Each week, the Erb Institute shares a collection of news and updates regarding business sustainability. This month, the Erb Institute blog and social media are focusing on an emerging industry, impact investing. Impact investments are investments made into companies, organizations and funds with the goal of generating financial returns as well as social and environmental impact.

Sustainable Business News – 3/3/2018 – 3/9/2018

Impact Investing

In impact investing, a generation gap persists

The Wall Street Journal

“Despite the emergence and growing adoption of impact-investing strategies over the past decade, there are still many advisers who aren’t sold on the idea of aligning values and financial returns. And given the success many have enjoyed, I can appreciate their reluctance to embrace or even acknowledge another approach to investing.

Disruptive technologies’ rising popularity in sustainable startups – Seedrs

What Investment

New technologies have enabled companies across a range of sectors to develop alternative products that provide both significantly better experiences for their customer and are more sustainable.

The agile nature of startups allows them to capitalise on new technology much more effectively than the competing incumbents. This allows them to cut out inefficiencies in existing products and business models. For example, a startup called Den has created a wireless light switch that’s controlled remotely and by sensors, simplifying the user experience and aiming to contribute towards cutting out the £1.3 billion in wasted energy produced in the UK alone by unused appliances.”

How investing in sustainable fisheries creates healthier oceans and people


“Imagine if Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola publicly released his strategies and tactics at the start of the soccer season. It would elevate the game of every team in the Premier League.

That’s exactly the goal of a new set of principles – a playbook if you will – aimed at ensuring investors are at the very top of their game when it comes to creating triple bottom line results from deploying their capital into sustainably managed ocean fisheries.”

Women’s Day roundup: Narrowing gaps, long-term leadership and gender lenses

Impact Alpha

“The benefits of women’s leadership, and their very presence, in the economy are becoming more widely known. The opportunity in 2018 is capturing those benefits with a new set of lens, intentional strategies and new investment and business-building processes.”

Companies with more female executives make more money, Bank of America says

Business Insider

“According to the study, companies in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15% more likely to see their operating income surpass the industry median.

Further, BAML finds that companies with more female executives have historically experienced less stock price and earnings volatility.

‘Companies that invest in women tend to have more favorable fundamental attributes, and with the rise in impact investing, a growing investor base,’ the firm said.”

Impact investors favour practices yielding social and financial returns

Financial Times

“When TPG, the private equity group, sought to raise $1.5bn for a ‘global impact fund’ last year, it rapidly surpassed expectations. With high-profile personalities including Bono and Jeff Skoll on the board, it was able to draw in $2bn.

The process has made the Rise Fund the largest such dedicated investor yet, with a stated objective of ‘social and environmental impact alongside competitive financial returns . . . [to] drive meaningful, measurable positive change’.”

A plan to launch incubators for impact entrepreneurs–and build ecosystems


“Laurie Lane-Zucker is all about building impact investing ecosystems. With that in mind, the founder of Impact Entrepreneur, a mega-group on LinkedIn, and an impact consultant,  is planning to launch Impact Inside. The initiative aims to form social enterprise incubators for ventures focused on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They’ll be located at various universities and co-working sites, tapping impact investing and entrepreneurial incubator tech platforms.”

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