The use of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their 17 colourful boxes has now become mainstream in the communication materials of many companies, funds and asset managers. However, it is less clear if they are used as a tool to drive companies’ strategies or to select and measure the impact of investments.
As an impact-driven organisation, not only are you expected to create impact, but you are required to show evidence of the social and/or environmental impact you claim. Genuine intentions are not sufficient anymore, neither are case studies, interesting though these can be. You are expected to show results. To have strong impact data.
With the increasing acceptance of ESG investing as a mainstream investment theme, investors are no longer short of ESG funds to choose from. As investor choice has grown, the spotlight has gradually shifted from seeking to increase the availability of such funds to a greater scrutiny of their ESG credentials.
Thematic Month: Homelessness
Change Please, backed by the founder of the Big Issue magazine, started with an observation: Londoners love coffee. And coffee could make a difference. After having trained homeless people as baristas, the organisation provides them with a temporary accommodation and a job: selling ethically-sourced coffee in the streets.
When the first digital currency, hit a record value of nearly $20,000 (only to drastically fall a few weeks later) the interest of the masses was captured. Crypto-currencies and its underlying technology Blockchain became a top subject of discussion for more than the fondly named “crypto-geek community”.
The intersection between the arts space and social investment is not fully realised. Yet many of the social investors Investing for Good works now realise that if they support social ventures, it is not a great leap to support artistic ones that also confer social value? A triple bottom line of social, financial and artistic return? That’s compelling. In the UK context could an influx of funding of this nature help to replace a hole in the arts budget for the arts, needed after the drastic cuts of recent years?
Interest in impact investing has never been greater. Institutional investors have been developing their approach to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues over many years. Now they are beginning to realise that negative screening is not the only or indeed the best approach to satisfying the demands of clients to be more proactive as responsible investors. Options include positive screening, engagement and impact investing – and the latter is the most pro-active approach.