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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.

McDonald’s Joins Starbucks & Closed Loop Partners In Groundbreaking Partnership To Develop A Recyclable and/or Compostable Cup Solution Through NextGen Cup Consortium And Challenge

Press Release – July 17, 2018 – The NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge, convened by Closed Loop Partners, announces that McDonald’s joins Starbucks as a founding member of the group joining together to develop a global recyclable and/or compostable cup solution. This announcement follows recent commitments by both companies to drive innovation of their packaging and help reduce waste.

McDonald’s is committing $5 million in partnership with Closed Loop Partners to help launch the NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge announced earlier this year, bringing the total contributed to $10 million. The Challenge kicks off in September and invites innovators, entrepreneurs, industry experts, and recyclers to submit their ideas for the next generation of recyclable and/or compostable cups. Awardees will receive acceleration funding up to $1 million based on key milestones. Up to seven of the awardees will enter a six-month accelerator program to help scale their solutions.

“McDonald’s is committed to using our scale for good to make positive changes that impact our planet and the communities we serve,” said Marion Gross, Senior Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer, McDonald’s USA. “We are excited to join Starbucks and Closed Loop to help solve this pressing challenge as collaboration is key to finding a scalable, lasting global solution.”

“We are proud to come together with industry partners like McDonald’s to drive innovative, scalable solutions for cup waste,” said Colleen Chapman, Vice President of Global Social Impact focused on sustainability for Starbucks. “A better cup will benefit the entire industry and we invite others to join us as we move these efforts forward.”

NextGen builds on years of work in the industry and is a critical step in the development of a global end-to-end solution that will potentially allow the 600 billion cups globally to be diverted from landfills and given a second life.

NextGen is building a robust advisory council including leaders in environmental NGOs including WWF; human-centered design, academic leaders, the paper and plastic industry, recyclers, composters, and municipalities. This council will ensure that the work is grounded in the needs of the entire value chain and the cups make it from shelf to consumer and back through the recovery system to another high value use.

“There has never been a greater need to tackle the ways in which we source and recover materials. McDonald’s participation is a strong step forward in building momentum from major brands to come together and develop innovative approaches to materials waste,” says Erin Simon, director of sustainability research and development (R&D) and material science at World Wildlife Fund, U.S. “Working together across the entire value chain of these major companies will allow us to create a comprehensive and lasting solution to this critical conservation challenge.”

Launching in September, The NextGen Cup Challenge, in partnership with OpenIDEO, is the first initiative in this journey. The NextGen Cup Challenge will be open to supply chain leaders, innovators and solution providers that have promising solutions to recovery of single use cups, with a focus on the fiber based hot and cold cup, starting with creating a fully recyclable and/ or compostable cup in North America.

“To date we have received more than 1,000 inquiries from companies and individuals interested in participating in the challenge and we anticipate some exciting and impactful proposals,” says Kate Daly, Executive Director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners. “In our experience investing in circular economy innovation, we find the most successful path to scaling a systems-changing solution is to bring together key players along the entire value chain in a pre-competitive collaboration. This is the type of partnership we need to foster innovative solutions without sacrificing profit. We are working with consortium members to build a robust shared set of technical, performance, and environmental criteria that we will announce later this summer.”

While NextGen intends to work on the entire cup system, including cups, lids and straws, its first challenge will focus on the fiber-based hot and cold cup, as this is the most significant challenge faced by the industry.

For more details on the consortium or challenge, visit www.nextgencup.com.

About NextGen

Each year, an estimated 600 billion paper and plastic 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, and McDonald’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 financials returns and tangible social impact. In 2018, CLP launched the Center for 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.

About McDonald’s

McDonald’s is the world’s leading global foodservice retailer with over 37,000 locations in over 120 markets. 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.


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ImpactAssets Unveils Portfolio Directory of Cutting-Edge Impact Investing Deals Sourced Through Giving Fund

Directory provides greater insight and transparency into rapidly-growing Custom Investments; Nearly one-third of directory investments are led by women across geographies and asset classes.

Press Release – BETHESDA, MD July 12, 2018ImpactAssets, a nonprofit financial services firm that increases the flow of capital into investments delivering financial, social and environmental returns, today announced the roll-out of the Giving Fund Portfolio Directory, a listing of more than 300 cutting-edge impact investments.

Developed in partnership with Toniic, the global action community for impact investors, the online searchable directory represents $425 million in impact investments recommended by donors through the ImpactAssets Giving Fund, as of December 31, 2017.

The directory highlights the rapid growth of Custom Investments, an innovative investment option that allows donors to source and recommend direct investments into private mission-driven businesses, impact funds and nonprofit organizations that are committed to measuring and reporting their financial returns as well as social and environmental impact. In the first six months of 2018, donors made 45 custom investments in 42 companies, averaging two new investments each week and on pace for a record year.

“The Giving Fund Portfolio Directory is one of the most comprehensive and accessible impact investing databases available at no cost to users,” said Eric Meissner, Director, Custom Investments and Business Analytics at ImpactAssets. “It allows users to look under the hood at some of the most innovative impact investing deals being done and it demonstrates the real world impact our donors are making every day.”

Of particular note, approximately 31% of the impact investments in the directory are in women-led companies. In addition, a majority of “direct” private debt and equity impact funds listed in the directory have women CEOs, (EcoEnterprises Fund, Ecotrust Forest Management, Elevar Equity) or disproportionally benefit underserved women (Community Investment Management, Microvest). These numbers are significantly higher than other business and gender metrics, such as the number of women Fortune 500 CEOs (six percent) or the amount of venture capital that goes to women-led companies (five percent).

The Giving Fund Portfolio Directory empowers investors to target their search by Women CEO/Co-Founder, geography, asset class, UN Sustainable Development Goals and other criteria. Investors can also focus in on different types of investment vehicles – whether a direct investment, private equity fund or mutual fund – and target investments based on liquidity profiles.

The Giving Fund Portfolio Directory builds on a tradition at ImpactAssets of providing open access to investment data that began with the IA 50, a free, online database for investors and financial advisors that features a diversified listing of 50 private capital fund managers that deliver social and environmental impact as well as financial returns. Now in its seventh year, the IA 50 features funds with an estimated $29.2 billion in assets in 2017, nearly triple the assets in the IA 50 2016 listing.

“As impact investing has grown rapidly in recent years, ImpactAssets has remained a trusted resource for impact investors of all experience levels,” said Meissner. “Objective data is critical to helping investors make informed investment decisions, and through the portfolio directory and the IA 50, we are helping to catalyze the growth of impact investing by creating a centralized information source in a fragmented field.”

About ImpactAssets

ImpactAssets is a nonprofit financial services firm that increases the flow of capital into investments delivering financial, social and environmental returns. ImpactAssets’ donor advised fund (“The Giving Fund”) and field-building initiatives enable philanthropists, other asset owners and their wealth advisors advance social or environmental change through impact investment and philanthropy. The Giving Fund currently has upwards of $450M in assets from more than 1,000 donor advised funds.

This content is licensed to the public subject to the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No-Derivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license. ImpactAssets, Inc. does not make any representations about the accuracy of the information in the Giving Fund Portfolio Directory (the “Portfolio Directory”). The classifications therein represent ImpactAssets Inc.’s subjective evaluations. The Portfolio Directory is an informational tool only. No output derived from the Portfolio Directory should constitute investment advice. ImpactAssets, Inc. does not make any recommendations, endorsements, or suitability determination as to any specific investment opportunities, including those listed in the Portfolio Directory. Investors should consult an investment, tax and legal professional before deciding to invest in any financial product. ImpactAssets, Inc. is not responsible for the consequences of any decisions or actions taken in reliance upon or as a result of the information provided. No offers or invitations to make offers for the purchase or sale of securities are or may be made by or through the Portfolio Directory. ImpactAssets, Inc. is not a registered broker-dealer or investment adviser.

ImpactAssets, Inc. acknowledges and is grateful for the support from Toniic, which provided the code to its Toniic Diirectory in order to help ImpactAssets, Inc. launch this version of the Portfolio Directory. ImpactAssets, Inc. is a Toniic member and provides data to the Toniic Diirectory, a publicly accessible online searchable directory with over 1,700 impact investments across all asset classes sourced from the portfolios of Toniic members, especially 100% Impact Network participants.


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Closed Loop Fund Invests In TemperPack To Drive Innovation In Ecommerce Packaging Solutions And Reduce MRF Contamination.

Press Release – July 10, 2018 – More than 52 million Americans currently buy their groceries online. The rapid growth of online food and beverage sales is putting pressure on the recycling system with more insulated packaging, primarily Styrofoam, being found in curbside recycling bins. Closed Loop Fund has invested $4.5 million in TemperPack, a packaging innovation company that has created a line of insulated packaging that is recyclable in curbside programs as part of the paper and corrugated materials stream. Closed Loop Fund joins SJF Ventures in this investment.

TemperPack’s products provide significant (est. 10x) GHG benefits over expanded polystyrene materials used in insulated shipping today and will help reduce contamination at Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs). According to Bob Milligan, VP of Operations Due Diligence at Closed Loop Fund, “From our MRF testing, we’ve seen that TemperPack’s ClimaCell packaging can greatly reduce the burden of Styrofoam ending up in the recycling streams and the packaging has proven to make it through the OCC lines at MRFs.”

While other cold-chain packaging claims to be recyclable, the reality does not support the claims. In a recent study by the Association of Plastics Recyclers, APR found that innovation in this packaging category is sorely needed: https://resource-recycling.com/recycling/2018/02/26/investigating-the-ingredients/

TemperPack currently has two manufacturing plants, operating in Richmond, VA, and Las Vegas, NV. Closed Loop Fund’s investment will support the expansion of a new production line at its facility in Las Vegas, NV to help scale its impact in assisting companies that ship perishable goods using more sustainable options and reducing the amount of plastic insulation currently in the market.

“We couldn’t be more excited to work with Closed Loop Fund to expand production of our new curbside recyclable line of products at our west coast operations in Las Vegas,” commented Brian Powers, TemperPack’s co-CEO and co-founder. “Bringing a second manufacturing operation for ClimaCell online will allow us to better serve our clients’ growing needs for insulated packaging.”

About Closed Loop Fund

Founded in 2014, Closed Loop Fund is a social impact investment fund that provides cities access to the capital required to build comprehensive recycling programs. Closed Loop Fund aims to invest $100 million by 2020 with the goal to create economic value for cities by increasing recycling rates in communities across America and build circular supply chains. Closed Loop Fund brings together the world’s largest consumer product, retail, and financial companies committed to finding a national solution to divert waste from landfills into the recycling stream in order to be used in the manufacturing supply chain. Closed Loop Fund investors include 3M, Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, Dr Pepper Snapple, Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies, Keurig Green Mountain, Nestle Waters North America, PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and the Walmart Foundation. For more information, visit www.closedloopfund.com

About TemperPack

Founded in 2015, TemperPack solves thermal packaging problems through sustainable design. The company was born out of a desire to reduce the amount of unsustainable packaging that correlated with the rising world of e-commerce delivery. They specialize in bringing custom solutions for clients to scale in the perishable food and life sciences industries. Today, TemperPack operates two facilities in Virginia and Nevada and is rapidly expanding its reach in the perishable and cold chain shipping market, all with the goal of reducing the amount of packaging that ends up in landfills.


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Among Social Investing Approaches, Racial Equity Strategies Stand out for the Need They Serve and the Compelling Economic Opportunity, Says Cambridge Associates

Institutional Investors That Can Parse the Vast Landscape of Racial Equity Issues and Ask the Right Questions of Investment Managers Will Have Leg up

Press Release – BOSTON, July 11, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A new report by investment firm Cambridge Associates on social equity investing – the practice of making financial investments that promote equal opportunity for all, regardless of background – points out that when those allocations focus on racial equity, the potential social-problem solving and financial benefits are accentuated.

Social equity opportunities for institutional investors span such issues as education, civil rights, transportation, affordable housing, financial inclusion and health – and racial equity cuts across all of them, according to “Social Equity Investing: Righting Institutional Wrongs.”

“The legacies of racism and racial barriers are deep and complex, and data indicates that inequities of nearly any kind tend to be more pronounced for people of color. Investing to advance racial equity demands particular attention to and understanding of the interconnectedness of social equity’s underlying themes,” says report coauthor Erin Harkless, a Senior Investment Director focused on Mission-Related Investing at Cambridge Associates.

The report underlines the financial and economic upside of effectively addressing racial inequity, as communities of color represent the fastest growing US consumer markets. It cites research that shows that the combined buying power of blacks, Asians and Native Americans was $2.2 trillion, up 138% from 2000, and that of Hispanics increased by 181% to $1.4 trillion. Further, raising the average income of people of color to the average incomes of white people would generate an additional $1 trillion in earnings.

Given the economic potential of investments that help address racial inequality, parsing the avenues for effective allocations is a critically important step for institutional asset owners with social equity goals, the report says.

“In our view, investment strategies focused on racial equity can be divided into two areas. The first includes strategies that increase capital access for and allocations to communities of color and that begin to tackle the ongoing capital gap that besets these communities. The second area involves business lines and practices – in other words, strategies that aim to ensure that existing businesses, products, services and policies support communities of color,” said Ashley Cohen, coauthor of the report and Senior Investment Associate at Cambridge Associates.

Capital access and allocation strategies might include identifying and tilting the search for investment managers towards firms that are owned or led by people of color; investing in a venture strategy with a particular focus on racially and ethnically diverse entrepreneurs; or allocating to consumer services related to health, wellness and food systems, the report says.

Strategies that focus on business practices might include backing start-ups that create affordable and accessible financial tools; embarking on a public equity investing approach that favors companies with superior social practices; or using shareholder advocacy to encourage companies to improve their diversity approaches.

With that backdrop, the report highlights questions that institutions pursuing such allocations should ask about investment managers under consideration:

  • Do the managers have the cultural know-how and acumen to address the needs of racially diverse communities?
  • Are the managers themselves espousing inclusive principles throughout their organizations? Do they have programs around diversity and equity?
  • Are the managers acting to involve the community directly in the investment decision-making process and leveraging the expertise and voices of community members?
  • Have the managers thought about any undue risks that communities might bear that could run counter to institutional investors’ impact goals?

Harkless continued, “The discipline of racial equity investing is exciting and, we believe, of immense importance to society. There has been continued demand from our clients – endowments, foundations, private clients, and pensions – to develop portfolios that address diversity and equity. We expect that the growing prominence and focus on these allocations will yield a more robust opportunity set – due both to new entrants and existing players pivoting to address racial equity via their investment portfolios. Already we’ve seen more investment managers articulating strategies that have an impact on communities of color.”

About Cambridge Associates

Cambridge Associates is a leading global investment firm. We aim to help endowments & foundations, pension plans, and private clients implement and manage custom investment portfolios that generate outperformance so they can maximize their impact on the world. Working alongside its early clients, among them leading university endowments, the firm pioneered the strategy of high-equity orientation and broad diversification, which since the 1980s has been a primary driver of performance for institutional investors. Cambridge Associates delivers a range of services, including outsourced CIO, non-discretionary portfolio management, and investment consulting.

Cambridge Associates maintains offices in Boston; Arlington, VA; Beijing; Dallas; London; Menlo Park, CA; New York; San Francisco; Singapore; Sydney; and Toronto. Cambridge Associates consists of five global investment consulting affiliates that are all under common ownership and control. For more information, please visit www.cambridgeassociates.com.


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Green Alpha Advisors Identifies Six Key Trends Driving Sustainable and Impact Investing

Press Release – BOULDER, CO — June 09, 2018 — Green Alpha Advisors, an asset manager specializing in innovation-driven, fossil fuel free equity portfolios, has identified six key trends that will influence sustainable and impact investing in the second half of 2018 and beyond.

Investors have been on a see-saw thus far in 2018, and sustainability-focused investors have been no exception. Tariffs, market surprises and global energy policies have driven some uncertainty in green investing sectors, while technology breakthroughs and state-driven actions in California and elsewhere have partly counterbalanced the Trump Administration’s most extreme measures. Look for this dynamic to continue, which could result in spikes of volatility – and potential buying opportunities for long-term investors.

“The first half of 2018 has been some of the most volatile market activity in recent history. The unpredictability of the Trump Administration has led to a lot of near-term market anxiety,” said Garvin Jabusch, Green Alpha Chief Investment Officer. “Our response has been to focus on the long-term, remaining invested in multi-year growth trends that will ultimately be impacted less by short-term policy machinations and more by innovation.”

Key trends for sustainable and impact investors include:

Gender and diversity investing elevated: Gender and diversity investing is one of the fast-growing categories of sustainable and impact investing, with public equity assets in these strategies growing from $100 million in 2014 to more than $900 million in 2017. One key reason investors find these firms so appealing: research demonstrates that diverse management teams outperform homogeneous teams in a variety of material ways, from creative problem solving to executing on short- and long-term goals.

Infrastructure inflection point: Traditional infrastructure—like bridges, roads, water mains, and water treatment—desperately need upgrades. Companies that supply and utilize waste-to-value materials, like recycled steel, are meeting critical infrastructure and sustainability needs. A tech-driven economy also requires infrastructure to support the twenty first century’s most precious commodity: data. Global fiber networks, wireless networks (including 5G), cloud services, and satellite communications (including internet) will continue to be key areas to watch.

U.S. China solar flare-up: China’s recently announced changes to national solar policies have rocked the global PV market. With the resulting oversupply of panels, prices may fall 35% or further–more than nixing the impact of U.S. trade tariffs. Stock prices of panel manufacturers are following suit, offering some fantastic buying opportunities for investors. Adding to the momentum, the US Internal Revenue Service handed down new guidance allowing solar developers to claim a 30% investment tax credit on any project they begin by the end of 2019 and complete by 2023. Since the US administration’s section 201 tariff on panels sunsets in February 2022, this means developers can both enjoy their ITC tax credit and avoid nearly all tariffs on imported panels. Long term, solar’s prospects shine bright.

Battery tech fully charged: With their ability to power electric vehicles and offer dependable electricity storage, batteries are exponentially growing. Storage can provide a critical service during sudden electricity demand peaks and offers stability in the presence of intermittent renewable energy. Due to improvements in technology and increases in scale of battery production at an increasing number of companies around the world, the price of lithium-ion battery storage has fallen from US$1,000 per kilowatt hour of storage (kWh) in 2010 to US$209 per kWh in 2017, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. That price is projected to fall to less than US$100 per kWh by 2025, making both grid storage and EVs much less expensive, potentially catalyzing explosive demand.

Is genomics investment-worthy? Genomics technology continues to achieve significant medical and scientific breakthroughs. For investors, new opportunities and risks are unfolding in diagnostics, treatment and direct IP resulting from the development of gene-editing techniques. Although potentially transformative for medicine and human well-being, the industry faces some political headwinds and both questions and backing from sustainable and impact investors.

Information asymmetry and climate change investing: As special interests drive the climate discussion astray and sustainability-driving technologies continue to rapidly progress, the ‘climate change sector’ remains a ripe area for value investors. Reality is always far more complicated than equity markets and assimilate, and climate information is certainly no exception. For those willing to do the research and assimilate underutilized data, such market inefficiencies will continue to generate opportunity.

“We’re still in the first inning of this global economic shift toward sustainability, but the pieces are coming together almost faster than we can keep up with them,” said Jeremy Deems, Green Alpha Chief Financial Officer. “It’s times like these where you have to ask: are you primarily invested in the legacy economy and ‘what was,’ or are you preserving your client’s purchasing power by investing in ‘what’s next’?”

About Green Alpha Advisors, LLC

Green Alpha’s investment philosophy is straight forward: don’t invest in companies that cause global systemic risks; instead, invest in the solutions. That’s investing in the Next Economy.

Green Alpha Advisors is led by three pioneering executives who each have over 20 years of asset management experience. Green Alpha has been redefining asset management since 2007 by investing in the Next Economy – an indefinitely thriving economy driven by companies that are developing innovative solutions to major systemic risks, like climate change, resource scarcity and widening inequality. As these threats continue to materialize and risk-mitigating solutions rapidly develop, the economy of the next decade is unlikely to look like that of the past. It’s time to advance beyond backward-looking, 20th century views of portfolio risks and invest in what’s next. Green Alpha manages $125 million for individuals, advisors, and institutions.


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Case Foundation Welcomes Veteran Impact Investing Leader Lisa Hall To Team

Press Release – Washington, D.C. – Today, Case Foundation CEO Jean Case announced that Lisa Green Hall is joining the organization as a Senior Fellow to lead the Foundation’s Impact Investing work in collaboration with the Beeck Center at Georgetown University. Hall will focus on expanding and targeting the Case Foundation’s long-term efforts to drive more investors and capital into the sector and to break down barriers to entry so new investors have the information, learnings and insights they need when seeking both financial and social returns.

“The Case Foundation has worked for many years to do our part to help drive the Impact Investing movement from niche to mainstream. As a highly respected, global leader in Impact Investing, Lisa’s deep expertise will help guide our work moving forward to capitalize on the growth of the movement and ensure we have the greatest impact,” said Case. “Lisa’s experience spanning the financial, philanthropic and public sectors will be a great asset as we work to bring more investors into the fold, build out the Impact Investing ecosystem and position the sector for long-term growth.”

Hall previously served as Managing Director at Anthos Asset Management, headquartered in the Netherlands and served as CEO and President of Calvert Foundation from 2010 to 2013, following her tenure as head of the investment portfolio from 2005 to 2010. She served in the Clinton Administration in 1999 as a policy advisor at the National Economic Council where she worked on the creation of the New Markets Investment Tax Credit.

In this role, Hall will serve as a joint Senior Fellow at both the Case Foundation and the Beeck Center, which mobilizes talent to drive social impact at scale by leveraging data, technology, policy, and finance to improve people’s lives. She also serves on several boards including City First Bank and Habitat for Humanity International.

About the Case Foundation

The Case Foundation, created by digital pioneers Jean and Steve Case, invests in people and ideas that can change the world. The Foundation’s work embraces a Be Fearless approach to seek to spur innovation, bring about transformational breakthroughs and harnesses the best impulses of entrepreneurship, innovation, technology and collaboration to drive exponential impact. In particular, we focus on catalyzing movements. Currently, we are driving at two major movements—impact investing and inclusive entrepreneurship. For more information, visit casefoundation.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook

About the Beeck Center

The Beeck Center at Georgetown engages global leaders to drive social change at scale. Through our research, workshops, classes, and convenings, we provide innovative tools that leverage the power of capital, data, technology and policy to improve lives. We invite a diverse community of thinkers to join us in looking beyond the obvious, to ask the unasked questions and find adaptable solutions in today’s changing world.


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New White Paper Reveals Gaps and Opportunities in Social Impact Investing

Press Release – NEW YORK, NY – Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, a leader in impact investing and social justice grantmaking, has released the findings from its seven-month-long search for an impact investment advisor, shedding new light on this ever-evolving field.

“While there is growing interest in and demand for social impact investing, there is very little documentation of how investment advisors operate, leaving social impact investors with few tools to navigate that space,” said Steven Godeke, Board Chair of the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation. “Our white paper is an attempt to demystify the sector—and build greater accountability—by surfacing the themes that emerged from our open inquiry to the impact advisor community.”

The white paper, titled “Building Power Across the Impact Investment Field,” offers full transparency on the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation’s overall search process, including the historical context behind the foundation’s impact investments, the questions that were posed to the investment advisor community (with a deliberate lens on gender, race, and inclusion), its evaluation criteria for selecting a firm, and recommendations for foundations interested in taking similar steps.

The paper synthesizes a number of findings gleaned from 34 responses to Noyes Foundation’s Open Call for Letters of Interest. “We were pleased to see so many thoughtful responses,” said Lenora Suki, Finance Committee Chair of the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation. “Still, the industry’s understanding of impact investing ranges widely. Investment products have grown but we need new products to fill gaps across asset classes.”

Another significant finding is the apparent shortage of women- and minority-led firms, leading to a dearth of expertise on how to address gender and racial equality through investments. The report also points to some promising opportunities, including the accelerating pace of innovation in the field, and the important role that philanthropies can play in advancing the sector, through knowledge sharing, collaborative investments, and shareholder advocacy.

“Our hope is that this paper will inspire anyone managing foundation endowments to explore opportunities for mission-aligned investing to generate long-term systemic change,” said Interim Executive Director Rini Banerjee. “We invite the sector to join us in this investment journey to regenerate our land, invest in people-powered solutions, and build stronger, more sustainable communities.”

“Building Power Across the Impact Investment Field” is available for download at https://www.noyesadvisorsearch.org/.

About Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation

The Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation was established in 1947 by Charles F. Noyes as a memorial to his wife, Jessie Smith Noyes. The Foundation’s mission is to support grassroots organizations and movements in the United States working to change environmental, social, economic and political conditions to bring about a more just, equitable and sustainable world. Since 1990, the Foundation has worked to align its $55 million endowment with its mission through a deliberate focus on impact investing. www.noyes.org


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Newday Investing Brings Impact Investing to the Mainstream

New app enables consumers to invest in proprietary portfolios for social good with a $5 minimum

Press Release – SAN FRANCISCO, June 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/Newday Investing, a financial technology and institutional asset management company bringing socially responsible investing to the mainstream, today announced the public opening of its platform and its availability in the iOS store. With just a $5 minimum, investors can choose among six proprietary, themed funds that are tailored to the causes investors identify with most.

Newday is the first and only mobile app offering a true asset allocation approach to impact investing based on modern portfolio theory, with personalized recommendations based on an investor’s interests. Each Newday Impact Portfolio is a unique and targeted investment strategy built to benefit a specific area of impact: global impact, climate change, gender equality, animal welfare, ocean health and freshwater. The investment team at Newday is led by Cara Barr, chief strategy officer and former director of investment strategy at BlackRock.

“Our mission is to make socially conscious investment solutions and education available to anyone and everyone, and our proprietary investment strategies are the lynchpin of that commitment,” CEO Doug Heske explained. “Rather than simply being a distribution channel for off-the-shelf investment products, we wanted to demonstrate that it’s possible to offer affordable, accessible, specialized and institutional-grade portfolios that could achieve the same or better rate of return while putting money to work for good.”

The six proprietary funds available to investors at launch are:

  • Global Impact: Companies with core businesses addressing social and environmental challenges in accord with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Climate Action: Companies operating at significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions or developing technologies used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Gender Equality: Companies with employment policies offering similar benefits for family and caring responsibilities to women, men, non-binary and transgender individuals.
  • Animal Welfare: Companies considering animals’ well-being, including adequate housing, nutrition, disease prevention and treatment, responsible care and humane handling.
  • Ocean Health: Companies that work for the protection and preservation of ecosystems in oceans and seas, such as restoring damaged marine ecosystems and preserving vulnerable species.
  • Freshwater: Companies that lead their respective fields in maximizing water efficiency and are committed to combating pollution and ensuring affordable and equitable access to water resources.

Each portfolio will benefit a selected NGO partner, which will receive 5 percent of the portfolio’s management fees. Newday’s Global Impact Equity is partnering with Conservation International while the benefiting organization for the Ocean Health portfolio is the Lonely Whale Foundation.

“Creating a healthier, more prosperous planet is an urgent challenge requiring new and creative approaches,” said Anastasia Khoo, chief marketing officer of Conservation International. “We’re proud to partner with Newday to encourage investors at all levels to direct their investing dollars to companies that reflect their values.”

Dune Ives, executive director of Lonely Whale, said, “Lonely Whale is excited to see the potential impact that can arise from Newday’s Oceans portfolio. It is inspiring to see investors’ commitment to clean water, protecting marine life, and creating meaningful positive change for our planet.”

Newday Co-Founder and President Alex Meek said, “Our ultimate goal is to reallocate capital to better companies on a massive scale. By investing in socially responsible and sustainable companies, we can not only generate competitive returns but also change the way that people make their investment decisions.”

Newday’s board of advisors has deep financial services and sustainability expertise and includes:

  • Wayne Osborne, CEO of a major Bay Area family office
  • Nancy Heinen, former general counsel at Apple Computer for 17 years
  • Wendy Harrington, former EVP and chief marketing officer at Franklin Templeton Investments
  • Rich Moran, former president of Menlo College and partner at Venrock VC
  • Mark Michael, former general counsel at 3Com
  • Nathan Dungan, CEO of financial education company, Share Save Spend
  • Mark McKee, president, Capital Alternatives Group and board member, Hall Capital Partners

Newday was founded in 2016 by Alexander Meek and Anthony Randazzo, who bring strong backgrounds in asset management and technology development, respectively. Doug Heske, CEO, brings more than 22 years of investment management leadership.

About Newday Investing

Based in San Francisco, Newday is a technology-enabled asset manager that provides affordable, transparent and easy-to-understand impact investment solutions to the mass market. By investing in socially responsible and sustainable companies, Newday aims to generate competitive return and, most importantly, drive meaningful change in the way companies in our portfolios adopt environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices and policies. In order to be effective in driving positive impact on corporate behavior, Newday adopts an active ownership model, engaging with companies’ decisions as they affect their stakeholders including communities, employees and shareholders.

For more information visit www.newdayinvesting.com

SOURCE Newday Investing


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Morgan Stanley Survey Finds Sustainable Investing Momentum High Among Asset Owners

  • Institutional investor survey shows 70% of investors have already implemented ESG strategies; 84% of asset owners are pursuing or actively considering ESG integration in their investment process
  • Lack of data and perception of financial trade-off are identified as main hurdles to implementation

Press Release – June 18, 2018 09:41 AM Eastern Daylight Time: NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A majority of individual asset owners are now pursuing sustainable investing to manage risk and drive returns, according to a new survey published today by the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing and Morgan Stanley Investment Management. The new survey polled 118 public and corporate pensions, endowments, foundations, sovereign wealth entities, insurance companies and other large asset owners worldwide, 60% of which had total assets over $10 billion. The survey gathered insights about trends, motivations, challenges and implementation approaches in sustainable investing. By rounding out the sustainable investing landscape with the views of asset owners, this work builds on Morgan Stanley’s previous Sustainable Signals studies focused on individual investors and asset managers.

“With this growing momentum in sustainable investing, third-party managers have an opportunity to increase implementation by improving reporting tools and education, and developing capabilities to align portfolios with owners’ unique objectives.”

“As interest in sustainable investing continues to rise, we see investors pursuing a range of approaches with their assets,” said Rui de Figueiredo, Co-Head and CIO of the Solutions and Multi-Asset business at Morgan Stanley Investment Management and Head of the Division’s Sustainability Council. “The growing sophistication among asset owners about when and how to integrate ESG into the investment process creates opportunities to tailor strategies and provide customized portfolio solutions that help investors meet their financial and impact goals.”

Asset owners cite risk management and potential for returns as top drivers of interest in sustainable investing. But despite the recognition of these opportunities, asset owners still highlighted the need for better data and investment information as a challenge to greater uptake.

“The survey results identify a strong commitment to incorporating ESG criteria into investment strategies among asset owners. However, there is still a gap between interest and implementation – with investors citing access to quality ESG data as a top concern,” said Hilary Irby, Co-Head of Global Sustainable Finance at Morgan Stanley. “With this growing momentum in sustainable investing, third-party managers have an opportunity to increase implementation by improving reporting tools and education, and developing capabilities to align portfolios with owners’ unique objectives.”

Results from the survey identify sustainable investing trends reflecting the increasing growth in the impact investing sector as a whole. Key findings include:

  • Momentum is high in sustainable investing
    • 84% of asset owners are pursuing or actively considering pursuing ESG integration in their investment process
    • Of those, 60% began implementing ESG strategies in the last four years and 37% within the last two years
    • 70% of asset owners have already implemented ESG strategies; 49% of those have implemented ESG across their entire portfolio and 21% have implemented them in a portion of their portfolio
  • Increased sophistication and adoption of multiple approaches
    • 78% said risk management was an important factor driving sustainable investing at their organizations, and 77% said return potential was important
    • Asset owners are pursuing multiple approaches to sustainable investing, led by ESG integration
    • 78% seek to align their investments with the U.N. Sustainable Development goals or are considering doing so
  • Still room to grow
    • 77% of respondents agree they have a responsibility to address sustainability through their investments, yet;
    • Proof of market-rate financial performance remains the top challenge
    • Lack of tools and data is a barrier – only 42% feel they have adequate tools to assess

For more information, please see Sustainable Signals: Asset Owners Embrace Sustainability and report.

The Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing

The Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing builds scalable finance solutions that seek to deliver competitive financial returns while driving positive environmental and social impact. The Institute creates innovative financial products, thoughtful insights and capacity building programs that help maximize capital to create a more sustainable future. For more information about the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing, visit www.morganstanley.com/sustainableinvesting.

Morgan Stanley Investment Management

Morgan Stanley Investment Management, together with its investment advisory affiliates, has more than 581 investment professionals around the world and $469 billion in assets under management or supervision as of March 31, 2018. Morgan Stanley Investment Management strives to provide outstanding long-term investment performance, service and a comprehensive suite of investment management solutions to a diverse client base, which includes governments, institutions, corporations and individuals worldwide. For further information about Morgan Stanley Investment Management, please visit www.morganstanley.com/im

Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing investment banking, securities, wealth management and investment management services. With offices in more than 41 countries, the Firm’s employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals. For more information about Morgan Stanley, please visit www.morganstanley.com.


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Impact Entrepreneur Center And Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors To Host International Leadership Summit In The Berkshires From July 10-12, 2018.

Philanthropy Transforming Finance: Building an Impact Economy gathers 45 leaders from the philanthropy sector and impact economy systems thought leaders from North America, South America and Europe for a two-day conference. The summit focuses on how philanthropy can better support effective systems change that creates a sustainable and equitable economy.

Press Release – SHEFFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS: Berkshires-based Impact Entrepreneur and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors are gathering several dozen of the leading figures in philanthropy, impact investing, and systems thinking in the Berkshires to grapple with major global challenges that are impacting communities in every part of the world. As outlined in the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were unanimously approved by the UN’s 193 member states, including the U.S., massive investment is necessary to address the cumulative effects of a growing global population, ecological degradation and rampant social inequities. The impact investing sector grew by 17% in 2017 to $114 billion, according to the Global Impact Investing Network. Yet, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, $5-$7 trillion is needed to achieve the SDGs.

Private foundations in the United States alone hold approximately $1 trillion in endowment assets, yet only spend approximately 5% of that figure each year on their grant-making and other charitable distributions. Contributions that this capital is making to anything more than incremental change is limited. Viewed and deployed using a wider, systemic perspective, with a more ambitious and courageous agenda, and with an emphasis on transformation, the sector’s resources can meaningfully contribute to building an impact economy. This would represent a proactive approach to solving complex social and environmental challenges, and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, by putting economies and finance in service of the well-being of people and the planet.

According to Heather Grady, vice president of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, the convening “will bring together funders and leaders in systems thinking who have a commitment to working collaboratively and proactively to move the impact economy agenda forward. We will explore the landscape, problems, gaps, opportunities, resources, and action steps, aiming to define approaches and build momentum that can be maintained both as a group, and through our respective networks.“

Laurie Lane-Zucker, founder and CEO of Impact Entrepreneur, which has 18,700 members in 150+ countries in its global network of systems-minded entrepreneurs, investors and scholars, adds that “this gathering of major players in sustainable development and financing from three continents furthers our goal of establishing our Center and the Berkshires as a gathering place for the global thought leaders of impact, and assists our efforts to establish a regional impact economy in the Berkshires and the northeastern United States.”

Participating organizations include the Ford Foundation, one of the largest philanthropic institutions in the world and a leader in impact investing; Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the global leader in circular economy advancement, based in the UK; The B Team, a global group of business leaders including co-founder Richard Branson that was formed to catalyze change for the well-being of people and planet; Porticus, an international organization headquartered in the Netherlands that manages and develops the philanthropic programs of charitable entities; the Aspen Institute’s Network of Development Entrepreneurs; as well as Massachusetts-based Boston Impact Initiative and Solidago Foundation (Northampton). View the full list of participating organizations here.

ABOUT THE SPONSORS

IMPACT ENTREPRENEUR

The Impact Entrepreneur Center for Social and Environmental Innovation’s mission is “to create and support a global movement of impact entrepreneurs who are building an “impact economy” populated by triple bottom line businesses fueled by impact investments.” IEC is a regional & global epicenter for entrepreneurs, investors, scholars and students of social and environmental impact, as well as others passionate about creating, accelerating and scaling profitable enterprises that drive measurable, impactful change. IEC is active in education, incubation and the overall building of the social impact space — partnering with thought-leading companies, organizations and institutions in an effort to transform the business landscape so that it is more responsive to the epochal social and environmental challenges facing humanity. The Center’s work is supported by the Impact Entrepreneur Network, a global network of systems-minded entrepreneurs, investors and scholars of social and environmental innovation (18,700 members), and Impact Entrepreneur, LLC, a consulting company that works with early and growth stage impact companies, impact investors and educational institutions. www.impactalchemist.com

ROCKEFELLER PHILANTHROPY ADVISORS

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) is a nonprofit organization that currently advises on and manages more than $200 million in annual giving by individuals, families, corporations and major foundations. Continuing the Rockefeller family’s legacy of thoughtful, effective philanthropy, RPA remains at the forefront of philanthropic growth and innovation, with a diverse team led by experienced grantmakers with significant depth of knowledge across the spectrum of issue areas. Founded in 2002, RPA has grown into one of the world’s largest philanthropic service organizations and, as a whole, has facilitated more than $3 billion in grantmaking to nearly 70 countries. RPA also serves as a fiscal sponsor for more than 50 projects, providing governance, management and operational infrastructure to support their charitable purposes. For more information, please visit www.rockpa.org.


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