 2013

Putting a price on carbon is becoming the new normal for major multinationals, with almost 1,400 companies[1] factoring an internal carbon price into business plans, according to a new report from CDP. This represents an eight-fold leap in take up in the last four years, compared to just 150 companies in 2014, and includes more than 100 Fortune Global 500 companies with collective annual revenues of US$7 trillion[2].

Beyond Disaster Relief: How Companies Can Run to the Rescue in ‘Silent’ Emergencies

This summer came to a calamitous end with the rapid succession of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, Maria and Nate, two earthquakes in Mexico, rampant wildfires currently raging across Northern and Southern California, and countless other natural and man-made disasters across the globe.

Bank-Fintech Partnership Offers New Funding Opportunities for Sustainably Minded Startups

P2Binvestor (P2Bi), a leading marketplace lending platform that offers crowdsourced, asset-secured lines of credit to growing companies with big ambitions, is catalyzing the growth of mission-aligned business with the launch of a first-of-its kind bank partnership program. The new program provides startups and emerging businesses an innovative way to quickly access capital while allowing banks to increase their addressable market and improve their conversion rates.

Salesforce Launches $50M Impact Investment Fund to Catalyze Positive Social Change

Salesforce Ventures, the corporate investment arm of Salesforce, a global leader in customer relationship management (CRM), has launched a $50 million impact investment fund to accelerate the growth of companies using Salesforce technology to address challenges across workforce development, equality, sustainability and the social sector.

Singularity University Accelerator Aims to Set Impact Entrepreneurs Up for Long-Term Success

With the backing of a group of impact investors, Singularity University, a global community with a mission to educate, inspire and empower leaders to apply exponential technologies to address the world’s most pressing challenges, has launched SU Ventures, a program designed to address the more long-term needs of impact-focused startups.

How SASB Is Helping JetBlue, Investors Get on the Same Page About Materiality

Earlier this year, JetBlue released its 2016 environmental and sustainability report, accompanied by a white paper produced according to the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standard for the airline industry, which covers material environmental, social and governance (ESG) information of interest to investors.

Fairphone Secures €6.5M to Take Fair, Conflict-Free Electronics Mainstream

Fairphone, a social enterprise and modular smartphone producer spurring a paradigm shift in the technology industry, has secured €6.5 million to scale up its mission to make fair, responsible electronics mainstream. The investment will enable Fairphone to continue innovating in the areas of material sourcing, production, distribution, recycling and product longevity.

Biomimicry = Return on Inspiration

Reprinted with permission. This article was originally published in the 25th Anniversary issue of GreenMoney Journal.

The Body Shop Finds New Home in Purpose-Driven Cosmetics Giant, Natura

Earlier this week, French beauty giant L’Oréal announced that it has concluded the sale of The Body Shop to Brazilian sustainable personal care group Natura Cosmeticos.

Beyond Integrated Reporting: Multicapital Accounting of Integral Data

Part Five in a 10-Part Series by Reporting 3.0. See previous parts below. The 2013 launch of the Integrated Reporting <IR> Framework from the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) swung a double-edged sword through the disclosure field:

What Questions Should Investors Be Asking to Understand If a Company Is Really Socially Sound?

As socially progressive investors, we perform our own due diligence when we consider a company and its ethical, moral and social standing before it is added to our portfolio. Investors must ensure that they properly vet their investments on a large set of data and criteria. This is especially relevant as socially responsible investing (SRI) – ­directing capital toward companies limiting negative environmental impact and progressing social goals – continues its evolution into the mainstream.