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.

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Proxy Preview 2015 Examines Record-Breaking Number of Sustainability-Related Shareholder Resolutions

Cross-Posted from Marketing and Comms. This month, shareholder advocacy organization As You Sow released its 10th annual Proxy Preview report, detailing the record-breaking 433 social and environmental shareholder resolutions filed so far this proxy season, with political spending and climate change driving most of the activity.

5 Tips on Finding the Right Financing for Your Food Startup

Cross-Posted from Product, Service & Design Innovation. What’s the next food trend poised to sweep the nation? A recent conference showcasing roughly 60 recipients of Whole Foods local producer loans revealed some candidates: Maybe a half-fruit, half-vegetable roll-up that tastes like pure fruit (as a parent, I have to say, that’s genius)? Maybe goji raw biscotti? Definitely something with minimal but high-quality ingredients or exotic origins (from an American perspective).

RSF Launches Search for Next 25 'Social Enterprise Stars' at SOCAP 2014

Cross-Posted from Product, Service & Design Innovation. RSF Social Finance, a San Francisco-based organization that lends money to path-breaking social enterprises, is launching a campaign Sept. 2 to find the Next 25 Social Enterprise Stars (#SocentStars).The campaign, kicking off in concert with SOCAP 2014, the world’s leading conference on impact investing and social enterprise, is designed to attract RSF’s next cohort of extraordinary, mission-driven borrowers. RSF wants to add 25 social enterprise stars to its loan portfolio over the next year.

How Uncle Matt’s Organic Is Revolutionizing Florida’s Citrus Groves

Cross-Posted from Product, Service & Design Innovation. With its subtropical climate and rich pest population, Florida has been slow to embrace the organic movement: Fewer than 8,000 of its 541,328 acres of citrus groves are organic. Matt McLean has made it his mission to change that. As the founder and CEO of Uncle Matt’s Organic — the largest and oldest organic orange juice company in the US — McLean not only sells delicious juices, he’s making it easy for other small Florida citrus growers to transition to organic.

Natural Capital Protocol Will Demystify Business Value of Nature

Cross-Posted from New Metrics. The Natural Capital Coalition (NCC) announced this week its selection of two consortia to develop what will be known as the Natural Capital Protocol.

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Investors Press Mondelez International to Switch to Recyclable Packaging

Cross-Posted from Chemistry, Materials & Packaging. Last week, shareholder advocacy organization As You Sow (AYS), along with shareholders representing $11.8 billion worth of shares, presented a proposal to Mondelez International asking that the company make the switch to recyclable packaging.The resolution, which received 28.4 percent shareholder support, was presented at the giant food manufacturer’s annual meeting.The world’s largest snack food company, Mondelez International produces brands such as Oreo, Chips Ahoy!, Trident gum, and Philadelphia cream cheese. It comprises the global snack and food brands of the former Kraft Foods, from which it split in 2012.

It Just Got Easier for Companies to Invest in Nature

Cross-Posted from New Metrics. Nature is valuable. But figuring out how valuable has been challenging. By some measures, the services that nature provides business and society — clean water, food and metals, natural defense from storms and floods, and much more — are worth many trillions of dollars. But that number is not helpful to companies trying to assess how dependent they are on natural resources, or how to value them as business inputs.

Fair Trade USA, Kiva Launch Microlending Program for Fair Trade Farmers

Cross-Posted from Supply Chain. Fair Trade USA has partnered with nonprofit Kiva to help small-scale coffee farmers access financing, improve crop quality and invest in the future of their families and communities.The partnership resulted from a successful collaboration last year between Fair Trade USA, Kiva and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters to pilot Kiva’s first agricultural lending program with a Fair Trade coffee cooperative in Mexico. Kiva says its lenders around the world fully funded nearly all of the loans, which benefited hundreds of small farmers working to prepare their fields for harvest.

Investment in Women is the Key to Global Food Security

Women, particularly in developing countries, face numerous challenges, including sexual violence, limited access to health resources, barriers to education and economic opportunities.

Patagonia Launches New $20M Green Venture Capital Fund

Patagonia is renowned for its consistent environmental support; each year, the outdoor apparel company gives away 1% of its profits to grassroots environmental nonprofits. Now, its new venture capital fund of more than $20 million will support eco-friendly for-profitbusinesses, focusing on energy, food, water or waste-related startups.

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Tech Startups Innovating To Improve Banking Access for Financially Underserved Customers

An emerging industry of financial services technology startups, known as FinTech, is creating a new wave of products for financially underserved customers, according to research issued today by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) and Core Innovation Capital.

Unilever Shows ROI of Sustainability Initiatives in Second Living Plan Progress Report

Unilever's commitment to make sustainable and equitable growth the heart of its business model is helping to drive increased sales while reducing costs and risks, according to the second Unilever Sustainable Living Plan Progress Report, published today.

ING, StartSomeGood Launch Online Crowdfunding Platform for Social Enterprises

ING has partnered with StartSomeGood to launch a new initiative to boost the social enterprise sector through easing access to crowdfunding.Dreamstarter is an online platform that allows social entrepreneurs to raise funds towards an array of social change projects — those that garner significant community support receive additional funding from ING.“Crowdfunding is a participatory model that democratizes corporate philanthropy,” said StartSomeGood co-founder Tom Dawkins. “The projects that will succeed are those that have a genuine mandate from the community.”

Volcom Launches EP&L, Commits To Reducing Emissions, Waste and Water Usage

Action sports lifestyle brand Volcom announced Wednesday a new set of sustainability goals and the incorporation of Environmental Profit & Loss (EP&L) to measure its impacts throughout its supply chain.

Investor Group Proposes Sustainability Listing Standard for Global Stock Exchanges

Nearly a dozen investors making up the Ceres-led Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR) yesterday released a consultation paper calling for the integration of sustainability di

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Accountants Agree: Private Sector Should Be Protecting the Environment

A paper published last week by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) asserts that companies have a responsibility to protect the environment and the loss of natural capital exposes the private sector to a range of risks and opportunities.

Investors Asserting Concerns About Climate Change and Energy, Report Says

A record number of investors have filed shareholder resolutions on environmental and social issues as part of the Proxy Preview 2013 report released today.

2013 Green Transition Scoreboard® Uncovers Over $4.1T in Private Green Investments

The Ethical Markets Green Transition Scoreboard® (GTS), which tracks private investments growing the green economy worldwide since 2007, found $4.1 trillion invested or committed as of Q4 2012, promising long strides away from the fossil-fueled Industrial Era in 2013.

ESG Affects Investor Decisions Differently in Short and Long Term, Deloitte Says

Investor decisions can be influenced by a company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure in the short-term but may not lead to higher stock returns over the long-term, Deloitte said in a recent report.

New iPhone App Increases Corporate Transparency by Sharing Key Financial Data

A new iPhone app offers users increased insight into corporate behavior. With BizVizz, launched February 4, users can snap a picture of a brand’s logo to get a simple screengraphic that instantly displays financial data about the corporation. How much tax do they pay? How much money do they get in government in subsidies?

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