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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
and corporate social responsibility.

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Impact Investing

This category includes articles about people, firms and foundations that invest in social good by investing in social entrepreneurs, social impact or pay-for-success bonds, etc.

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Global Sustainable Investment Alliance to release GLOBAL SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENT REVIEW 2018

Media web conference scheduled for April 2 10:00 a.m. ET

Press Release – WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 19, 2019) – The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) will release its biennial Global Sustainable Investment Review 2018 on Tuesday, April 2 at 8:00 a.m. ET. GSIA leaders will host a media web conference at 10:00 a.m. ET the same day, featuring:

  • Simon Howard, chief executive at UKSIF: The UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association
  • Dustyn Lanz, CEO at Responsible Investment Association, Canada
  • Meg Voorhes, research director at US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment
  • Lisa Woll, CEO of US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment

In its fourth edition, the biennial Global Sustainable Investment Review will present the latest data and trends on sustainable investing from Europe, the United States, Japan, Canada, and Australia and New Zealand. The report draws on in-depth regional and national reports from GSIA members—Eurosif, US SIF Foundation, Japan SIF, Responsible Investment Association Canada and Responsible Investment Association Australasia. It also features sidebars on Africa from the African Investing for Impact Barometer and from Latin America, provided by the Principles for Responsible Investment. Together, these resources provide data points, insights, analysis and examples of the shape of sustainable investing worldwide.

The Global Sustainable Investment Review is sponsored by UBS, RBC and Hermes Investment Management.

About The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance

The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) is a collaboration of membership-based sustainable investment organizations around the world. GSIA’s mission is to deepen the impact and visibility of sustainable investment organizations at the global level. Its vision is a world where sustainable investment is integrated into financial systems and the investment chain and where all regions of the world have coverage by vigorous membership-based institutions that represent and advance the sustainable investment community. For more information, visit gsi-alliance.org.

About US SIF

US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment is the leading voice advancing sustainable, responsible and impact investing across all asset classes. Its mission is to rapidly shift investment practices toward sustainability, focusing on long-term investment and the generation of positive social and environmental impacts. US SIF members include investment management and advisory firms, mutual fund companies, asset owners, research firms, financial planners and advisors, broker-dealers, community investing organizations and nonprofit associations. The 9th US SIF Annual Conference will take place June 10-12, in Minneapolis.

US SIF is supported in its work by the US SIF Foundation, a 501(C)(3) organization that undertakes educational and research activities to advance the mission of US SIF, including offering training for advisors and other financial professionals on the Fundamentals of Sustainable and Impact Investment. Learn more at ussif.org.


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Northern Forest Center Puts $1 Million to Work in Millinocket

Investments Create Quality Housing, Support Community Revitalization

Press Release – The Northern Forest Center has reached its initial goal of raising $1 million in investments for its Millinocket Housing Initiative Fund and has put the money to work directly in the community. The Center created the Millinocket Housing Initiative Fund, its first social and economic impact investment fund, to create quality homes for people who want to make a future in Millinocket.

Only two years after the launch of the fund, the Center has purchased six buildings and renovated five, turning dilapidated downtown properties into comfortable, high quality homes.

“We owe our success to the generous investors who stand with us in supporting the future of Millinocket,” said Center President Rob Riley. “We’re seeing great enthusiasm by individuals and foundations who want to make impact investments to advance the revitalization of our rural communities.”

Three of the completed renovations were extensive, reconfiguring the living spaces, replacing all windows and insulation, and replacing a roof. In February, the Center began a top-to-bottom renovation on the sixth property at 100 Katahdin Avenue, a grand but long-abandoned home on Veteran’s Park within an easy walk to downtown stores, the elementary school and the library.

The renovation — the Center’s most ambitious Millinocket renovation project to date — will reconfigure the building from five apartments to three. McLaughlin Builders of Medway, Maine, is heading up reconstruction of the building and expects to complete work by August.

“It’s almost impossible to overstate the impact of what the Northern Forest Center has done,” said Cody McEwen, chair of the Town Council. “The sheer investment in house purchases and subsequent payroll for local labor is huge to a town like Millinocket. Seeing a new roof go on or new siding go up on a building that was an eyesore is a great boost for everyone who passes by it.”

Housing is one piece of the Center’s broader strategy to support a strong and diversified economic future.

“The Center weaves together philanthropy, impact investments, and tax credits to complete community revitalization projects,” said Celina Adams of Kittery, Maine, who serves as vice president of the Center’s Board of directors. “As someone who works in philanthropy, I know working with a broad range of capital is unusual and quite powerful.”

In Millinocket, the Center has combined philanthropy and impact capital for its Housing Initiative and will bring its tax credit expertise to the Memorial Library renovation and Our Katahdin’s mill site redevelopment effort. “It’s amazing what a unified capital approach can accomplish, and it provides so many more entry points for supporters to get involved,” said Adams.

In addition to the financial resources, the Center is supporting development and improvement of recreational trails, managing building renovations, and helping convert buildings to wood pellet heat, all programs supported by donations and grants.

“Living in Millinocket has been a wonderful move for me both personally and professionally,” said Mike Smith, who lives in one of the Center’s renovated homes. “It’s incredible to be part of a community working so hard to reinvent itself and think creatively about the future.”

“You can’t beat the back yard here either, with endless adventure at my doorstep,” added Smith, who is program director and COO of the Outdoor Sport Institute. “Having this beautiful rental home available from the Center made my transition easy, and it’s made it easy for my friends and colleagues to experience the area as well. Everyone who’s stayed with me has left saying ‘this is awesome, maybe we should be looking at places here too,’” he said.

“The Fund has enabled the Center to fill a critical need in Millinocket, but we’re nowhere near done,” said Riley, who announced that the Center is developing a Phase 2 fund for Millinocket that focuses on commercial real estate redevelopment. The Center is also raising a similar fund for community investment in Lancaster, N.H. The Center is paying interest to investors in the funds and will repay the capital at the end of the investment term.

The Center welcomes inquiries from people who would like to support Millinocket’s revitalization efforts. Please contact Lila Trowbridge for more information, or make a donation via the Center’s website (https://northernforest.org/donate)


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Refinitiv Increases Investment to Unearth Links Between Sustainability and Financial Performance; Appoints New Head of Sustainable Investing & Fund Ratings

Leon Saunders Calvert to lead Refinitiv’s newly combined ESG Sustainable Investing & Lipper Fund Ratings business.

Press Release – New York/London – Building on its commitment to drive positive change through its data and insight, Refinitiv today announced that it has appointed Leon Saunders Calvert as Head of Sustainable Investing & Fund Ratings, a newly created role that brings together Refinitiv’s ESG Sustainable Investing and Lipper Fund Ratings businesses to increase focus on unearthing links between sustainable business strategies and financial performance.

As asset owners and investors increasingly make strategic investment decisions based on Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) factors, Refinitiv is committed to providing insight and transparency around the link between sustainability and financial performance, and plans to increase the universe of corporates covered in its ESG database while initiating ESG scores on public mutual funds.

“As the universe of sustainable investing unfolds, investors are demanding transparency around ESG factors,” said David Craig, CEO of Refinitiv. “We are at an inflection point where the need for corporate disclosure around ESG and sustainability is no longer in question; it is an operational imperative that benefits not only the corporation, but also the wider investment community and our global society at large. Refinitiv is at the forefront of this rapidly evolving landscape, providing the critical data that enables the transparency and insights necessary for sustainable investing.”

Uniquely positioned to score funds based on various ESG factors helping investors in portfolio construction and fund selection, Refinitiv is the leading provider of sustainability data covering over 7,000 companies with 17+ years of history across 400 metrics. Refinitiv’s Lipper database has holding details on over 380,000 global Mutual Funds with history going back over 40 years.

“We believe that creating a strong link between our ESG and Lipper data will be hugely beneficial to the financial industry as sustainability becomes a key and fundamental metric,” said Pradeep Menon, Managing Director of Investing & Advisory. “Leon’s experience running our large capital markets and investment banking franchises will help us really push boundaries in this incredibly important area.”

“The links between financial performance, risk and ESG are becoming more evident,” said Leon Saunders Calvert. “It is with great excitement that I can help drive further analytics and value to our customers who increasingly need insight into the importance of ESG and its relationship to fund performance metrics.”

Refinitiv has been serving the financial industry with ESG data and solutions for over 17 years and offers one of the richest ESG databases in the industry – a fully transparent resource that is trusted by investors and corporates to drive positive impact and provide comprehensive analysis. As members of the UN Global Compact, Refinitiv is part of a community of 9,000+ businesses across 135 countries that are committed to operating with responsible business practices at its core.

Lipper research provides independent insight to asset managers and institutional investors on global collective investments, including mutual funds, retirement funds, hedge funds, and fund fees and expenses. Lipper offers premium-quality data, fund ratings, analytical tools, and global commentary through specialized product offerings. Trusted by investment professionals for more than 40 years, Lipper provides unparalleled expertise and insight to the funds industry.

Elena Philipova, Head of ESG, and Robert Jenkins, Head of Lipper, will report to Leon in his new role. Before joining Refinitiv, Leon ran the research and data teams at Mergermarket, a provider of M&A intelligence to the advisory community, and started his career as an Analyst at advisory boutique, Regent Partners.

About Refinitiv

Refinitiv is one of the world’s largest providers of financial markets data and infrastructure, serving over 40,000 institutions in over 190 countries. It provides leading data and insights, trading platforms, and open data and technology platforms that connect a thriving global financial markets community – driving performance in trading, investment, wealth management, regulatory compliance, market data management, enterprise risk and fighting financial crime. For more information visit: www.Refinitiv.com


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General Mills Announces Plan to Invest in Regenerative Agriculture

Press Release – Oakland, CA—March 6, 2019—Earlier this week, major global food company General Mills announced a new commitment to advance regenerative agriculture on 1 million acres of farmland by 2030. Regenerative agriculture is a holistic farming system which aims to increase biodiversity, enrich soil, improve watersheds, and enhance ecosystems. Regenerative agriculture, applied correctly, can also reduce the use of pesticides through healthier soils, more resilient crops, and rotation of plantings to reduce pests. The first step in General Mills’ initiative will be engaging farmers in training and education on practices which improve soil health, above-ground biodiversity, and farmer economic resilience.

Christy Spees, environmental health program manager of As You Sow, had this to say about General Mills’ announcement:

“We are encouraged by this action because it is an investment in the future of farmland that will ultimately benefit environmental and human health. While this commitment is limited (it currently will focus on only one crop, for a limited number of the company’s brands, some of which already source organically), it is an important step and sets a clear direction for other companies to follow across their full range of agricultural supply chains.

“We note in particular that regenerative agriculture should not be limited to the supply chains for ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ products. All people deserve healthy, pesticide-free foods.”

Danielle Fugere, president of As You Sow, had this to say about General Mills’ announcement:

“Given the enormous impact food systems have on greenhouse gas emissions as well as the toll climate change is expected to take on agriculture, it is crucial that food companies consider the long-term sustainability of the farms on which they rely. Regenerative agriculture promotes not only carbon retention but soil resiliency and health. Healthy soil creates healthy food. If General Mills adopts regenerative agriculture across all of its supply chains, it will be a win for people and planet.”

For more information on As You Sow’s work on environmental health, click here.


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Registration now open for US SIF 9th Annual Conference

Press Release – WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 5, 2019) – US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment is hosting its 9th Annual Conference, “New Challenges, New Opportunities,” June 11-12 at the Downtown Radisson Blu Hotel in Minneapolis, MN. Early bird registration rates are in effect through March 15.

The US SIF Annual Conference gives attendees an opportunity to network with leaders in the sustainable investing community and to learn about new approaches, trends and policy developments. Registration is now open on the US SIF conference website at ussif.org/conference.

More than 450 participants are expected at this year’s event including representatives from investment management and advisory firms, foundations and family offices, research firms and rating agencies, financial planners and advisors, universities, broker-dealers and community development institutions, federal and state government and private and public corporations.

Past US SIF conference speakers have included Vice President Al Gore; Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative; Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation; Kurt Summers, treasurer of the City of Chicago; Robert Jackson Jr., commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission; and Jennifer Pryce, president and CEO of Calvert Impact Capital. Videos of previous conference speakers can be found here. The 2019 conference speaker lineup and a detailed agenda will be available on the US SIF Conference website.

US SIF will host its annual Member Day for US SIF members on June 10 (additional fee required). Immediately before the opening of the conference on June 11, US SIF will offer a three-hour class on the Fundamentals of Sustainable and Impact Investment at the Downtown Radisson Blu Hotel. The course, which requires a separate registration fee, is an introductory resource for investment advisors, financial planners and other financial professionals who want to learn the basics of sustainable, responsible and impact investment. The course can be taken as a stand-alone admission item or as part of the conference registration.

The Peter DeSimone Student Scholarship Program, now in its sixth year, provides six undergraduate or graduate students interested in a career in sustainable investment with an opportunity to attend the conference. Scholarship applications and videos of former Scholars are available on the conference website.

Committed sponsors for the 2019 conference include Prime Sponsors Impax Asset Management, Parnassus Investments and Trillium Asset Management; Wireless Network Sponsor Vigeo Eiris; Mobile App Sponsor ClearBridge Investments; Conference Lounge Sponsor Bloomberg; and Supporting Sponsors Hartford Funds, KBI Global Investors, Thornburg Investment Management, CRF USA and Calvert Impact Capital; and Contributing Sponsors Calvert Research & Management, MSCI, Sustainalytics, PIMCO and Brown Advisory. Firms interested in sponsoring the 2019 conference can learn more here.

About US SIF

US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment is the leading voice advancing sustainable, responsible and impact investing across all asset classes. Its mission is to rapidly shift investment practices toward sustainability, focusing on long-term investment and the generation of positive social and environmental impacts. US SIF members include investment management and advisory firms, mutual fund companies, pension funds, foundations and other asset owners, research firms, financial planners and advisors, broker-dealers, community investing institutions and nonprofit associations.

US SIF is supported in its work by the US SIF Foundation, a 501(C)(3) organization that undertakes educational, research and programmatic activities to advance the mission of US SIF, including offering classes for advisors and other financial professionals on the Fundamentals of Sustainable and Impact Investment. The US SIF Foundation’s Report on US Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends is the definitive and most comprehensive report on the sustainable investment industry. The 12th edition was released late 2018.

Learn more at ussif.org.


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IIX’s Women’s Livelihood Bond™ Program (WLB2) Gains Support From Australian Government; On Track To Launch Q2 2019

Press Release – SINGAPORE, 6 March 2019IIX – a global organization dedicated to building a more inclusive world through innovative finance and support for impact enterprises – has announced partnering with the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for the Women’s Livelihood Bond™ Program (WLB2). The WLB2 is a US$100M bond series empowering one million underserved women in Asia with sustainable livelihoods. The WLB2 will be sold in three tranches. With the support from the Australian government, the first bond in the WLB2 series is on track to launch Q2 2019. Other partners include DBS Bank, Shearman & Sterling LLP, Latham & Watkins LLP, and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas.

The Women’s Livelihood BondsTM are part of IIX’s Social Sustainability Bonds™ – innovative financial instruments which pool together a group of impact enterprises to issue a collective bond. These bonds differ from Social Impact Bonds as they mobilize private sector capital to generate positive social impact, offer financial returns independent of social outcomes, and are able to be listed on both social and traditional stock exchanges. IIX’s proprietary impact assessments measure the social impact and financial viability of the borrowers beforehand, ensuring greater accountability for investors. Such bonds are important given the large-scale private investment needed to bridge the SDG funding gaps. The first such bond – Women’s Livelihood Bond™ (WLB1) – was issued and listed on the Singapore Exchange in 2017, making it the first publicly listed impact investing instrument to place women front and center of capital markets. The 4-year bond is paying a coupon of 5.65% to its investors.

The World Bank, U.N. Women, and the Small Industries Development Bank of India announced in 2019 the launch of a “Women’s Livelihood Bond” in India, which is in fact a Social Impact Bond, a philanthropic instrument and not related to IIX’s trademarked Women’s Livelihood Bond™.

Durreen Shahnaz, CEO and Founder of IIX, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Australia’s DFAT who share our vision to drive women’s empowerment in Asia and beyond. Our Women’s Livelihood BondsTM demonstrate that we can do this while unlocking untapped private investment. In order to grow the impact investing market, we must all move beyond a reliance on the good will of philanthropic investors and start to provide attractive financial products that engage traditional private sector investors.”

About IIX

IIX is a global organization transforming the world through a new approach to sustainable peace. To achieve sustainable peace, we must address the root causes of inequality and injustice in the world today that lead to conflict. We believe that peace must be built by valuing and empowering everyone – especially those excluded from existing systems – to be a part of the solution for a sustainable future.

Over the past decade, we have built the world’s largest crowdfunding platform for impact investing, Impact Partners, created innovative financial products such as the Women’s Livelihood Bond, operated award-winning enterprise technical assistance programs such as IIX ACTS, and established an Impact Institute for training and education. The basis of all this work – connecting the financial markets with impact – is IIX’s proprietary Impact Assessment which is now widely used across Asia. To date, IIX’s work has spanned 46 countries, unlocked nearly $94 million of private sector capital to support 140+ enterprises, avoided over 1 million metric tons of CO2 emissions and impacted nearly 24 million lives. IIX has received numerous awards for its work including the Oslo Business for Peace Award, the ‘Nobel Prize for Business.’ Learn more at: iixglobal.com


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Former Senior Banker Joins Board Of Global Impact Firm Palladium

Press Release – London: 05 March, 2019: The former UK managing director of Europe’s leading values-based bank has joined global impact firm Palladium as a non-executive director.

After more than 30 years in banking, Charlie Middleton took up his new role effective 01 March 2019. Prior to heading up the UK arm of Triodos Bank for more than a decade, he had senior leadership roles for Barclays in Africa, the Caribbean and India. His experience of working effectively in different regulatory and cultural environments will add further strength and governance to Palladium’s global board of directors.

Charlie Middleton is already on the board of financial advisory firm Enclude, which Palladium acquired last year to deepen the technical expertise in its impact investing division.

As well as a qualified counsellor and psychotherapist, Charlie Middleton is a mentor and coach to individuals and teams in the commercial, charity, voluntary and social enterprise sector.

Palladium is a $500 million company with 2,500 employees across 90 countries worldwide. It works with corporations, governments, investors, communities and civil society by implementing programmes that link social progress and commercial growth.

Ken Warriner, Chairman of Palladium’s Board of Directors, said: “Charlie Middleton has successfully managed and developed a wide range of financial services businesses in the UK and internationally, which is important for the direction in which Palladium is going. His extensive experience in social investment and community banking coupled with a deep understanding of diverse regulatory environments will be invaluable.”

Christopher Hirst, CEO of Palladium, said: “Our Impact Investing capabilities have been a real differentiator for us, particularly for clients such as the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and USAID. Acquiring Enclude from Triodos bank deepened those capabilities on the Capital Advisory side, and having Charlie join our Board will help to further integrate that expertise across the company.”

Charlie Middleton, Non-Executive Director of Palladium, added: “I’m delighted to be joining the Palladium board. I’m particularly interested in Palladium’s international reach and the impact aspect of its business, and I’m looking forward to getting to know and understand how the company delivers the range of solutions it offers.

“I’ve increasingly focused my work on businesses and organisations that aim to make a positive difference in a commercially viable way. I hope my experience in the finance sector and impact investment alongside my broader governance and strategic knowledge will be of real use to the board.”


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Closed Loop Partners Announces 12 Winners of the NextGen Cup Challenge to Reimagine the Future of the Fiber To-Go Cup

Starbucks, McDonald’s and other industry leaders partner in pre-competitive collaboration to push the boundaries of sustainable design and find innovative cup solutions

Press Release – February 27, 2019The NextGen Consortium, convened by Closed Loop Partners, announced today the winners of the NextGen Cup Challenge – an open-sourced, global innovation challenge to redesign the fiber to-go cup and create a widely recyclable and/or compostable cup.

After a rigorous four-month review process by an esteemed group of judges including NextGen Consortium business leaders, as well as experts in recycling, composting and packaging, the Challenge narrowed the nearly 500 submissions from over 50 countries down to 12 winners.

These 12 winning solutions — broadly categorized into innovative cup liners, new materials, and reusable cup service models — have the potential to turn the 250 billion fiber to-go cups used annually from waste into a valuable material in the recycling system.

“This is a notable milestone to achieve our aspiration of sustainable coffee, served sustainably which is a particular passion for our over 350,000 Starbucks partners,” said John Kelly, Senior Vice President of Global Public Affairs and Social Impact at Starbucks. “We’re a founding partner of the NextGen Consortium because we believe it will take the scale and influence of many global companies to make recyclable, compostable to-go cups an industry standard rather than the exception.”

Many of the largest players in the food and beverage industry have united within the NextGen Consortium, making it a unique pre-competitive collaboration. Starbucks and McDonald’s were early investors and founding partners of the NextGen Consortium, with The Coca-Cola Company, Yum! Brands, Nestlé and Wendy’s joining as supporting partners. The World Wildlife Fund acts as an advisory member of the Consortium, and OpenIDEO is an innovation partner. Collectively representing a significant portion of the cups market, these brands are not only demonstrating their commitment to ending cup waste and driving innovation in packaging, but also accelerating the paths to global scale.

“McDonald’s is proud to work with such an unprecedented number of brands to address the issue of fiber to-go cups,” said Marion Gross, Senior Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer, McDonald’s USA. “Collaboration is what we need to truly move the needle, amplify impact and bring solutions to scale quickly.”

The NextGen Challenge winner solutions are advancing the transition to a more circular economy where materials are continuously cycled and reliance on raw materials is reduced. “By working across the entire value chain and engaging key stakeholders, winners of the NextGen Cup Challenge are tackling a complex problem in a holistic way, sending valuable material back into the supply chain – benefiting people, the planet, and businesses,” said Erin Simon, Director, Sustainability R&D, World Wildlife Fund.

Up to six winners will enter the NextGen Circular Business Accelerator, where they’ll gain access to a network of experts, business and technical resources and testing opportunities to ensure these innovations can successfully scale to serve the needs of the industry and maintain the performance standards we know and trust.

The Challenge is just the first stage of the NextGen Consortium’s three-year effort. Next, the NextGen Circular Business Accelerator, with testing and piloting opportunities, will help solutions get onto the shelf. Further, the Consortium is working with suppliers, recyclers and composters to ensure that the winning solutions can get successfully recovered for the highest value. The Consortium will work together to support the needs of the recycling and composting system and identify ways to make it easy for consumers to choose the right bin.

“The level of interest we saw in the Challenge demonstrates a real appetite for long-lasting sustainable packaging solutions,” said Kate Daly, Executive Director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners. “This level of industry collaboration in support of the NextGen Cup Challenge is really exciting, and we look forward to building on this momentum to encourage more innovative solutions. Fully recoverable fiber to-go cups are just the beginning.”

For more information on the winners, the Challenge and the NextGen Consortium, visit www.nextgenconsortium.com.

The 12 Winners of the Challenge

Category One: Innovative Cup Liners

These companies are rethinking the polyethylene plastic liners in cups that can currently make to-go cups difficult to recycle.

  • C.E.E.R. SCHISLER, France, creates a 100% paper cup that is home compostable and recyclable.
  • Colombier Group, Netherlands, Finland, creates a recyclable and compostable barrier for paperboard cups.
  • Footprint US, USA, creates cups, lids and straws that are fully formed fiber-based solutions, with an aqueous-based coating that is recyclable and compostable.
  • Kotkamills Oy, Finland, creates plastic-free, recyclable and compostable cupstock material that can be processed into cups at existing cup making machines.
  • PTT MCC Biochem Company Limited, Thailand, creates a coated paper cup that is recyclable and home compostable.
  • Solenis LLC, USA, Belgium, creates a barrier coating that is recyclable and compostable.
  • Sun Chemical Corporation, USA, creates inks and coatings that are recyclable and compostable.
  • WestRock Corporation, USA, creates a recyclable and compostable paperboard solution to cups.

Category Two: New Materials

These companies are using cutting edge, plant-based materials in their cups so that they are compostable.

  • Solublue Ltd., UK, creates plant-based, food grade and non-toxic products that biodegrade after use.

Category Three: Reusable Cup Service Models

The cups made by these companies aren’t single-use, they just keep cycling – remaining in service by harnessing the power of technology and design.

  • CupClub, UK, operates a returnable cup ecosystem, providing a service for drinks. Think bike sharing, but for cups.
  • reCup GmbH, Germany, operates a deposit system for reusable cups. Rent their cup and return it to any participating partner shop. No cleaning of the cup or carrying around required.
  • Revolv, Indonesia, Hong Kong (China), operates a deposit-based platform for smart, reusable beverage packaging, connecting their cups–and third party products–to Internet of Things technologies.

About NextGen

Each year, an estimated 250 billion fiber to-go cups are distributed worldwide. Most of these are not recyclable or compostable. The NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge launched in 2018 to bring together entrepreneurs, industry, and recyclers to identify and commercialize the next generation of recyclable and/or compostable cups. Closed Loop Partners, Starbucks, McDonald’s, The Coca-Cola Company, Yum! Brands, Nestlé and Wendy’s invite the industry to join this effort to identify a global solution to this shared challenge.

About Closed Loop Partners

Closed Loop Partners is an investment platform that invests in sustainable consumer goods, recycling and the development of the circular economy. Investors include many of the world’s largest consumer goods companies and family offices interested in investments that provide strong financial returns and tangible social impact. In 2018, Closed Loop Partners launched the Center for the Circular Economy, a New York City-based collaboration center for innovators to commercialize products, services and technologies that are leading the transition from a linear take, make, waste economy to a restorative one in which materials are shared, re-used, and continuously cycled. Learn more at www.closedlooppartners.com.

About McDonald’s

McDonald’s is the world’s leading global foodservice retailer with over 37,000 locations in over 100 countries. Over 90 percent of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business men and women. This year McDonald’s announced a series of commitments demonstrating how it will use its Scale for Good to positively impact the planet and the communities it serves. You can read more about McDonald’s Scale for Good initiatives here.

About Starbucks

Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at http://news.starbucks.com or www.starbucks.com.

Additional Quotes

“Solving the issue of plastic waste requires collaboration among many different stakeholders,” said Stefan Palzer, Nestlé Chief Technology Officer. “We are excited to join the NextGen Consortium and Cup Challenge as it brings together start-ups, industry partners and suppliers to find an industry wide, global packaging solution for sustainable to-go cups.”

“Yum! Brands would like to congratulate all of the Challenge winners for bringing forward incredible innovation that will help find food packaging solutions for our industry and beyond,” said Jon Hixson, VP Global Government Affairs and Sustainability, Yum! Brands. “The NextGen Consortium provides an amazing platform for collaboration and we look forward to seeing the continued progress that comes from the partnership to drive positive change in the value chain.”

“At Wendy’s, we know that our customers are increasingly aware of packaging waste and its impact on the environment,” said Liliana Esposito, Wendy’s Chief Communications Officer. “We embrace our role as being part of the solution, and one way we do that is to engage in partnerships that help us arrive at smart solutions, like our partnership with the NextGen Consortium. We congratulate the winners in this phase of the NextGen Cup Challenge, and look forward to seeing their ideas come to life and make a difference.”

“It’s encouraging to see such a diverse range of innovative solutions that represent milestones in the journey toward more comprehensive recyclability and compostability of cups across the board” said Nina Goodrich, Executive Director, GreenBlue and the Sustainable Packaging Coalition. (Nina Goodrich is a judge for the NextGen Cup Challenge)

“It’s great to see the momentum behind the NextGen Cup Challenge coming from a number of large brands,” said Abe Minkara, Managing Director, Mark Cuban Companies. “Together with the innovative winning ideas, the combination is truly powerful. Scaling a sustainable solution to the to-go cup ecosystem becomes not only attainable but inevitable.” (Abe Minkara is a judge for the NextGen Cup Challenge)

“The winners of the NextGen Cup Challenge represent an inventive spectrum of creative chemistry, design and manufacturing technology demonstrating real progress toward the recyclability and compostability of post-consumer cups and containers.” said Scott Seydel, Board Chair and CEO, The Seydel Companies and Board Trustee of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation US. (Scott Seydel is a judge for the NextGen Cup Challenge)


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NAACP Infusing Social Justice into Wall Street in Historic Bell Ringing Group Joins with Impact Shares in Highlighting New Minority Impact ETF

Discussion on “Using Capital Markets to Create Social Equity” to Precede Event

Press Release – NEW YORK – February 26, 2019 – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) will join Impact Shares, the first 501(c)(3) nonprofit exchange-traded fund (ETF) platform, in ringing the Closing Bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), on Tuesday, February 26, to highlight the launch of the NAACP Minority Empowerment ETF (NYSE Arca: NACP).

The ceremony marks signals a watershed moment and marks the first time in the nation’s premier civil rights organization 110 year history it will ring the NYSE bell. It also symbolizes a significant milestone for the NAACP and the evolution of the African American Community occurring 400 years after the first enslaved Africans arrived on the shores of Virginia.

“ETF’s represent the means by which communities can support those companies who invest in us and are concerned about our issues,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson.

“NACP serves as a capital markets bridge, allowing investors to align their equity portfolios with companies that have a strong track record of supporting the NAACP’s mission of racial and ethnic equality,” said Ethan Powell, CEO of Impact Shares. “We are grateful for our continued partnership with the NAACP, and are excited to commemorate the organization’s 110-year legacy with this historic bell-ringing.”

Prior to the bell ringing ceremony, Impact Shares and the NAACP will host a panel discussion on “Using Capital Markets to Create Social Equity.” Moderated by Reggie Browne, Managing Director at Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., the discussion will address the growth of socially responsible investment strategies and the impact the private sector can have in influencing racial justice. Additional panel speakers include Jim Casselbery, CIO of the Sarowitz Family LLC, and former stock trader for Rosenblatt Securities LLC Lauren Simmons, who at 23 made history as the youngest and only full time female trader at NYSE. She was the second African American woman to hold this position.

The panel discussion will begin at 1:30 PM EST and can be live-streamed here courtesy of NAACP. Journalists can register and learn more here.

“This represents a powerful moment in the history of the African American community,” said NAACP Economic Director Marvin Owens. “In our community, there has always been a connecting between our economic power and our social freedom – today we take a further step in connecting the two.

NACP began trading on July 19, 2018 and tracks the Morningstar Minority Empowerment Index, built in collaboration with Morningstar and Sustainalytics. The index is designed to provide exposure to U.S. companies with strong racial and ethnic diversity policies in place, empowering employees irrespective of their race or nationality.

About the NAACP

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas at www.naacp.org.

About Impact Shares

Impact Shares is an ETF issuer and investment manager that is creating a new and innovative platform for clients seeking maximum social impact with market returns. Impact Shares’ goal is to build a capital markets bridge between leading non-profits, investors and corporate America to direct capital and social engagement on societal priorities. Impact Shares is a tax-exempt non-profit organization under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. For more information about Impact Shares visit impactetfs.org.


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