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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.

Natixis Investment Managers Launches Mirova International Sustainable Equity Fund

  • Focus on investments that offer solutions to major global transitions such as demographics, environmental issues, technological advances, and governance changes.
  • Fund can offer core international equity allocation; complement to core equity allocation; improve portfolio sustainability.

Press Release – BOSTON, Jan. 3, 2018 – Natixis Investment Managers today announced the launch of the Mirova International Sustainable Equity Fund (MRVYX), an international equity mutual fund which utilizes Mirova’s sustainable investing experience. The fund became effective on December 28, 2018. The Mirova International Sustainable Equity Fund is an all-cap international equity fund that seeks long-term capital appreciation. The Fund also seeks to maximize exposure to companies with a positive impact on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, while avoiding companies whose activities or products have a negative impact on or create risk to achieving such goals.

“At Mirova, we believe there’s an inextricable link between long-term value creation and sustainability,” said Jens Peers, CFA, Chief Investment Officer, Sustainable Equities, at Mirova. “We feel that investors should be connected to the real world economy by investing in innovative businesses that play a real role in building a sustainable world, and therefore, we are giving investors the opportunity to be actively involved in improving corporate environmental, social and governance practices.”

Mirova takes a thematic approach, investing in companies they believe present opportunities and solutions related to sustainable development themes derived from long-term transitions – demographics, environmental issues, technological advances, and governance changes. The managers conduct detailed fundamental research to select companies they believe are well-managed, are expected to benefit from strong, sustainable competitive advantages, and have demonstrated a solid financial structure while avoiding irresponsible risks. Managers invest in securities trading at significant discounts to what they believe are their intrinsic values.

“We are pleased to provide investors with an opportunity to further diversify their portfolios in an international equity fund that draws on the expertise of our affiliate Mirova,” said David Giunta, CEO for the US and Canada at Natixis Investment Managers. “Through the fund, investors are able to gain access to the growth potential associated with long-term, sustainable investment themes. In doing so, they are also potentially improving the carbon footprint and sustainability profile of their overall portfolio.”

The fund is co-managed by Jens Peers, CFA®, Hua Cheng, CFA® and Amber Fairbanks, CFA®. The fund seeks to maintain a relatively concentrated portfolio of approximately 50 non-US stocks and is managed by Ostrum Asset Management U.S., LLC (“Ostrum US”).

Website | YouTube | LinkedIn | Follow Us on Twitter @NatixisIM

Natixis Investment Managers Affiliates/Divisions:

Active Index Advisors(R)(1) | AEW | AlphaSimplex Group | Flexstone Partners | Gateway Investment Advisers | Harris Associates | Loomis, Sayles & Company | Managed Portfolio Advisors(R)(1) | Mirova(2) | Seeyond(2) | Vaughan Nelson Investment Management |

1 A division of Natixis Advisors, L.P.
2 Operated in the U.S. through Ostrum Asset Management U.S., LLC.


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KKR Backs Energy Savings Solutions with Investment in Singapore’s BBP

Investment Made as Part of Firm’s Impact Strategy Focused on Addressing Global Societal Challenges

Press Release – SINGAPORE – December 13, 2018 – Leading global investment firm KKR today announced an investment in Barghest Building Performance (“BBP” or the “Company”), a Singapore-based provider of energy savings solutions to Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (“HVAC”) systems in commercial and industrial buildings. KKR will be investing up to S$45 million in the Company.

BBP’s energy efficiency solution applies a combination of proprietary software, customized engineering, and equipment to deliver the same cooling load to sites while consuming up to 40% less energy. The solution is applicable for all central chiller plant systems, regardless of brand or age. BBP also supports its clients with continuous commissioning technologies and comprehensive asset management services that sustain the level of savings over long periods of time. BBP offers the solution on a yearly subscription based on 3rd party verified energy savings, eliminating the need for upfront investment costs by customers. The Company prides itself on minimizing operational risk and maximizing system availability. BBP has helped customers across Asia Pacific in commercial office space, hotels, district cooling and large complex industrial facilities such as semiconductor fabrication sites. Further details on the Company’s projects and customers can be found here.

“We invested in BBP because we share the passion of this dynamic, entrepreneurial team to build BBP into a pan-Asian energy solutions leader. We’re excited to be investors, and we’re equally excited to be customers as we believe that many of KKR’s portfolio companies will also benefit from BBP’s solutions,” said Ashish Shastry, KKR Member & Head of Southeast Asia.

“When we first set out to design a solution to improve energy efficiency in existing systems throughout Asia, we knew the impact could be quite large. Now with KKR and their resources onboard, we are thrilled knowing how much greater that impact can be – well beyond Asia – and we are greatly looking forward to working with KKR in accomplishing our mission,” said Poyan Rajamand, BBP Co-Founder and CEO.

For KKR, the investment is part of the firm’s Impact strategy, which is focused on identifying and investing behind businesses with positive social or environmental impact that measurably contribute solutions to one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”).

“Our Global Impact team is focused on investing behind companies whose core commercial product or service addresses global environmental or social challenges. BBP contributes solutions to two of the United Nations SDGs – Affordable and Clean Energy, and Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure – with a business model meant to fundamentally change best practices for energy management. BBP’s motivation, as is ours, is to achieve meaningful and sustainable costs savings for customers directly alongside long-term and measurable environmental impacts for society,” said Robert Antablin and Ken Mehlman, Co-Heads of KKR Global Impact.

BBP currently operates across eight markets, including Southeast Asia, China, India and Taiwan, and is accredited by Singapore’s national government bodies such as the Infocomm Media Development Authority, National Environment Agency and Building and Construction Authority. Since its founding in 2012, the Company has received many accolades, most recently including recognition on The Peak’s Power List, ranked on the first-ever APAC 25 list, awarded IFMA Singapore’s FM Technology Provider of the Year, and honorable mention recipient for Best Practices at the 2017 and 2018 EENP Awards.

About KKR Impact

KKR’s Impact strategy focuses on identifying and investing behind global opportunities where financial performance and societal impact are intrinsically aligned – in other words, where there is no trade-off between impact outcomes and financial outcomes. Specifically, the strategy is focused on businesses providing commercial solutions that contribute measurable progress toward the SDGs.

Over the last decade, KKR has been a leader in driving and protecting value throughout the firm’s private markets portfolio through thoughtful Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) management, as well as measuring and reporting on performance to the public and investors. The firm also has a history of investing in businesses that promote sustainable solutions to societal challenges. This experience of responsible investment combined with a changing landscape of global challenges led to KKR’s decision to create a dedicated Global Impact business in 2018. KKR’s Impact strategy will build on this experience.

About KKR

KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate and credit, with strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns for its fund investors by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation with KKR portfolio companies. KKR invests its own capital alongside the capital it manages for fund investors and provides financing solutions and investment opportunities through its capital markets business. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.

About BBP

Barghest Building Performance (“BBP”) provides energy savings solutions to Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems in commercial and industrial buildings. BBP uses sensors, software algorithms, equipment controls, and customized engineering design to seek to reduce electricity consumption in chiller systems. BBP currently operates within Southeast Asia, China, India and Taiwan.


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Clean Impact Rankings Announces the Top Five Low Carbon Mutual Funds Investing in Climate Solutions

Forward-looking analysis identifies low carbon mutual funds that provide positive carbon impact

Press Release – (NEW YORK — December 12, 2018) — Clean Impact Rankings, an initiative to assess investment vehicles based on carbon savings, announced the results of its first mutual fund assessment. Capital allocated to the top five funds is projected to have up to 50 times more positive carbon impact—carbon savings delivered by climate solutions—than peers. To understand how funds with low carbon risk can also drive carbon savings, Clean Impact Rankings looked at nearly 90 Morningstar® Medalists with the Morningstar Low Carbon Designation™ across six diversified equity categories.

The top five ranking mutual funds include American Funds New Economy, American Funds New Perspective, Fidelity® Growth Company, PRIMECAP Odyssey Growth and Vanguard Capital Opportunity. More information on the rankings and methodology can be found at www.vestedimpact.com.

“Key to our transition to a low carbon future is the increased funding for clean energy and climate change solutions. Investments in more effective companies and technologies will not only lead to greater long-term carbon abatement—they also have the potential to outperform peers. To do this, investors need to understand both the financial return and the climate change impact of solutions-oriented investments,” stated Joy Williams, Chair of New York State’s Decarbonization Advisory Panel and former in-house climate change expert at Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

Canetic Advisors, a data analytics company specializing in forecasting the performance and carbon impact of renewable and cleantech companies, established Clean Impact Rankings and conducted the underlying analysis. The firm leveraged aggregated insights from cleantech and renewable energy experts on the segmented value chain attribution for carbon reduction and projected efficiency gains for specific technologies.

“These rankings will inform individual investors looking to increase the positive impact of their low carbon investments. By investing in the most effective publicly-traded climate solutions we all can drive the low carbon economy. This is crucial more than ever given the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) announcement,” said Tony Altmann founder of Canetic Advisors.

Additional Clean Impact Rankings will be released in 2019 to aid institutional and retail investors who wish to understand the positive climate impact of their investments.

About Clean Impact Rankings

The Clean Impact Rankings assess investment vehicles on their positive carbon impact. The results provide forward-looking snapshots for investors seeking a positive tilt towards climate solutions. The rankings can be found at www.vestedimpact.com, a digital resource established by Canetic Advisors to share industry assessments and insights on carbon abatement with investors.

About Canetic Advisors

Canetic Advisors is a data analytics company developing forward-looking actionable insights including on ‘alpha adjusted’ climate impact potential that enable public and private market investors to simultaneously optimize returns and climate impact. We measure and quantify climate impact potential for funds, family offices, investment managers and advisors in ESG and impact investing.

Leveraging the industry experience of experts who know renewables and cleantech inside and out, Canetic has built proprietary models with forecasts that are easy-to-use and apply. Canetic evaluates and monitors a global database of public companies and private projects that are focused on carbon abatement optimized for returns. The firm’s deep operating insights and rigorously developed algorithms are applied to pure play companies, projects, and real assets. More information can be found at www.caneticadvisors.com.


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BlueOrchard launches UCITS Impact Bond Fund to address UN Sustainable Development Goals in emerging markets

Press Release – Zurich, 10 December 2018 – Swiss-based impact investment manager BlueOrchard Finance Ltd (“BlueOrchard”) has launched a UCITS-compliant Emerging Markets SDG Impact Bond Fund to grant retail and institutional investors access to a “liquid impact fund”. The Fund is designed for investors that seek a scalable and liquid alternative to traditional microfinance funds.

The BlueOrchard UCITS-Emerging Markets SDG Impact Bond Fund invests in bond issuances from corporations and public/private financial institutions that finance or engage in impact activities which advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The fund will invest in a diversified portfolio in emerging and frontier markets with the goal of providing retail and institutional investors with a scalable, impact oriented alternative to traditional fixed income products. The Fund, registered in Luxembourg and managed by BlueOrchard Asset Management (Luxembourg), SA is accessible to investors with a variety of share classes in different currencies to suit investor requirements.

“Our investors have expressed considerable interest of late in a vehicle that combines financial and social returns with liquidity. We have responded by creating this Fund and believe that it presents an excellent opportunity for both BlueOrchard and our investors to further engage in key emerging markets and expand our impact,” said Patrick Scheurle, CEO of BlueOrchard.

“As a company founded by initiative of the UN, we are extremely proud to launch an impact fund dedicated to helping advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals in emerging markets,” said Peter A. Fanconi, BlueOrchard’s Chairman of the Board.

The Fund is managed by an experienced team with a long track record of successful debt investments in emerging and frontier markets. They combine a unique field presence, proprietary rating methodologies and broad hedging capabilities to deliver innovative impact investment products. BlueOrchard applies a robust country selection process and rigorous bottom-up credit selection governed by a proven risk management framework. In addition to financial analysis, BlueOrchard conducts a social performance analysis on all investments based on “SPIRIT”, the firm’s proprietary social performance assessment tool.

Building a financial system that supports sustainable and climate-smart growth has taken the center stage of global efforts to advance and achieve the SDGs. To address the growing investment gap in emerging and frontier markets, urgent and concerted action is needed. For BlueOrchard, closing this gap has been our mission since day one. The company has focused its mission and its investment strategies on empowering people in the developing world since 2001 and has deployed more than USD 5bn in more than 80 markets.

About BlueOrchard Finance Ltd

BlueOrchard is a leading global impact investment manager. The firm is dedicated to fostering inclusive and climate-smart growth, while providing attractive returns for investors. BlueOrchard was founded in 2001, by initiative of the UN, as the world’s first commercial manager of microfinance debt investments. Today, BlueOrchard provides investors around the world with premium investment solutions, including credit, private equity, and sustainable infrastructure. Being an expert in innovative blended finance mandates, the firm is a trusted partner of leading global development finance institutions. With a major global presence and offices on four continents, BlueOrchard has invested to date more than USD 5bn across 80 emerging and frontier markets, enabling tangible social and environmental impact. BlueOrchard is a licensed Swiss asset manager of collective investment schemes authorized by FINMA. Its Luxembourg entity, BlueOrchard Asset Management S.A., is a licensed UCITS management company as well as a licensed alternative investment fund manager (AIFM) authorized by CSSF. For additional information, please visit: www.blueorchard.com.

Disclaimer:

The information in this document was produced by BlueOrchard Finance Ltd (“BOF”) to the best of its present knowledge and belief. However, all data and financial information provided is on an unaudited and “as is” basis. The opinions expressed in this document are those of BOF and its employees and are subject to change at any time without notice. BOF provides no guarantee with regard to the accuracy and completeness of the content in this document and BOF does not under any circumstance, accept liability for any losses or damages which may arise from making use of, or relying upon any information, content or opinion provided by BOF in this document. This document may contain references or links to other documents and websites and BOF has not reviewed such other documents and websites and is not responsible in any way in relation to the content of such documents and websites.

The information in this document is the sole property of BOF unless otherwise noted, and may not be reproduced in full or in part without the express prior written consent of BOF.

All investments involve risk. We note specifically that past performance is not an indication of future results. Emerging markets impact investments involve a unique and substantial level of risk that is critical to understand before engaging in any prospective relationship with BOF and its various managed funds. Investments in emerging markets, particularly those involving foreign currencies, may present significant additional risk and in all cases the risks implicated in this disclaimer include the risk of loss of invested capital.

The materials provided in this document are for informational purposes only and nothing in this document can be construed as constituting any offer to purchase any product, or a recommendation/solicitation or other inducement to buy or sell any financial instrument of any kind and shall not under any circumstances be construed as absolving any reader of this document of his/her responsibility for making an independent evaluation of the risks and potential rewards of any financial transaction. We note in particular that none of the investment products referred to in this document constitute securities registered under the Securities Act of 1933 (of the United States of America) and BOF and its managed/advised funds are materially limited in their capacity to sell any financial products of any kind in the United States. No investment product referenced in this document may be publicly offered for sale in the United States and nothing in this document shall be construed under any circumstances as a solicitation of a US Person (as defined in applicable law/regulation) to purchase any BOF investment product.

The information provided in this document is intended for review and receipt only by those persons who are qualified (in accordance with applicable legal/regulatory definitions) in their respective place of residence and/or business to view it, and the information is not intended under any circumstances to be provided to any person who is not legally eligible to receive it. Any recipient of information from this document who wishes to engage with BOF in furtherance of any transaction or any relationship whatsoever must consult his/her own tax, legal and investment professionals to determine whether such relationship and/or transaction is suitable.

BOF disclaims all liability for any direct or indirect damages and/or costs that may arise from the use of (whether such use is proper or improper), or access to, this document (or the inability to access this document).

Copyright © 2018, BlueOrchard Finance Ltd. All rights reserved.


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US SIF Foundation Trends Report Reveals Climate Change as a Top ESG Issue

Press Release – WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 6 – The US SIF Foundation’s 2018 biennial Report on US Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends found that climate change is the most important specific ESG issue considered by money managers in asset-weighted terms, affecting $3.0 trillion in assets—more than doubling since 2016. For institutional investors, climate change was the third most important specific ESG issue, impacting $2.24 trillion in assets, up from $2.15 trillion in 2016.

This year’s Trends Report also highlighted a surge in shareholder proposals on climate change that began in 2014 when investors wrestled with the prospects of “stranded” carbon assets and US and global efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The report identified 271 proposals regarding climate change filed between 2016 and 2018.

Growth in the movement for fossil fuel divestment also continued, and US money manager assets explicitly managed according to fossil-free mandates increased 49 percent since 2016 to $226 billion.

The Trump Administration’s Fourth National Climate Assessment Report, released Nov. 23, highlighted the pending impact of climate change in the United States. And while President Trump announced in 2017 that he would pull the United States from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, numerous investors forged new coalitions, such as ‘We Are Still In’ and the Climate Action 100+, to accelerate climate-related investments.

Said Lisa Woll, CEO of US SIF, “The environment continues to be the leading focus for many responsible investors. Increasingly, individual and institutional investors are seeking ways to use their investment dollars to reduce or reverse the impact of climate change.”

The US SIF Foundation’s biennial Trends Report—first compiled in 1995—is the most comprehensive study of sustainable and impact investing in the United States. The report provides extensive data on the assets using one or more sustainable investment strategies and examines a broad range of significant ESG issues such as climate change, human rights, weapons avoidance and corporate governance. For additional Trends Report findings and information, please visit ussif.org/trends.

About US SIF and the US SIF Foundation

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 organizations.

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 training on the Fundamentals of Sustainable and Impact Investment. The 9th Annual US SIF Conference will be held in Minneapolis June 10-12, 2019.


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Nuveen Expands Responsible Investing Offering with Addition of Actively-Managed Green Bond and Short Duration Impact Bond Funds

Press Release – NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nuveen, a leading global investment manager, added two actively-managed fixed income mutual funds to its responsible investing suite of funds. The TIAA-CREF Green Bond Fund (TGROX) and TIAA-CREF Short Duration Impact Bond Fund (TSDBX) draw on the firm’s decades of experience with both fixed income and responsible investing. The funds seek to deliver competitive financial returns and positive environmental, social and governance (ESG) outcomes.

“Responsible investing should be at the core of prudent portfolio construction. It continues to appeal to today’s diverse generation of investors who are seeking specific social and environmental outcomes, alongside the financial performance objectives established for their portfolios,” said Amy O’Brien, managing director and global head of responsible investing at Nuveen. “We are committed to offering investors competitive investment solutions that leverage the combined knowledge and talents of our investment professionals and our legacy of responsible investing innovation.”

The TIAA-CREF Green Bond Fund invests in diversified investment-grade portfolio that leverages Nuveen’s expertise in labeled and unlabeled green fixed income securities designed to deliver competitive long-term risk-adjusted investment returns against its benchmark, the Bloomberg Barclays MSCI U.S. Green Bond Index. Investments primarily include securities issued by sovereign and local governments, corporations, securitized bonds and multinational agencies, with an emphasis on renewable energy, climate change and natural resources. This fixed-income subset may be attractive to investors who wish to make a positive impact on the environment and climate without compromising risk or returns.

The TIAA-CREF Short Duration Impact Bond Fund seeks current income by investing primarily in a diversified portfolio of fixed income securities with an average maturity of three and a half years. The fund makes strategic allocations to bonds that demonstrate environmental and societal impact within affordable housing, community or economic development, and renewable energy, climate change and natural resources. The limited amount of time until maturity helps manage risks associated with rising interest rates and is designed to appeal to investors with a shorter time horizon or for retirees in a draw down phase. The fund’s benchmark is the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. 1-3 Year Government/Credit Bond Index.

The funds will be co-managed by Stephen M. Liberatore, CFA, and Jessica Zarzycki, CFA.

Both funds focus on undervalued, investment-grade securities and seek to add value through sector allocation, security selection and duration, and yield curve positioning. This investment approach gives special consideration to certain ESG criteria, with an emphasis on identifying publicly traded fixed income securities with a direct and measurable societal or environmental impact.

“The launch of these innovative funds underscores our commitment to helping investors access the broad and deep responsible investing and fixed income solutions at Nuveen and build out this critical component of their portfolios,” said Scott Warner, managing director and fixed income product manager at Nuveen.

The funds further diversify Nuveen’s existing suite of responsible investing-focused products, including the following mutual funds: TIAA-CREF Social Choice Bond (TSBRX), TIAA-CREF Social Choice Equity (TICRX), TIAA-CREF Social Choice International Equity (TSORX), and TIAA-CREF Social Choice Low Carbon Equity (TLWCX).

To learn more about responsible fixed income investing, we offer Public Fixed Income: Impact Investing—Unique and Attractive Opportunities in Green Bonds.

Responsible Investing at Nuveen

With nearly five decades of responsible investing leadership, Nuveen is committed to applying principles of environmental, social and governance responsibility across the asset classes it manages to champion and advance better outcomes for investors, communities and the environment. Nuveen has more than 20 dedicated responsible investing experts, along with a comprehensive offering of responsible investing-focused mutual funds and ETFs. Nuveen is at the forefront of this approach, with innovations in ESG integration, impact and engagement. Two-thirds of Nuveen’s assets under management are invested in accordance with the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment. For an overview of responsible investing at Nuveen, explore our 2018 Responsible Investing Summary Report.

About Nuveen

Nuveen, the investment manager of TIAA, offers a comprehensive range of outcome-focused investment solutions designed to secure the long-term financial goals of institutional and individual investors. Nuveen has $988 billion in assets under management as of 9/30/18 and operations in 16 countries. Its affiliates offer deep expertise across a comprehensive range of traditional and alternative investments through a wide array of vehicles and customized strategies. For more information, please visit www.nuveen.com.

Investing involves risk; principal loss is possible. There is no guarantee the Fund’s investment objectives will be achieved.

Before investing, carefully consider fund investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. For this and other information that should be read carefully, please request a prospectus or summary prospectus from Nuveen at 800.752.8700 or visit www.nuveen.com.

The investment advisory services, strategies and expertise of TIAA Investments, a division of Nuveen, are provided by Teachers Advisors, LLC and TIAA-CREF Investment Management, LLC. Nuveen Securities, LLC member FINRA and SIPC.

(MTC) MPS-680970PM-O1218X


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MicroVest Appoints Two New Board Members

Press Release – Bethesda, MD, November 27, 2018 – MicroVest, a global impact investing asset management firm with $368 AUM, today announced the appointment of Phyllis Caldwell and Greg Gaeddert as new board members, effective November 2018.

“We are thrilled to welcome Phyllis and Greg to our board at a very exciting time,” said MicroVest CEO Gil Crawford. “Phyllis’ experience in fixed income and Greg’s expertise in scaling private funds will help us reach more underserved communities and meet our ambitious growth goals.”

Ms. Caldwell has over 20 years of experience in the banking industry and comes with a background in community development finance. She brings important fixed income expertise to MicroVest’s board, particularly as it relates to extending capital to communities that have had limited access to it in the past. Under the Obama Administration, she led the Home Ownership Preservation Office at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Prior to serving at the Treasury, Ms. Caldwell held positions at Bank of America, Citicorp, J.P. Morgan Chase, and SunTrust Bank. In 2015, she founded Wroxton Civic Ventures, an advisory service providing grants and investments to community development and housing initiatives. Ms. Caldwell is actively engaged in philanthropy in Washington. D.C. region, including a tenure as President of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation. She holds a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Urban Planning from the University of Maryland.

Mr. Gaeddert also comes to MicroVest with decades of financial industry experience. He is a co-founder and principal at B12 Real Estate Advisors and B12 Capital Partners, a private equity firm. Mr. Gaeddert brings with him extensive experience chairing and serving on boards, including Equity Bancshares, Inc., Great Plains Ventures, Inc., IBT Industrial Solutions, as well as the boards of several B12 portfolio companies. He also serves on the board of the directors of the Mennonite Economic Development Association (MEDA), one of MicroVest’s co-founders and owners. Mr. Gaeddert was an early investor in MicroVest and the firm looks forward to his continued involvement and leadership on the board. He holds a Master of Business Administration from The University of Kansas and a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Business Administration from Bethel College.

About MicroVest Capital Management, LLC

MicroVest Capital Management is an SEC-registered asset management firm offering global impact investment opportunities for over 15 years. MicroVest promotes financial inclusion by investing in responsible financial institutions that serve underbanked people and businesses. Since 2003, MicroVest has demonstrated that investing in its funds is purposeful and profitable—providing investors with returns that are socially responsible. The firm has disbursed over $1 billion to more than 200 financial institutions in over 60 countries. As of June 2018, MicroVest manages $368 million across all its funds.


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Gold Standard Launches Social Enterprise SustainCERT to Mainstream SDG Impact Certification

SustainCERT’s user-centric, tech-driven approach is designed to reduce barriers and add value to impact certification to scale action toward climate security and the Sustainable Development Goals

Press Release – 3 December 2018, Geneva, Switzerland – With demand for sustainable goods and sustainability claims on the rise, Gold Standard, the benchmark standard for climate and development interventions, has launched SustainCERT, a social enterprise that will provide user-centric and tech-driven impact assessment for sustainability-minded businesses and investors.

While corporate climate commitments are increasing and impact investing is accelerating – companies and investors still face barriers to credibly and efficiently quantify and report on their social and environmental impacts. SustainCERT’s flexible ‘user-centric’ approach to impact assessment can be customised to specific needs, driven by technology solutions to make the process efficient and scalable. The objective is to maximise the impact of every dollar spent in pursuit of sustainability to create real and measurable environmental, social and economic value.

SustainCERT will be the official certification body for Gold Standard for the Global Goals, a next-generation standard to quantify and certify impact toward climate security and the Sustainable Development Goals. In addition to managing certification for Gold Standard’s 1400+ carbon offset project portfolio, SustainCERT will focus new solutions on certifying climate and development impacts from corporate supply chain interventions and for impact investment funds for credible reporting. Business and impact investors can also choose to monetise their impacts through, for example, environmental markets, social impact bonds or other results-based finance mechanisms, as well as embedding sustainability attributes to earn premiums for goods and services.

Lisa Rosen, previously Gold Standard’s Chief Operations Officer (COO), will act as Interim CEO until Marion Verles, who has been Gold Standard’s CEO since 2015, will transition to take the helm at SustainCERT in the Spring of 2019. Verles states, “to catalyse the transformational change required to meet the ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals, we need a truly user-centric approach combined with disruptive technologies to make credible impact assessment simple so it can become business-as-usual.” Gold Standard’s first CEO, Michael Schlup, currently COO for impact investment firm Sail Ventures, will chair the SustainCERT Board of Directors.

Gold Standard is now recruiting for a new CEO to implement the strategy initiated by the Gold Standard Board and CEO Verles in 2015. Outgoing Gold Standard Chairman David Shelmerdine adds, “This move allows Gold Standard to focus innovating in standard setting to ensure the highest levels of rigour, while SustainCERT enables that rigour to scale.”

First clients committed to using SustainCERT’s new impact certification solutions for supply chains and impact investment funds include Danone, Mars, the Livelihoods Fund and BlueOrchard. Seed round investors include BlueOrchard, WWF Switzerland, and 1to4. The development of SustainCERT was also supported by a grant from EIT ClimateKIC.

“BlueOrchard as a pioneer in impact investing has been at the forefront of developing cutting-edge solutions for almost 20 years. We are therefore excited to join SustainCERT as investor and partner as it provides much-needed solution to increase the attractiveness and applicability of impact certification for large-scale investments,” says Patrick Scheurle, CEO of BlueOrchard.

Eric Soubeiran, Global Nature, Human Rights & Water Cycle Director at Danone adds, “Our ambitious sustainability goals require a transformation in how food is grown – in this framework, the transparency consumers and stakeholders request is legitimate, with agile new ways to quantify and certify real GHG reductions.”

Gold Standard, a majority shareholder, will partner closely with SustainCERT to co-develop user-centric innovative solutions for credible impact certification to help scale contributions to climate security and the Sustainable Development Goals.

About Gold Standard

Gold Standard was established in 2003 by WWF and other international NGOs as a best practice standard to ensure projects that reduced carbon emissions under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) also contributed to sustainable development. Its next-generation standard launched in 2017, Gold Standard for the Global Goals, allows climate and development initiatives to quantify, certify, and maximise their impacts toward climate security and sustainable development. Certification against the standard provides the confidence that these results are measured and verified, enabling credible tracking of progress toward the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. Gold Standard now has more than 80 NGO supporters and 1400+ certified projects in over 80 countries, creating billions of dollars of shared value from climate and development action worldwide.

www.goldstandard.org @cdmgoldstandard

About SustainCERT

SustainCERT is a mission-driven company committed to mainstreaming credible impact certification through user-centric, tech-driven solutions. SustainCERT is the official certification body for Gold Standard for the Global Goals – a next-generation standard to quantify, certify and maximise impact toward climate security and sustainable development. With customised certification pathways for a wide range of sustainability interventions, businesses and investors can easily embed SustainCERT impact assessment and assurance into their initiatives, whether a supply chain improvement, a sustainable product, or a large scale impact investment. This helps more accurately and efficiently quantify and report on the social and environmental impacts for higher credibility and recognition.

www.sustain-cert.com @Sustain_CERT


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BlueOrchard Acquires Stake In Social Enterprise SustainCERT To Support The Mainstreaming Of SDG Impact Certification

Press Release – Zurich, 3 December 2018 – Impact investment manager BlueOrchard Finance Ltd (“BlueOrchard”) has acquired a minority stake in SustainCERT, a social enterprise committed to mainstreaming credible impact certification through user-centric, tech-driven solutions for sustainability-minded businesses and investors.

SustainCERT is designed to reduce barriers and add value to impact certification to scale action toward climate security and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The enterprise will provide user-centric and tech-driven impact assessment for a wide range of sustainability interventions, helping businesses and investors to quantify and report more accurately and efficiently on their social and environmental impact. SustainCERT has been launched by Gold Standard, a benchmark standard for climate and development interventions established in 2003 by WWF and other international NGOs.

The investment underpins BlueOrchard’s continuous commitment to contribute to the further professionalization and growth of the impact investing industry and to channel more funding towards the climate targets and the SDGs. In accordance with the “Gold Standard for the Global Goals” (GS4GG), a next-generation standard to quantify and certify impact toward climate security and the SDGs, SustainCert will certify the Sub-national Climate Fund Africa – an upcoming infrastructure fund initiated by BlueOrchard and R20 – Regions of Climate Action. Certification with the GS4GG will give BlueOrchard’s investors tangible proof and reassurance that the firm’s investments adhere to the highest standards in terms of environmental and social safeguards, stakeholder inclusivity and impact measurement.

“As a pioneer in impact investing BlueOrchard has been at the forefront of developing cutting-edge solutions for almost 20 years. We are therefore excited to join SustainCert as an investor and partner as it provides much-needed solutions to increase the attractiveness and applicability of impact certification for large-scale investments,” said Patrick Scheurle, CEO of BlueOrchard.

“SustainCert will allow corporations and investors to measure, certify and report their contribution to the SDGs in an objective and reliable way. We are convinced that these services will play an important role in further accelerating the growth of environmental markets, results-based finance and sustainable infrastructure development,” said Peter A. Fanconi, BlueOrchard’s Chairman of the Board.

“We are delighted to welcome BlueOrchard as new shareholder. Their expertise in impact investing makes them an ideal partner for SustainCERT and will support the enterprise in becoming a leader in assurance for impact, from carbon markets to large-scale programmes like corporate supply chain interventions and impact investments,“ said Marion Verles, CEO of Gold Standard.

About BlueOrchard Finance Ltd

BlueOrchard is a leading global impact investment manager. The firm is dedicated to fostering inclusive and climate-smart growth, while providing attractive returns for investors. BlueOrchard was founded in 2001, by initiative of the UN, as the world’s first commercial manager of microfinance debt investments. Today, BlueOrchard provides investors around the world with premium investment solutions, including credit, private equity, and sustainable infrastructure. Being an expert in innovative blended finance mandates, the firm is a trusted partner of leading global development finance institutions. With a major global presence and offices on four continents, BlueOrchard has invested to date more than USD 5bn across 80 emerging and frontier markets, enabling tangible social and environmental impact. BlueOrchard is a licensed Swiss asset manager of collective investment schemes authorized by FINMA. Its Luxembourg entity, BlueOrchard Asset Management S.A., is a licensed UCITS management company as well as a licensed alternative investment fund manager (AIFM) authorized by CSSF. For additional information, please visit: www.blueorchard.com.

About SustainCERT

SustainCERT is a mission-driven company committed to mainstreaming credible impact certification through user-centric, tech-driven solutions. SustainCERT is the official certification body for Gold Standard for the Global Goals – a next-generation standard to quantify, certify and maximise impact toward climate security and sustainable development. With customised certification pathways for a wide range of sustainability interventions, businesses and investors can easily embed SustainCERT impact assessment and assurance into their initiatives, whether a supply chain improvement, a sustainable product, or a large scale impact investment. This helps more accurately and efficiently quantify and report on the social and environmental impacts for higher credibility and recognition. For further information please visit: www.sustain-cert.com


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Kim Wright-Violich Joins ImpactAssets Board of Directors

Experienced philanthropic and impact investing leader to add insight as organization focuses on new client services, products and markets.

Press Release – BETHESDA, MD – November 15, 2018ImpactAssets, a nonprofit financial services firm that increases the flow of capital into investments delivering financial, social and environmental returns, today announced that Kim Wright-Violich, managing partner at Tideline, has been appointed to the ImpactAssets board of directors.

“Kim is a pioneer and proven leader in philanthropy and the financial services industry and we’re excited to welcome her to our board of directors,” said Tim Freundlich, CEO, ImpactAssets. “We believe her strong experience, especially in growing donor advised funds and building world-class organizations, will be extremely valuable as ImpactAssets expands its five-year strategy and focuses on product and business development for the next phase of growth.”

As a Managing Partner at Tideline, Kim co-leads the firm’s strategy, operations and client engagement – designing products for wealth and investment advisors, promoting effective governance, managing change, and leveraging the synergy between non-profits, philanthropy, and impact investing.

Prior to Tideline, Kim was the CEO of Schwab Charitable, a national donor advised fund (DAF). Under her leadership, Schwab Charitable pioneered impact investing in a DAF by partnering with the Grameen Foundation to launch the Double Give Microfinance Guarantee initiative. The program enabled donors to dedicate a portion of charitable assets to guarantee loans to micro-entrepreneurs around the globe. Schwab Charitable was also a pioneer in permitting independent investment advisors to manage investments in client accounts, allowing the freedom and flexibility to invest DAF assets in alternative asset classes and impact investments.

“I have great respect for ImpactAssets and its accomplished board members, and I look forward to working with them,” said Wright-Violich. “ImpactAssets is an impact investing pioneer, field-builder and innovator and I believe there are significant opportunities to create value for our clients and help them channel philanthropic capital to address some of the world’s greatest challenges.”

Kim earned a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University. She also completed the executive MBA-SEP program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, post-graduate work at the Mass Media Institute at Stanford, as well as coursework in governance at Harvard Business School.

With the appointment of Wright-Violich, ImpactAsset’s board consists of 8 members including: Karl “Charly” Kleissner Ph.D., Liesel Pritzker Simmons, Ron D. Cordes, Liesbet Peeters, Gerhard Pries, Wayne Silby and Mark E. Van Ness.

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 nearly $500M in assets from more than 1,100 donor advised funds, working with 300 wealth advisors across 50 financial services firms.


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