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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.

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Accountants Want Purpose, Too!

The Accounting major is popular in college because it is one of the easiest ways to ensure you get a job after school, and the most prestigious – and lucrative – route to take is to get a job with one of the Big 4 Public Accounting firms. My Accounting professor told me that working for one of the Big 4 Public Accounting firms was like going to grad school and getting paid for it. So naturally, that is what I strived for and started my career as an Audit Associate. For those of you that don’t know, an accounting role tends to be long hours in a non-collaborative environment, doing work that is repetitive and lacks creativity. On the bright side, however, accountants tend to get paid very well.

Cleantech Companies Delivered Triple the Returns of Fossil Fuel Companies Over Past Decade

Cross-Posted from Cleantech. A report released today from As Yow Sow and Corporate Knights reveals that a list of 200 clean energy companies known as the Carbon Clean 200™ (Clean200™) show a simulated annualized return of 21.82 percent over the past decade – nearly triple that of the Carbon Underground 200™, a list of fossil fuel companies being targeted for divestment, which generated a 7.84 percent annualized return over the same period. The Clean200’s high figure was largely due to the explosive growth experienced by Chinese cleantech firms, but firms outside of China still had figures superior to the S&P 1200 global benchmark and Carbon Underground 200.

Goldman Sachs to Invest $150B in Clean Energy by 2025

Cross-Posted from Cleantech. On Monday, The Goldman Sachs Group released its ambitious new Environmental Policy Framework, which includes bold targets and initiatives related to climate-change mitigation, adaptation, risk management, and operational impact. The company reports it is on schedule to be the first U.S. investment bank to be carbon neutral across its operations and business travel by the end of 2015, and has already invested $37 billion in clean energy since setting its $40 billion capital deployment goal in 2012.

Trending: More Fossil-Free Finance Tools from S&P Dow Jones, As You Sow

Cross-Posted from Cleantech. Investors are becoming warier of the valuation risk in their portfolios as a result of climate change. This week, there are three new indices and a new free web tool to help them navigate their way to fossil fuel-free investments.

OK ... Now What? The Future of Natural Capital Accounting Metrics

Cross-Posted from New Metrics. Natural Capital Accounting (NCA) is an emerging methodology in the private sector, aimed at measuring the dependency and impact of companies on natural systems. NCA helps in quantifying the value of usually intangible assets from nature (such as water, pollination, etc). NCA allows mitigating risks but also identifies opportunities to reduce costs, innovate and become more resilient.

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A Planetisation of Finance: The Earth as a Going Concern

Cross-Posted from Product, Service & Design Innovation. “We have statesmen and politicians who profess to guide our destinies. Whither are they guiding our destinies?”— H.G WellsValuing continuing existenceIn recent decades considerable effort has been invested into describing and identifying the planet’s natural environment in terms that can be appreciated and integrated into the language of economics and finance.

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.

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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.

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.

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