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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.

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.

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

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?

Record Number of Investors Support Carbon Disclosure Project

Investors representing a third of the world’s invested capital have asked more than 5,000 public companies to report their carbon emissions and climate change strategies through the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the organization announced.

Carbon Divestment Is No Financial Risk, Study Finds

Divesting from fossil fuel companies does not incur additional portfolio risk, according to a new report by Aperio Group.

Report: Impact Investing To Grow 12% in 2013

Investors seeking environmental and social performance alongside financial returns intend to increase their commitments in the market, according to a new report by J.P. Morgan and the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN).

Experts Look Beyond Reporting Trends on 'The Changing ESG Landscape'

Smart brands are going a step beyond environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting to assess the material costs and benefits of their sustainability investments, according to "The Changing ESG Landscape," a quarterly analyst program hosted by MetaVu and CRD Analytics.

Magnum Aiming to Enhance Financial Opportunities for 5K Female Cocoa Farmers by 2025

The ice cream brand aims to help 5,000 female cocoa farmers in Côte D'Ivoire achieve financial stability and diversify their incomes, for greater prosperity in the cocoa-farming offseason, by 2025.