Tag: Sustainable Business

Ten Nature-Inspired Companies Addressing Enviro and Social Issues from Biomimicry Inst

Ten Nature-Inspired Companies Addressing ESG Issues

Biomimicry Institute announces new cohort of bioinspired startups participating in the Ray of Hope Prize program.

Biomimicry Institute LogoFrom inventing higher-performing and more sustainable renewable energy systems, to reducing food waste, to solving the plastic waste problem, the 2022 Ray of Hope Prize® finalists offer inspiring solutions through their use of biomimicry (also referred to as nature-inspired or bioinspired design). Selected from hundreds of impressive submissions from companies around the world, the Biomimicry Institute is proud to announce the top 10 finalists selected to participate in this transformational program designed to help startups cross a critical threshold in scaling their sustainable solutions. The 10-week virtual accelerator program culminates in the chance to receive the $100,000 grand prize and additional equity-free funding.

“Every year we see more and more breakthrough, nature-inspired companies apply to the Ray of Hope Prize®, indicating that this field is growing to meet the climate and biodiversity challenges facing our planet,” said Jared Yarnell-Schane, Innovation Director at the Institute. “Among them are companies that are creating brand new chemicals and materials that are in tune with those that already exist in nature, and companies that are creating products to make critical infrastructure more efficient and sustainable.”

The 10 participating companies include:

Amphibio United Kingdom
Amphibio has developed a recyclable and PFC-free alternative to traditional waterproof breathable textiles in the outdoor and sportswear industry. This is accomplished via their unique manufacturing process and PFC-free superhydrophobic yarn, which was inspired by water and liquid repellent nano-structures found in nature. Their textiles are made from one source material and do not need any chemical treatments, mitigating two of the biggest barriers of sustainable textile production today.

Biome Renewables Canada
Biome Renewables is an engineering and design firm that learns from nature to create higher performing and more sustainable renewable energy systems. Their first product, the PowerCone®, is a wind turbine retrofit inspired by the aerodynamics of a falling maple seed, which moves through the air with a pattern of least resistance. The PowerCone, which is a second smaller rotor bolted to the hub of existing wind turbines, can increase the annual energy production of a wind turbine, while minimizing the amount of loads and vibrations experienced by the turbine. Currently, they are bringing their second technology to market: a serrations technology that mimics an owl’s wing to deliver quieter wind turbine performance. Recent wind tunnel testing in Germany revealed noise reductions up to 4 dB.

Fusion Bionic GmbH Germany
Fusion Bionic creates laser-generated surface textures inspired by textures found in nature, opening up new possibilities for functionalized surfaces. Their Direct Laser Interference Patterning (DLIP) can create micro- and nano-scale surface textures on which, for example, ice does not stick, (anti-icing for e.g. aviation), glass surfaces of smartphones do not reflect (anti-reflective), and implants are better accepted by the body (biocompatible, antibacterial). All of these surface textures replace ecologically harmful processes, such as chemical de-icing, sand-blasting, or etching, while meeting the demand of increased product performance via industrial-scale surface finishing.

GreenPod Labs India
India is the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables, but ~40% of fresh produce is lost before it reaches consumers. GreenPod Labs have created bio-inspired packaging sachets that release plant based volatiles to activate the built-in defense mechanism within specific fruits or vegetables, in order to slow down the ripening rate and minimize microbial growth. By understanding crop physiology and spoilage types, GreenPod Labs is able to create the right formulation for produce to fight against biotic and abiotic stresses at ambient temperature, lessening the need for cold storage and cold supply chains.

Intropic Materials United States
Intropic Materials is solving plastic waste from the inside out by embedding enzymes directly inside plastics to aid and significantly speed up natural degradation. These plastics rapidly and completely break-down at the end of use into biodegradable or chemically recyclable small molecules without producing microplastics, in accessible life-friendly conditions like warm water baths or compost. This is enabled by their proprietary enzyme stabilization platform, designed to function similarly to chaperone proteins, which protect and preserve enzymatic structure and function in foreign environments. By bringing together natural and synthetic materials, Intropic Materials is unlocking a more innovative and sustainable future.

Metavoxel United States
Low-density, high-performance cellular materials like bone, bamboo, and marine sponges are nature’s way of doing more with less, providing structural efficiency and multifunctionality across scale. The key is in the specific internal cellular geometry. Metavoxel recreates these cellular geometries to produce lightweight and strong metamaterials which can improve structural efficiency and reduce the cost and environmental footprint of the built environment. The goal for Metavoxel is to do more with less—to conserve energy and material resources while accomplishing specific mechanical and structural objectives.

Mycocycle United States
Mycocycle works with nature’s master decomposers, fungi, to break down complex waste streams such as construction materials and asphalt. Using a systems-level biomimicry approach, Mycocycle’s process enables a circular industrial supply chain, becoming ever more important as landfills reach capacity. To accomplish this, Mycocycle first optimizes fungi in a lab to decompose specific waste streams. Then, they remediate the waste on site in collaboration with manufacturers, recyclers, and waste management companies. The resulting by-product can then be used to create new products.

Sóliome United States
Sunscreen has become a part of the daily routine for millions of consumers, however the current market choices often contain toxic chemicals or are damaging to sensitive organisms like coral. Sóliome has created a novel sunscreen inspired by compounds that naturally concentrate in the lens of the human eye to absorb UVA and UVB radiation. By isolating and stabilizing this molecule, Sóliome is able to create a safe, affordable, and environmentally friendly sunscreen.

Strong by Form Chile
In nature, trees are able to withstand high wind and snow stresses by growing the right form, density, and fiber orientations. This allows natural wood to achieve a specific strength that is even higher than the one of steel. By combining material science with the latest digital optimization tools, Strong by Form has developed Woodflow, a fabrication technology that follows these natural form functions. Their proprietary additive manufacturing process can create high performance, ultralight, timber-based structural composites for the construction and mobility industries at a fraction of their environmental impact.

Sudoc United States
Sudoc creates chemical cleaning products that emulate how enzymes work in the human liver to efficiently oxidize harmful and toxic micropollutants. By closely mimicking the mechanism of these peroxidase liver enzymes, Sudoc’s innovative chemistry platform can reduce, replace, and eliminate toxic chemicals in a wide range of applications. The company’s first product outperforms traditional mold stain removal products with 1/30th the chemical content, and they are developing a range of other household and commercial cleaning products, as well as solutions for the treatment of wastewater and waste pharmaceuticals. By creating chemistry in balance with nature, Sudoc is helping to address a massive increase in global chemical toxicity that is contributing to the greater incidence of infertility, diseases such as cancer, and impacted developmental behaviors.

The Ray of Hope Prize participants will now begin the 10-week virtual program and will be delivering their pitches to an expert judging panel in November. During this program, the Institute will help these startups scale more quickly in order to compete in multi-billion dollar, extractive industries; avoid the common push to produce products cheaply, leading to further (unintentional) harm (such as the use of toxic chemicals); and help them to easily communicate their science and biomimicry. The program concludes with an immersive retreat in the California Redwoods for participants to reconnect with the natural world and form bonds with their fellow bioinspired innovators.

“The 10 companies selected to participate in this year’s Ray of Hope Prize give me hope for a more vibrant, sustainable, biodiverse world,” said Yarnall-Shane. “I look forward to supporting these brilliant entrepreneurs and scientists!”

Previous Ray of Hope Prize finalists include breakthrough innovators such as Spintex Engineering, ECOncrete, Biohm, Werewool, Spotless Materials, Impossible Materials, and Nucleário. These companies have gone on to raise millions more in seed funding and have made inspiring impacts to the industries they’ve designed solutions for. For more information about the Ray of Hope Prize and how to support the Institute’s nature-inspired design innovation initiative, visit Biomimicry.org/rayofhopeprize.

 

About the Biomimicry Institute

The Biomimicry Institute is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded in 2006 that empowers people to seek nature-inspired solutions for a healthy planet. To advance the solution process, the Institute offers AskNature.org, a free online tool that contains strategies found in nature and examples of ways they are used in design. It also hosts a Youth Design Challenge to support project-based education; a Biomimicry Launchpad startup accelerator program; and the Ray of Hope Prize® for early-stage biomimetic companies to bring solutions to market. In 2021, the Institute launched a new collaborative initiative called Design for Decomposition which will pilot technologies that convert discarded clothes and textiles into biocompatible raw materials. For more information, visit biomimicry.org.

Additional Articles, Energy & Climate, Food & Farming, Sustainable Business

2022 GreenBiz 30 Under 30 List of Leaders

2022 GreenBiz 30 Under 30 List of Sustainability Leaders

Image Credit: collage by Julia Vann/GreenBiz Group

Transforming CO2 into concrete and plastics. Designing cutting-edge green university campuses. Sourcing circular materials for consumer electronics, cleaning products and fashion. Expanding diverse talent in sustainability professions.

Those are just a few of the ambitious efforts led by the 2022 members of the GreenBiz 30 Under 30.

This seventh year of celebrating 30 young outstanding leaders in sustainability represents four continents and major cities including Amsterdam, Brussels, Hong Kong, London, Nairobi, Paris and Toronto. In the United States, they hail from Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and Seattle. True to the times, several among this cohort work at home in relatively small towns for big-city offices hundreds or thousands of miles away.

They are inside corporations as varied as Bath & Body Works, Converse, Danone, Dell, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Lineage Logistics, Primark, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Weyerhauser and Whole Foods. Their employers make goods as varied as cars, consumer electronics, soap, yogurt and refrigeration systems. Some offer services from banking to consulting to investments in clean tech. Other honorees are influencing the business world through startups and nonprofits they have founded or through roles at the United Nations and the European Commission.

What they have in common is setting their minds to making a sustainable impact on fields as diverse as banking, fashion, food, transportation, venture capital and waste management.

We’re thrilled to present the 2022 GreenBiz 30 Under 30 below, in alphabetical order by surname. Thank you to Net Impact, the World Council for Sustainable Development and the World Economic Forum for helping spread the word and drum up more nominations than we have ever received. We’re excited to see what these individuals do next.

The 2022 30 Under 30 Honorees List:

Michelle Aboodi, 28, Global Sustainability Analytics Product Manager, Converse; Boston

Silvia Ainio, 28, Policy Expert, Sustainable Finance, European Commission; Brussels, Belgium

Vaughan Andrews, 28, Senior Sustainability Analyst, Climate & Carbon, Weyerhaeuser; Seattle

Mel Bandler, 29, Sustainable Sourcing Manager, Bath & Body Works; Bloomfield, New Jersey

Sophia Borroni-Bird, 29, Global ESG Engagement Lead, General Motors; Detroit

Miles Q. Braxton, 25, Incoming Director, Risk Management, Summit Ridge Energy; Co-founder and Director of Strategic Partnerships, BlackOak Collective; Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Shaandiin Cedar, 29, Associate, Powerhouse Ventures; Oakland, California

Roxane Clement, 29, Global Senior Sustainability Manager, Dairy Category, Danone; Paris 

Sydney Covey, 27, Senior Manager of Sustainability, STRUCTR Advisors; Chesapeake, Virginia

Ashley Fill, 28, Director, Sustainability and Whitespace; Procter and Gamble Home Care Canada; Toronto, Canada

Jacob Gisler, 29, Senior Program Manager of Compliance, Whole Foods Market; San Clemente, California 

Jeanette Mwendwa Gitobu, 27, Director, Women in Wind Global Leadership Program, Global Wind Energy Council; Nairobi, Kenya

Sandra Gonza, 29, Impact Program Manager, Global Fashion Agenda; Amsterdam, Netherlands

Eva Grundon, 26, Environmental Sustainability Coordinator, Primark; London

Chante Harris, 28, Director of Climate Investment and Partnerships, Venture For ClimateTech; SecondMuse; New York City

Joshua M. Hellman, 24, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder, Green Bank of Colorado; Castle Rock, Colorado

Claudia Herbert Colfer, 27, Program Manager, United Nations Global Compact Network USA; New York City

Raven Hernandez, 26, Co-founder and CEO, Earth Rides; Nashville, Tennessee

Sabeeha Islam, 27, Senior Manager, Portfolio Development for Climate and Transportation; Munich Re Ventures, San Francisco

Alex Laplaza, 27, Partner, Lowercarbon Capital; Palo Alto, California

Justin Chongyi Lee, 29, Associate Director, TRIREC; Singapore

Cosmo Lo, 27, Circular Economy Senior Manager, Sustainable Office Solutions Limited; Hong Kong 

Hardik Miyani, 27, Senior Energy and Commissioning Engineer, Baumann Consulting; Chicago

Adam Mohabbat, 28, Senior Manager, Market Development and Public Policy, EVgo; Los Angeles

Holly Moynahan, 28, Sustainability and ESG Manager, Hubbell Incorporated; Boston

Kyle Ritchie, 29, Education Market Sustainable Design Lead, CannonDesign; St. Joseph, Michigan

Brennan Spellacy, 27, Co-founder and CEO, Patch; San Francisco

Jash Vora, 23, Technical Project Manager, Lineage Logistics, San Francisco

Allison Ward, 26, Senior Sustainable Materials Engineer, Dell Technologies; Northville, Michigan

Peter Zhou, 29, Product Development Lead of Composites, Carbon Upcycling Technologies; Calgary, Canada

You can read more about each of these innovators here.

Additional Articles, Energy & Climate, Food & Farming, Sustainable Business

Envisioning Transformational Change in Who Builds Wealth and How by Kelly ODonnell Homewise

Envisioning Transformational Change in Who Builds Wealth and How

By Kelly O’Donnell, Homewise

Kelly ODonnell Homewise(Above: Interior of the live/work units in El Camino Crossing, a mixed-use development in Santa Fe, New Mexico; Courtesy of Homewise)

What could the next 30 years bring? At Homewise we are working towards a future in which a growing and increasingly diverse spectrum of Americans have the opportunity to build intergenerational wealth and foster strong communities through homeownership. We believe that this work, if taken to scale and adequately resourced, could transform the distribution of wealth and opportunity in America within 30 years.

Homeownership is widely recognized as the primary mechanism by which Americans build wealth. It is also a powerful tool of neighborhood stabilization and community development; but homeownership is a tool to which only some Americans have access and from which some Americans benefit far more than others. Homeowners have higher net worth than renters, regardless of race; but White Americans are 50 percent more likely than Black or Hispanic Americans to own their homes.

White households also generate higher average returns from their housing investments than do African American and Hispanic households. This is due to differences in income and education as well as more insidious but equally pervasive factors such as racial segregation, predatory mortgage lending practices, devaluation of property in minority communities, and the heightened likelihood that families with few liquid assets have of experiencing foreclosure or other forms of distressed sale. White households are significantly less likely than households of color to be preyed upon by subprime lenders and/or lose their homes to foreclosure.

During the housing crisis of the previous decade, almost 8 percent of African American and Hispanic families lost their homes to foreclosure, compared to under 5 percent of White families, and while the ‘typical’ White family lost 16 percent of its assets during this time, the typical African American family lost over half its assets and the typical Hispanic family saw its wealth decline by two-thirds.

The uneven access and disproportionate risk non-White Americans confront in their efforts to become homeowners must be remedied if we are to fully harness the power of homeownership to reduce disparities and drive beneficial social change. Critical to these efforts are policies and programs that prepare people for homeownership and, once ready, provide them with resources, like down payment assistance, that enable them to purchase homes they can afford in neighborhoods of their choice. Cultivating successful homeowners also requires standing with them through financial setbacks and helping them to avoid foreclosure. Homewise does this work every day on behalf of ordinary New Mexicans, but delivering these comprehensive services at the scale needed to chart measurable progress at the national level requires a strong and well-resourced commitment in every state and at every level of government.

Peering 30 years down the road at a future in which the potential benefits of homeownership are fully realized for all Americans, we at Homewise see a country in which:

  • Americans embrace affordable homeownership as a commodity beneficial to all and, rather than organizing to prevent affordable housing from going up in their neighborhoods, coalesce around more inclusive community goals that preserve everyone’s property values such as walkable streets and safe schools.
  • Competition from responsible lenders for market share in communities of color deprives subprime mortgage lenders of access to their target demographic thereby decreasing the disproportionate financial risk many non-White households take on when becoming homeowners.
Live-Work El Camino Crossing-Homewise
Live/work building in El Camino Crossing, a mixed-use development in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • Sufficient capital to support the growth of homeownership, especially among low-income households and households of color, flows from diverse funding sources. Recognizing the sweeping economic and social benefits of affordable homeownership, new individual and institutional investors and funders join longstanding supporters in making long-term, low-cost capital available to community lenders and developers of affordable homes. This vision stands in stark contrast to the current reality in which raising adequate capital remains an ongoing struggle for developers of affordable housing. Homewise obtains capital from numerous sources, some traditional and others, like the Homewise Community Investment Fund, both innovative and homegrown. The Community Investment Fund provides a diversified source of capital to support mortgage lending and successful homeownership in New Mexico as well as an opportunity for individual investors to generate quantifiable community benefits with their investment portfolio. Investments in the fund are pooled and used to finance fixed-rate mortgages for low- and moderate-income households, energy and water conserving home improvement loans and the development of affordable homes.
  • Systematic under-investment in communities of color is displaced by well-resourced community development efforts that are driven by the needs and priorities of community members and increase the community’s capacity for sustainable economic growth. Here again, Homewise has undertaken, on a modest scale, the sort of efforts needed nationwide. The Community Development team at Homewise learns all it can about the communities in which Homewise works through surveys and direct outreach to residents and local businesses. This information drives the development of strategies that strengthen neighborhoods in ways that are responsive to specific community priorities, strengths and challenges. For example in Santa Fe, an extremely tight housing market with a dearth of workforce housing, Homewise builds new mixed-use developments to increase homeownership while simultaneously fostering proximity, walkability and neighborhood vibrancy. In Albuquerque, where the need for starter homes is less acute, but decades of sprawl development has decimated portions of the urban core, Homewise buys and restores empty residential and commercial buildings and then helps community members and local businesses back into them, so that locals are not displaced by rising property values. These redevelopment efforts preserve neighborhoods while also catalyzing new investment in communities that have experienced decades of disinvestment.
  • The role of affordable homeownership in addressing broader social issues such as climate change, community health, and education is recognized and leveraged. Homeownership practitioners play a central role in the development of housing policy, but also in crafting policy solutions to broader issues that intersect with affordable housing, such as urban sprawl, chronic disease, and equitable access to high-quality public education. Through these intersections, strong partnerships and collaborations are forged between homeownership advocates and environmental advocates, neighborhood associations, community groups, employers, educators, economic developers, and numerous other traditional and non-traditional allies.
Residential Home in El Camino Crossing-Homewise
Residence in El Camino Crossing, a mixed-use development in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • Homeownership initiatives are adequately resourced and regarded as viable alternatives to subsidized rental housing rather than overly complex niche programs from which relatively few are permitted to benefit. Homeownership with a conventional 30-year fixed mortgage is more stable and often costs less than renting and is the only truly sustainable form of affordable housing. One-time down payment assistance paired with financial education and coaching can provide a permanent solution to a family’s housing problems without any additional costs to the public sector. As an investment, this compares quite favorably to the cost of paying the same family’s rent every month for years. It is our hope that 30 years from now, US housing policy reflects this fact.
  • US anti-poverty policy recognizes and rewards the willingness and ability of low-income households to invest wisely in their financial futures and, in so doing, embraces truly sustainable, affordable homeownership solutions.

The next 30 years could see the emergence of a more equitable and prosperous America – one in which our housing and lending systems are purged of systemic inequities and the cycle of poverty is broken. Making this vision a reality will require hard work, thoughtful policy, and sustained public investments in the programs and processes that make homeownership more accessible and beneficial to the broadest possible spectrum of Americans.

 

Article by Kelly O’Donnell, who joined Homewise in 2021 as the Director of Homewisdom. Prior to Homewise, O’Donnell was a research faculty member at the University of New Mexico and a private economic and public finance consultant for governments and nonprofits in New Mexico and nationwide. Prior to that, she held a series of senior leadership roles in New Mexico state government including Director of Tax Policy, Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Economic Development and Superintendent of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department and served as research director for New Mexico Voices for Children. She holds a PhD in Economics from the University of New Mexico.

Featured Articles, Impact Investing, Sustainable Business

Market Infrastructure Built Over the Past Three Decades Will Help Fuel the Next 30 Years by John Streur Calvert

Market Infrastructure Built Over the Past Three Decades Will Help Fuel the Next 30 Years

By John Streur, Calvert Research and Management

John Streur Calvert(Above: Getty Images, Courtesy of Calvert)

As we look forward to the next 30 years, we believe that capital markets are on the precipice of an increase in the impact of corporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance on security prices. We expect a corresponding acceleration of capital deployed to solve the environmental challenges we face today, such as excessive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and plastic pollution. We also expect substantial improvement in corporate diversity, equity and inclusion performance. At this moment, with war in Ukraine, the pandemic still raging globally and inflation hurting the poor the hardest, it may seem hard to accept an optimistic outlook for the future. However, with independent innovators like GreenMoney and Calvert laying the groundwork for the past few decades, we are now seeing the infrastructure that responsible investors like us have built having a real impact on transparency and capital flows.

GreenMoney has been and is a critical part of that market infrastructure, providing information about responsible investing, advocating for positive change, connecting investors and working to drive real-world improvement for all people. Over the entire 30 years of innovation and leadership by GreenMoney, Calvert has been there too, proudly.

Congratulations on the impact GreenMoney has had, and thank you for letting Calvert be part of it as we acknowledge our own anniversary of Calvert’s first socially responsible strategy 40 years ago this year.

Let’s take a look at the market infrastructure that has been built during this period to better understand our view of the future. As long-term responsible investors, we are interested in understanding the externalities a company creates in the course of its business. However, because externalities are generally negative impacts that a company has on the environment or on people directly, and that the company often hopes to avoid having to pay for or be penalized for, they are not eager to disclose information about the specific details of these externalities. Carbon emissions, human rights violations, pollution, weak performance on diversity and unsafe products are among the innumerable other adverse impacts companies have and for which they would prefer not to be held responsible. The market infrastructure necessary to create transparency into these issues, with sufficient detail to be able to use the information in investment decisions by every single investor, is what has been built or is in the final stages of development.

Markets are in the final stage of development of a regulatory framework across markets in the U.S., EU and U.K. that will increase the amount and quality of information about externalities related to carbon and methane emissions. This is on top of various requirements already in force in many major Asian nations, including China, mandating listed company disclosure of GHG emissions. In many markets, new or proposed regulations will require companies to provide additional human capital management and diversity information. Government regulations that require companies to disclose their performance on material environmental factors related to climate change will allow investors to better quantify and price these externalities, which is the market mechanism that sends signals to innovators and entrepreneurs about opportunities to develop new products and strategies that solve the problems caused by the corporate externality.

It is the transparency that these regulations call for that will help to accelerate the changes we need to solve the environmental and social challenges of today. Governments are also attempting to create market signals to speed capital deployment to solve climate and environmental problems. For instance, the United States is in the process of passing its very first climate legislation, which uses incentives to spur investment into renewable energy. California recently passed legislation that requires plastics to be recyclable and that also charges companies that use large amounts of plastic packaging a fee, which will be used to offset costs the state incurs in cleaning up plastic waste.

After decades of work, we now see a coordinated effort to strengthen market function through greater transparency, investors are increasingly using this information in the security price discovery process and government action to incentivize investment into solutions. We have already seen the development of new industries (renewable energy, electric vehicles) and companies, prior to this infrastructure and government action. We now expect to see an increase in capital formation and a real acceleration in real-world solutions.

Calvert Research & Mgmt
Image courtesy of Calvert Research and Management

For different reasons, but through similar mechanisms of information flow and transparency, we also expect acceleration in the improvements in diversity, equity and inclusion at corporations. The percentage of the highly skilled labor force made up of women and minorities is increasing worldwide. Companies are lagging in their ability to attract and retain women and minorities in their own employee ranks, and this is a material missed opportunity that companies are attempting to address. As we gain greater transparency into the demographics of individual companies, we find that virtually all companies know and want to improve, but struggle to do so. As more investors understand the opportunities that come along with better performance for all employees, shareholders are taking action to encourage companies to improve board and C-suite diversity. Companies are responding, and positive change is happening.

One question we often get about the future of ESG investing is, “If everyone uses ESG information, will there be any difference between mainstream and socially responsible investing?’’ The differences are very likely to be the same differences we see between mainstream investors and responsible investors today. There have always been independent thinkers and actors, innovators and change agents, and there has always been a mainstream herd following. Yes, almost all investors will consider ESG information in investment decisions, and this will make a difference to real-world outcomes. However, clients have always understood intentionality. There are those driving for positive change versus those clinging to status quo and protecting entrenched interests and power. That won’t change, and that is why we need another 30 years from GreenMoney and Calvert!

We also believe that there will be a wave of new, independent, innovative investment firms and financial technology firms focused on ESG investing and positive change that will compete successfully with the mainstream investment industry. The changes we discuss above regarding transparency, information flow and government action and significant forces will signal innovators to start companies to solve climate and social challenges in the “real’’ world, and also spur new company formation in our own industry.

We are already seeing this happen, and many new entrants are doing excellent work and pushing the mainstream in the process. Institutional investors and retail investors indicate that they plan to invest more heavily into responsible and ESG strategies. There are new firms being created today that are doing what GreenMoney and Calvert set about to do 30 or 40 years ago. As this market expands, we are seeing waves of product innovation in our industry already, and we are really just getting started.

Along with new firms, new products, much greater transparency and positive government initiative will come increasing competition and professionalization of the responsible investing approach. One area we are confident will become central to the approach is the identification, quantification, analysis and, ultimately, market pricing of externalities. Expertise in this specific area is likely to be a critical differentiator between the firms that come to be the leaders of the next 30 years and the pack.

We have a very positive view of the future because the groundwork and infrastructure built will cause existing positive trends to accelerate. Yes, this is an uncertain time due to war, inflation, and a pandemic on top of climate change and inequality. However, for long-term, multi-decade players, the trends emerging today in responsible investing and better real-world outcomes are impossible to ignore. It seems like it took far too long to get to this point. But we are there, and the next 30 years will be very different.

 

Article by John Streur, president and chief executive officer for Calvert Research and Management. John is also president and a trustee of the Calvert Funds as well as a board director of Calvert Impact Capital and chair of its Audit and Finance Committee. He guided the creation of the Calvert Principles for Responsible Investment, the Calvert Research System and the Calvert Indices, and has placed focus on investment research and emphasis on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors integrated with investment decisions. He joined Calvert Research and Management in 2016.

John began his career in the investment management industry in 1987. Before joining Calvert Research and Management, he was president and chief executive officer with Calvert Investments. He has managed socially responsible investments at the request of institutional clients, including public funds, religious institutions, and college and university endowments since 1991. Previously, he was president, director and principal of Portfolio 21, a boutique firm specializing in global environmental investing, and spent 20 years at AMG Funds (and its predecessors), a firm he co-founded and where he served as president, CEO and chair of the Investment Committee.

John is a founding member of the Investor Advisory Group for the Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB), a group of leading asset owners and asset managers committed to improving the quality and comparability of sustainability-related disclosure by corporations for use by investors.

Disclosures

Risk Considerations Investing involves risk including the risk of loss. There is no guarantee that any investment strategy, including those with an ESG focus, will work under all market conditions. Investors should evaluate their ability to invest for the long-term, especially during periods of downturn in the market.

The views and opinions are those of the author as of the date of publication and are subject to change at any time due to market or economic conditions and may not necessarily come to pass. The views expressed do not reflect the opinions of all investment personnel at Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM) and its subsidiaries and affiliates (collectively the Firm”), and may not be reflected in all the strategies and products that the Firm offers.

This material is a general communication, which is not impartial, is for informational and educational purposes only, not a recommendation to purchase or sell specific securities, or to adopt any particular investment strategy. Information does not address financial objectives, situation or specific needs of individual investors.

Calvert Research and Management is part of Morgan Stanley Investment Management, the asset management division of Morgan Stanley.

Energy & Climate, Featured Articles, Impact Investing, Sustainable Business

GMs vision for a more sustainable and equitable future by Kristen Siemen

The Next 30 Years: GM’s Vision for a More Sustainable and Equitable Future

By Kristen Siemen, General Motors

 

 

Kristen Siemen GM - GreenMoneyOver two years ago, businesses were forced to adapt to the extraordinary circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The world experienced disruptions on a massive scale, which pushed companies like General Motors to find new and more tactical ways of doing business.

For GM, the pandemic became an opportunity for even more company-wide innovation. With the development and launch of electric vehicles like the Bolt EUV, the Cadillac LYRIQ and the GMC Hummer EV Pickup, we showed ourselves and the world just how agile and creative we could be, even during a difficult and challenging time for everyone across the globe.

Today, we’re using what we’ve learned during these unprecedented times to propel forward our vision of an all-electric, more sustainable and more inclusive future.

Here’s what we see happening in the next 30 years.

Putting Everyone in an EV

We know climate change is an urgent priority, and we know EVs can be a critical part of the solution. It will take millions of new EVs hitting the road every year to reach the zero-emissions future we’re striving for.

Understanding that our customers want and need options, GM is addressing multiple aspects of what it takes to help put everyone in an EV, and we envision a future in which EVs fit a wide range of lifestyles and price points. We are rapidly building out our own batteries, software, manufacturing, and customer experience to make that a reality while also laying the critical foundations for customer education and charging infrastructure.

GM’s versatile Ultium platform provides the building blocks for everything, from mass market to high performance vehicles – all from a single, common cell in most markets and a set of interchangeable propulsion components. © 2020 Steve Fecht and General Motors

A key part of GM’s strategy is our Ultium EV Platform, a combined EV architecture and propulsion system, from which GM will quickly be able to scale a full lineup of ground-up EVs. Instead of designing a new battery system for each new EV, GM is using its Ultium Platform for many of its future EVs — from high-volume crossovers like the recently revealed 2024 Chevy Equinox EV at an estimated MSRP around $30,0001, to the 2024 Chevy Silverado EV pickup truck, Cadillac LYRIQ and the GMC Hummer EV Pickup. Ultium affords GM’s EVs competitive range and performance, sporty driving and will help expedite the company’s transition to an all-electric future.

GM has announced significant battery capacity expansion at four battery cell manufacturing plants and already has binding agreements securing many battery raw materials and precursors to support our goal of one million units of EV capacity in North America annually by 2025. We plan to invest $35 billion in electric and autonomous vehicles through 2025 and convert 50 percent of our manufacturing footprint to EV production by 2030.

GM 2024 Equinox Interior
General Motors Chair and CEO Mary Barra confirmed during her 2022 CES keynote address that Chevrolet will launch the Chevrolet Equinox EV in the 2024 model year. © 2020 Steve Fecht and General Motors

Because we can’t help everybody have access to an EV if we don’t ensure everybody has access to EV chargers, we’re building out charging infrastructure and creating a convenient charging experience with Ultium Charge 360. Ultium Charge 360, which gives customers access to more than 100,000 charging stalls in the U.S. and Canada through agreements with 11 different operators, GM vehicle mobile apps and other products and services, will make charging your EV at least as easy as filling up a tank of gas, if not even simpler.

Autonomizing Transportation

Imagine a world with no car crashes and no traffic, where you’re free to get around no matter your age, your stage of life or your physical capabilities. Self-driving vehicles offer promising potential to contribute to this future and support all three pillars of GM’s zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion vision.

GM is investing in Cruise, which became the first company to offer a fully driverless commercial ride-hailing service to the public in a major U.S. city. This first-of-its-kind service in San Francisco is provided in the fully autonomous Cruise AV, which is a zero-emission vehicle based on the Chevy Bolt EV. The Cruise AV has already logged over a quarter of a million driverless miles and thousands of driverless rides in San Francisco an effort to make the dream of self-driving a reality. The next step in GM and Cruise’s self-driving journey is the Cruise Origin, a purpose-built, zero-emission, shared autonomous vehicle designed to operate without a human driver. The Cruise Origin represents the pinnacle of GM’s leadership in automation, electrification and mobility.

Cruise AV, ©Bax+Towner

Cruise’s AVs represent a significant step in the journey towards achieving a zero-emissions future, in addition to offering accessible mobility options for seniors, people who are blind or have low vision and other communities that have traditionally faced barriers to accessing reliable transportation. Self-driving vehicles like these that remove the human driver aim to significantly reduce or eliminate the risks associated with human driver error, with the goal of reducing the number of injuries and fatalities on our roadways. GM and Cruise are working hard to deploy autonomous vehicles at scale to help create a safe, less-congested future for all.

HD Cruise Origin, ©Vasyl, stock.adobe.com

Electrifying Everything

Our vision of an all-electric future encompasses so much more than just personal electric vehicles; it even extends beyond the transportation industry. One of the things we are most excited about for the future is that we want to broaden the application of our technology to electrify everything: planes, trains, semi-trucks, boats, and more.

Through our hydrogen fuel cell technology, which is a great compliment to our Ultium batteries, we want to help other industries meet their clean energy targets.

We’ll aim to get there by leveraging both our Ultium Platform and our HYDROTEC fuel cell power cube.

Ultium’s capacity to power many types of vehicles is already being proven with BrightDrop, a connected ecosystem of electrified delivery products and fleet management services helping make last-mile deliveries smarter, safer and more efficient. HYDROTEC fuel cell generators could ultimately replace diesel-burning generators with fewer emissions at worksites, buildings, movie sets, data centers, outdoor concerts and festivals. They could also back up or temporarily replace grid-sourced electricity for residential and small commercial enterprises at times of power disruption.

Innovation in how we use these platforms will help extend the zero-emissions mission across land, air and sea.

Cadillac LYRIQ pairs next-generation battery technology with a bold design statement which introduces a new face, proportion and presence for the brand’s new generation of EVs. © 2020 Steve Fecht and General Motors

Prioritizing an Equitable, All-Electric Future

We recognize that no two communities experience climate change in the same way and that some are more vulnerable to climate impacts or lack the resources to fully participate in and benefit from the transition to a more sustainable future. As the effects of climate change take hold across the globe, it has never been more urgent to ensure our sustainability solutions are guided by inclusion and equity.

We envision an all-electric transition that includes our current and future workforce, customers and communities that may be more likely to experience the impact of climate change disproportionately. At GM, that means prioritizing Equitable Climate Action.

GM’s Equitable Climate Action initiative is rooted in four key areas:

  • The Future of Work – This includes our current workforce and the pipeline of future talent. We will help our current workforce transition to an all-electric future, and we will help support the future workforce as the market shifts to more clean energy jobs through education, training and investments in STEM.
  • EV Access – We want to put everyone into EVs, so we’ll offer a wide selection of EVs across a range of price points. GM was the first company to introduce an affordable, high mileage EV with the Chevrolet Bolt EV in 2017, and that vehicle is now more affordable than ever. We believe this will increase EV accessibility and adoption so more consumers can enjoy the benefits of affordable EV ownership.
  • Infrastructure Equity – We want to see ubiquitous charging solutions that can help meet customer needs wherever they are. We must address concerns about charging deserts and other scenarios that can hinder EV ownership and are working with our dealers and 3rd parties to accomplish this.
  • Climate Equity – We are committed to helping fund organizations that are closing the climate equity gap at the community level and across these four key areas. Through our $50 million Climate Equity Fund, to date we’re working with a total of 39 grantees to accelerate the transition to an inclusive zero-emissions mobility future.
Cadillac Lyriq-GM
Cadillac LYRIQ pairs next-generation battery technology with a bold design statement which introduces a new face, proportion and presence for the brand’s new generation of EVs. © 2020 Steve Fecht and General Motors

It’s no secret — GM is driving towards an all-electric, more sustainable future and moving faster than ever. We’re committed to driving the industry forward with a range of EVs in several sizes and styles that meet customers where they are on price, while prioritizing sustainable solutions, diversity, equity and inclusion as we transition.

Our sights are set on continuing to excite and inspire everyone about the road ahead and we know that our culture, strong values, robust strategies and proven execution will allow us to accelerate towards the promise of a more equitable, all-electric future, together.

 

Article by Kristen Siemen  Appointed to Chief Sustainability Officer in February 2021, Kristen Siemen helps to lead General Motors to a future with zero emissions as the company continues to take bold actions against climate change, including GM’s commitment to become carbon neutral in its products and operations by 2040. Under Siemen’s leadership, GM has received numerous recognitions including JUST Capital’s MOST JUST Companies, the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices Gold Class for corporate sustainability leadership, and Ethisphere’s World’s Most Ethical Companies for demonstrating exceptional leadership and commitment to business integrity.

Siemen is also passionate about promoting inclusion and gender equality. She was instrumental in creating GM’s career reentry program, “Take 2,” serves as GM’s key executive for the Society of Women Engineers and is the co-lead for the GM Women Ally Program. Since transitioning into her role as CSO, Siemen has garnered several individual recognitions for exemplary leadership, most notably including Crain’s Notable Leaders in Sustainability, Future 50 Tech, and Sustainability Mag’s Top 100 Women in Sustainability. Siemen serves on the Oakland University School of Engineering & Computer Science Advisory Board, where she received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering.

Footnote:
[1] MSRP excludes DFC, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment and is subject to change.

Energy & Climate, Featured Articles, Impact Investing, Sustainable Business

Jesse Jackson Tim Smith Donna Katzin demonstrating against Citibank's apartheid govt lending-GreenMoney

Reflecting on the ESG Industry’s Strong Foundation and Bright Future

By Tim Smith, Boston Trust Walden

Tim Smith Boston Trust Walden--Reflecting on the ESG Industrys Strong Foundation(Above:  Jesse Jackson, Tim Smith and Donna Katzin at a demonstration in the 1980’s calling on Citibank to end lending to the apartheid government in front of the bank’s headquarters in NYC.)

In light of my forthcoming retirement in December 2022, I am especially pleased to be included in this 30th anniversary issue of GreenMoney. It has been a tremendous privilege to be embedded in the evolution of ESG Investing for 50 years, first at ICCR and then at Boston Trust Walden.

This is an occasion to look ahead at the ESG industry’s future. But that is best done by reflecting on the foundation laid by investors over the last plus 50 years. In 1971, the Episcopal Church filed the first shareholder resolution calling on General Motors to leave South Africa because of its racist system of apartheid, a historic moment. That resolution ushered in a new era of shareowner engagement, including two decades of work on South Africa. Global economic pressure from investors and governments played an important catalytic role in making the apartheid regime negotiate, leading to a peaceful transition to power sharing and the election of Nelson Mandela as President.

Also, the ESG industry’s history is marked by major long-term campaigns, like the infant formula campaign leading to a global code of conduct, saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of infants. And early work on issues of diversity, human rights, climate, and the environment – both in direct operations and throughout global supply chains – were essential stepping stones for future work.

Building on that past, let’s look at some encouraging signs that promise a bright future for the industry’s ESG work. At the same time, let’s also look pragmatically at the challenges for the next quarter century. Obviously, this is a best guess on my part, but that is the nature of crystal ball gazing, isn’t it?

Clearly there has been an explosion of interest and involvement in ESG or Sustainable and Responsible Impact Investing (SRI), especially in the last two decades. For example, US SIF’s 2020 Report on US Sustainable and Impact Investing Trends points to a total of over $17 Trillion in US AUM in ESG, an increase of 42% since 2018. And the Principles for Responsible Investing has 3750 global investor members with over $110 Trillion of AUM (depending on market swings, of course). These asset managers and asset owners pledge to integrate ESG into their investment practices believing these issues have a distinct impact on the bottom line. Many also commit to active ownership, urging transparency from the companies in which they invest. Of course, we could all debate the actual figures and how legitimate these ESG practices are, but it is undeniable that ESG investing is expanding in the marketplace. This “genie is not going back in the bottle.”

Simultaneously, the growth of sustainability within the business community has increasingly been accompanied by specific measurable goals and objectives. Certainly, many companies embrace the belief that sustainability protects and advances shareholder value. Such statements are a concrete and welcome validation of the ESG work of investors. A considerable majority of large global corporations now produce sustainability reports to publicize their commitments and progress. I could go on for pages regarding specific decisions and changes by corporations in response to shareholder engagement on issues spanning climate change, board and workforce diversity, governance reforms, consumer protection, etc. (www.iccr.org and www.ceres.org have extensive catalogs of shareowner impact over the years). I believe such reporting and transparency is going to expand in depth and breadth going forward.

Another significant change is the influence and power of proxy voting on ESG issues by asset owners and managers. There has been a huge shift in recent years on votes in support of shareholder proposals (35 resolutions received majority votes in both 2021 and 2022, as well as scores of votes in the 35%-49% range) demonstrating broad investor support on specific issues like racial justice, climate change, plastic pollution, and board diversity. These voting changes are described in updated proxy voting policies, or Stewardship Reports, and of course in NPX reports displaying every vote. And this voting power is held by some of the largest asset managers in the world, such as State Street Global Advisors, BlackRock, T. Rowe Price, and Vanguard. While it is hard to imagine these firms filing resolutions, their engagements with companies in support of ESG issues sends a powerful message that is hard for a business to ignore.

In addition, even though the final vote has not yet occurred, the dramatic Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) proposed rule calling for specific corporate climate disclosures signals federal government support for a new and necessary level of ESG disclosure by companies, further affirming the importance of investors’ work seeking improved disclosure.

Larry Fink, BlackRock’s CEO, has said, “the tectonic shift towards sustainable investing is still accelerating.” I agree the future is bright for ESG investing. And we are likely to see more investment managers be prodded and held accountable by their clients to embrace continuous improvement in ESG practices. Many large asset owners now hold their investment managers accountable on ESG. This accountability is also likely to grow because when the “markets speak,” managers listen.

But despite such promise, I fear the next quarter century is not likely to be smooth sailing. What I refer to as “the old opposition” is attempting to rebrand and attack ESG to reverse the tides. Former Vice President Mike Pence has described ESG as a “new trend of woke capitalism” and the enemy of the free enterprise system.

Such attacks have grown in 2022 as ideological opponents argue that ESG is a violation of fiduciary duty and will result in poorer portfolio performance. For example, the state of Texas recently passed legislation threatening to end business relations with investment firms that “boycott fossil fuel companies.” Such threats can certainly impede ESG expansion and sadly may well become part of the political polarization growing in the U.S.

Finally, I expect the future, as in the past, will include investors with a range of ESG motives and mandates. Pension funds may emphasize that ESG incorporation is a prudent move that protects long-term shareowner value. Foundations may stress alignment with their missions. Some individuals may strive to ensure their investments are consistent with their values, while others may seek tangible environmental and social impact from their investments. The Sustainable Investing umbrella can certainly comfortably include investors led by different North Stars, especially when they so often have similar messages on vital issues like climate, diversity, and governance, to name but a few.

In summary, while investor motives and constraints may differ, the larger umbrella of SRI/ESG Investing is likely to expand in size and grow in its real-world impact. While there is inevitably more work to be done, I am deeply proud to have contributed to this enormous economic shift in partnership with so many of you.

Passing the climate torch to the next generation

 

Article by Tim Smith, who has been part of the ESG industry since 1971. After earning a BA from the University of Toronto and Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York, he joined the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR). He spent thirty years at ICCR, including 24 years as its Executive Director. He joined Boston Trust Walden Company in 2000, where he advanced the firm’s shareholder engagement efforts related to a variety of issues including climate lobbying and governance. He also frequently represented Boston Trust Walden at public events and helped to foster long-term client relationships.

In 2007, 2012, and 2013, Tim was named as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics” by Ethisphere Institute. In 2010, he received the Bavaria Award for Impact at the third annual Joan Bavaria Awards for Building Sustainability into the Capital Markets. In 2011 and 2012, he was named one of the most influential people in corporate governance by the National Association of Corporate Directors.

Tim has served on multiple boards and chaired advisory councils for several different institutions. He was the former Chair of US SIF and currently serves as chair of Shared Interest, which mobilizes economic resources for communities in Southern Africa. He also serves on the Principles Committee of Wespath, the United Methodist Pension Board, which leads the Board’s ESG and shareholder advocacy work. Finally, he served as Chair of the Sustainability Advisory Board of Kimberly-Clark.

Tim currently serves as Senior ESG Advisor at Boston Trust Walden. His retirement commences at the end of 2022. As for the next chapter, he looks forward to continuing to work on many key sustainability issues and continue to cause “good trouble,” in the words of Congressman John Lewis.

 

This commentary solely reflects the views of the author, Timothy Smith, and is subject to change without notice. This commentary is provided for informational or educational purposes only and is not an endorsement of any security and should not be relied upon for any investment decision. These views do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Boston Trust Walden Company or its affiliates.

Energy & Climate, Featured Articles, Impact Investing, Sustainable Business

UNFI Climate Goals validated by SBTI-GreenMoney

UNFI’s Climate Goals Validated by SBTi

Company commits to significantly reduce emissions across its operations and value chain

 

United Natural Foods, Inc. (NYSE: UNFI) (“UNFI”) announced in late May its science-based emissions reduction targets covering the organization’s operations and value chain have been validated and approved by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), making the Company among the first North American wholesale grocery distributors to adopt these targets. A core element of UNFI’s 2030 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) agenda, Better for All, is a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, waste, and make progress on other key ESG priorities.

“Climate change continues to pose a serious threat to our planet and UNFI is committed to taking bold action on environmental issues and investing in opportunities to reduce our emissions,” said UNFI Chief Executive Officer, Sandy Douglas. “Through adoption and pursuit of these science-based targets, UNFI is proud to help lead the North American wholesale and grocery distribution industry, and humbly recognizes the critical importance of coordinated and rapid decarbonization.”

UNFI’s emissions reduction targets1 approved by the SBTi are consistent with levels required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. The three validated targets below are based on a fiscal 2020 emissions base year and fiscal 2030 emissions target year.

Operations Targets

  1. Reduce scope 1 and 3 heavy freight well-to-wheel GHG emissions from transportation by 38 percent on an intensity basis.
  2. Reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions from all other emission sources by 50 percent.

UNFI’s fleet of over 2,000 owned and leased trucks makes 1.37 million deliveries to over 30,000 customer locations each year. These deliveries are facilitated through UNFI’s 56 distribution centers which represent approximately 30 million square feet of warehouse space. Together, distribution centers, retail, fleet and all refrigerant emissions account for less than 5 percent of the Company’s total scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.

Value Chain Target

  1. Reduce absolute scope 3 GHG emissions from purchased goods and services by 25 percent.

UNFI purchases nearly 300,000 products from over 12,000 suppliers and growers, which account for around 90 percent of total scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. To promote reductions, UNFI created the Climate Action Hub to provide tools and resources, including opportunities for suppliers and vendors to learn from experts and each other, to innovate and scale climate solutions across the food system. Hub visitors will find resources such as a Climate Action Guide which provides tips on how to advance their own emissions reduction work.

“We are excited to take the next step in our emissions reduction journey by having our targets validated by SBTi, but we know we can’t accomplish these goals alone,” said Alisha Real, UNFI Director of Sustainability and Social Impact. “We take the need for business accountability in solving this global challenge seriously and look forward to engaging our value chain in these important efforts.”

“UNFI’s commitment to reducing their emissions, including their scope 3 emissions, sets a strong precedent in the food industry. By working in collaboration throughout their network of suppliers, UNFI is helping to activate and support much needed climate action,” said Courtney Pineau, Executive Director at The Climate Collaborative. 

To see a short video with UNFI Chief Executive Officer, Sandy Douglas, please visit – https://vimeopro.com/user48556009/sbti

  

About United Natural Foods

UNFI is North America’s premier food wholesaler delivering the widest variety of products to customer locations throughout North America including natural product superstores, independent retailers, conventional supermarket chains, ecommerce retailers, and food service customers. By providing this deeper ‘full-store’ selection and compelling brands for every aisle, UNFI is uniquely positioned to deliver great food, more choices, and fresh thinking to customers everywhere. Today, UNFI is the largest publicly traded grocery distributor in America. To learn more about how UNFI is Fueling the Future of Food, visit www.unfi.com.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding the Company’s business that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” that involve risks and uncertainties and are based on current expectations and management estimates; actual results may differ materially. Examples of these statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding our emissions reductions targets and related plans to achieve those goals. The risks and uncertainties which could impact these statements include those described in the Company’s filings under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended July 31, 2021 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on September 28, 2021 and other filings the Company makes with the SEC. Any forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and, as such, speak only as of the date made. The Company may from time to time update these statements, but it is not obligated to do so.

Footnote:
[1] UNFI commits to reduce scope 1 and 3 heavy freight well-to-wheel (WTW) GHG emissions from transportation 38% per tonne kilometer by FY2030 from a FY2020 base year. UNFI also commits to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions from all other emission sources 50% by FY2030 from a FY2020 base year. UNFI further commits to reduce absolute scope 3 GHG emissions from purchased goods and services 25% within the same timeframe.

Additional Articles, Energy & Climate, Food & Farming, Impact Investing, Sustainable Business

Bloomberg Launches Indices in Climate Index Family

Bloomberg Launches Indices in Climate Index Family

New indices include EU Paris-Aligned Benchmarks, as well as broad equity, corporate and sovereign fixed income offerings

 

Bloomberg announced in early June the launch of new indices within the Bloomberg Climate Index Family, expanding the firm’s fixed-income and equity index offerings.

Newly launched indices in the family include those labelled as EU Paris-Aligned Benchmarks (PAB), which deliver investors the tools and insight they need to measure and align their investment strategy with the Paris Climate Agreement’s decarbonization targets. The Climate Family also includes indices providing comprehensive exposure to broad equity, as well as corporate and sovereign fixed income universes, that incorporate various climate and low-carbon themes, including a new Government Climate Risk score developed by Bloomberg Sustainable Finance Solutions.

“Investor demand for tools that help them build trustworthy ESG investment products and lower their carbon footprint has never been higher and Bloomberg’s new Climate Index Family provides industry-standard climate benchmarks investors can use with confidence,” said Chris Hackel, Head of ESG Indices, Bloomberg. “To be at the forefront of the net zero transition, investors can also rely on Bloomberg’s Paris-Aligned Indices, built using Bloomberg emissions data. We will continue to build upon this family to support customer demand of solutions backed by Bloomberg’s sustainable finance expertise and look forward to working with investors to leverage our ESG data sets to create additional custom climate strategies to meet their specific needs.”

Bloomberg’s PAB offering is underpinned by the Company’s comprehensive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data on over 50,000 companies, which includes company-reported data and estimates for companies that do not report their emissions. Bloomberg’s GHG emissions estimate model provides a distribution of estimates and confidence score showing the quality and availability of data for each estimate. This approach allows for the use of more conservative estimates, which follows the United Nation’s precautionary principle to ensure corporate GHG data is not underestimated to incentivize companies to report their GHG emissions.

As with all Bloomberg Indices, the Bloomberg Climate Index Family is available for benchmarking, asset allocation and product creation purposes. The indices can be further customized to meet specific individual investor needs with respect to liquidity requirements, decarbonization trajectory, additional ESG exclusions, portfolio construction and the inclusion of additional ESG data sets.

The equity indices launched include:

  • PAB Canada Large-Mid NR Index (CAD), ticker: CAPABNL Index
  • PAB Canada Large-Mid NR Index (EUR), ticker: CAPABNE Index
  • US Large-Mid NR Index, ticker: USPABN Index
  • Japan Large-Mid NR Index, ticker: JPPABN Index
  • Eurozone Developed Large-Mid NR Index, ticker: EURPABN Index
  • Europe ex Eurozone Developed Large-Mid NR Index, ticker: EUXPABN Index
  • APAC ex Japan Developed Large-Mid NR Index, ticker: APXPABN Index

Bloomberg EU Paris-Aligned Benchmarks Indices

The fixed income indices launched include:

  • Bloomberg US Corporate Paris-Aligned Index, ticker: I37119US
  • Bloomberg Euro Corporate Paris-Aligned Index, ticker: I37117EU
  • Bloomberg Global Corporate Paris-Aligned Index, ticker: I37120US
  • Bloomberg Global Treasury Carbon-Scored Index, ticker: I37033US
  • Bloomberg Pan-Euro Treasury Carbon-Scored Bond Index, ticker: I37034EU
  • Bloomberg Euro Treasury Carbon-Scored Bond Index, ticker: I37035EU
  • Bloomberg EM Local Currency Government Universal Carbon-Scored Bond Index, ticker: I37036US
  • Bloomberg EM Local Currency Government Carbon-Scored Bond Index, ticker: I37037US
  • Bloomberg Global Treasury Universal Carbon-Scored Bond Index, ticker: I37038US
  • Bloomberg Global Inflation-Linked Carbon-Scored Bond Index, ticker: I37039US
  • Bloomberg Pan-Euro Inflation-Linked Carbon-Scored Bond Index, ticker: I37040EU
  • Bloomberg Euro Inflation-Linked Carbon-Scored Bond Index, ticker: I37041EU

Bloomberg clients can access the available indices on the Bloomberg Terminal and all research and methodology for the indices is available at Bloombergindices.com.

Bloomberg provides an independent, transparent approach to indexing for customers across the globe. To learn more about Bloomberg’s Sustainable Finance Solutions, visit Bloomberg ESG.

 

 

About Bloomberg Index Services Limited
Bloomberg’s index team has a proven track record in creating industry leading and bespoke indices across asset classes, including best in class fixed income and commodity indices. Bloomberg Index Services Limited (BISL) takes an innovative approach to delivering strategic benchmarks that help market participants address their evolving needs. As an integral part of Bloomberg, BISL has access to a comprehensive range of trusted data and reliable technology for calculations, analytics and workflow automation, along with distribution capabilities that can help amplify the visibility of our customers’ products.

About Bloomberg
Bloomberg is a global leader in business and financial information, delivering trusted data, news, and insights that bring transparency, efficiency, and fairness to markets. The company helps connect influential communities across the global financial ecosystem via reliable technology solutions that enable our customers to make more informed decisions and foster better collaboration. For more information, visit https://Bloomberg.com/company or request a demo.

Additional Articles, Energy & Climate, Impact Investing, Sustainable Business

Sustainable Forestry Initiative-Conservation Iimpact-A decade of success

SFI’s Conservation Impact: A Decade of Success

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) is pleased to announce its new publication: SFI’s Conservation Impact: A Decade of Success. This succinct document provides an executive-level summary of the results of SFI’s Conservation Impact work over the past 10 years and how the science behind well-managed forests and sustainable supply chains supports conservation goals. Readers will learn about 17 different conservation research projects that SFI has supported and participated in with numerous partners across its three main focus areas: climate change, biodiversity, and water quality and quantity.

“Identifying positive conservation outcomes, key learnings, and opportunities for improvement on SFI-certified lands is a critical component of the SFI standards. SFI’s Conservation Impact: A Decade of Success is a testament to the dedication and collaboration we see across the SFI network when it comes to advancing forest science and sustainable solutions,” says Kathy Abusow, CEO and President of SFI.

SFI is the only forestry standard that requires certified organizations to support forest and conservation research. In total, SFI-certified organizations invest over $60 million per year in forest and conservation research and have invested cumulatively over $1.8 billion since 1995.

This research, driven in part by requirements in the SFI standard, generates robust results with lasting benefits for the forest and conservation sector. SFI’s Conservation Impact work supports research over and above these investments by SFI-certified organizations.

SFI’s Conservation Impact work supports research that tests, evaluates, and validates the value and outcomes resulting from SFI Forest Management and Fiber Sourcing certification. Since Conservation Impact research is generated by SFI, rather than SFI-certified organizations, Conservation Impact investments of SFI are above and beyond the $60 million annual investments noted above.

“Conservation Impact has generated clear learnings, which enable SFI-certified organizations to convey and leverage conservation outcomes knowledgeably. It helps conservationists have a deeper insight into the value of sustainable forest management, and helps consumers make better choices for the planet,” says Paul Trianosky, Chief Conservation Officer at SFI.

Innovative conservation research is critical to ensuring continued improvement in sustainable forestry. With over 350 million acres (140 million hectares) certified to the SFI 2022 Forest Management Standard in North America, and tens of millions more positively influenced by the SFI 2022 Fiber Sourcing Standard, SFI and SFI-certified organizations have the scale and reach to generate meaningful results which advance sustainability in North America.

Three Research Project Highlights from SFI’s Conservation Impact: A Decade of Success

Sustainable Forestry Initiative Hummingbird with Fir tree illustrationClimate Change – SFI collaborated with American Forests to develop an approach to include soils in forest carbon calculations, because soils can account for a sizable, at times unconsidered, amount of carbon storage. This allows for better understanding of whole-ecosystem carbon dynamics. One Conservation Impact study area showed that, when the cumulative harvest, including long-lived wood products, was added to the greenhouse gas balance, SFI-certified forests acted as carbon sinks. Learn more.

BiodiversitySFI collaborated with the American Bird Conservancy to examine the needs of a wide variety of bird species in decline, and their presence on select SFI-certified pilot areas, to help build understanding of broader ecosystem health and sustainable forest management. Many of the focal species were more abundant within SFI-certified forests, including Prairie Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, Brown-headed Nuthatch and Wood Thrush. Learn more.

Water quality and quantity – SFI collaborated with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) to develop two management decision support tools to help plan activities around waterways to ensure protection of water quality and quantity. The Active River Area project helps identify riparian areas and freshwater conservation and restoration strategies and actions. Learn more.

Such management decision tools matter due to the reach and scale of water resources flowing from SFI Certified forestlands. A collaborative project of SFI and the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI) determined that waterways on SFI-certified forestlands are collectively long enough to reach around the world 50 times, underscoring the importance of these forests to water supplies throughout North America. Learn more.

 

About SFI

SFI’s mission is to advance sustainability through forest-focused collaboration. We are a sustainability leader through our work in standards, conservation, community, and education and positively influence diversity, equity, and inclusion in the forest sector. We believe that sustainable forests and communities are critical to our collective future and as an independent, non-profit organization, collaborate with our diverse network to provide solutions to local and global sustainability challenges. SFI works with the forest sector, brand owners, conservation groups, resource professionals, landowners, educators, local communities, Indigenous Peoples, governments, and universities. We leverage the collective strengths and efforts of our network while proactively creating space for all communities to meaningfully participate in the journey towards a sustainable future. Learn more at forests.org.

Additional Articles, Energy & Climate, Sustainable Business

Newday Impact Launches Ocean Health ETF

Newday Impact Launches Ocean Health ETF

Pledges 5% Donation to Non-Profit Working in Ocean Health. The ETF has over 80% of Portfolio Actively Involved in Protecting Ocean Resources

 

Newday Impact, a San Francisco-based asset management and financial technology company that brings authentic responsible investing to those seeking investments that reflect their values, recently launches the Newday Ocean Health ETF (NYSE: AHOY). The fund – Newday Impact’s first exchange traded fund and one of the few ETFs dedicated to protecting and restoring healthy marine ecosystems – builds on the company’s five years of impact investing and strong relationships with grassroots nonprofit organizations working to mitigate environmental damage to the world’s oceans.

The Newday Ocean Health ETF seeks long-term capital appreciation through investments in companies that are diverting ocean-bound plastic waste, supporting sustainable fisheries, controlling ocean acidification caused by CO2 emissions, and actively using other strategies to combat ocean pollution and other threats to marine health. The entire portfolio is also aligned with UN Sustainable Development Goals including zero hunger, clean water and sanitation, decent work and economic growth, responsible consumption and production, climate action, and life below water.

Through its ESG screening methodology and proprietary fundamental research models, the Newday Ocean Health ETF currently has over 80% of the companies that either has a direct or indirect connection to protecting and restoring healthy marine ecosystems and climate change.

Newday Impact has a policy to contribute a portion of revenues from its thematic portfolios to its nonprofit partners. The company will donate 5% of its net revenue of Ocean Health ETF to EarthEcho International, an environmental nonprofit organization established by Philippe and Alexandra Cousteau in honor of their father, Philippe Cousteau Sr., and their grandfather, legendary explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Newday Impact has partnered with Philippe Cousteau and EarthEcho International since 2021 to provide sustainability education to thousands of students and teachers who are part of the SIFMA Foundation’s National Stock Market Game. The EarthEcho team has also provided Newday Impact with important insights into ocean health and sustainability that the company uses in building its investment portfolios.

“Several sustainable investing ETFs are created by financial services companies that see marketing opportunities in the ESG space but include environmentally irresponsible companies to improve the fund’s performance,” said Doug Heske, CEO of Newday Impact. “Our Ocean Health ETF portfolio is 100% focused on companies with effective, legitimate green agendas, based on the knowledge and relationships we’ve built in our five years of impact investing. We believe that affecting positive change can also drive positive financial returns, and this fund is an opportunity for socially conscious investors to make a difference in both areas.”

“Ocean health is critical to the survival of the planet for reasons ranging from its role in absorbing CO2 and supplying oxygen to providing food for billions of people around the world, creating millions of jobs, and even supplying ingredients for life-saving medications,” said Philippe Cousteau of EarthEcho International*. “Newday Impact’s new ETF is an important step in helping fund companies that are investing in protecting the ocean ecosystem for future generations.”

The Newday Ocean Health ETF was developed in partnership with Toroso Investments and Tidal ETF Services.  For more information, visit newdayimpactetfs.com.

* Phillipe Cousteau may be indirectly compensated for this endorsement through Newday Impact’s donation to EarthEcho.

 

About Newday Impact

Newday Impact is a financial services company that provides authentic portfolios for socially responsible investors. Backed by insightful research and recognized community leaders, Newday Impact offers portfolios addressing the major ESG issues in the world. The company also supports its partners by donating 5% of net revenue to nonprofits focused on this transformational change. Newday Impact works with family offices, institutions, investment advisors, financial services platforms, and individual investors, who want both a return on investment and community impact. For more information about Newday Impact’s work and investment opportunities, email info@newdayinvesting.com or visit https://newdayimpact.com.

About Tidal ETF Services

Formed by ETF industry pioneers and thought leaders, Tidal ETF Services, LLC sets out to thoughtfully disrupt the way ETFs have historically been developed, launched, marketed, and sold. With a focus on helping ETF issuers, Tidal offers a comprehensive suite of services, proprietary tools, and methodologies designed to bring lasting ideas to market. We are advocates for ETF innovation on a mission to help issuers efficiently and effectively launch their ETFs and optimize their growth potential in a highly competitive space. Learn more at tidaletfservices.com.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Before investing you should carefully consider the Fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This and other information are in the prospectus. A prospectus may be obtained by calling 833-4UN-SDGS or 833-486-7347 or by visiting newdayimpactetfs.com.

Please read the prospectus carefully before you invest. 

Investing in ETFs involves risk including possible loss of principal.  The Fund is a recently organized management investment company with no operating history or track record to evaluate. The Fund’s portfolio composition is dependent on proprietary quantitative models and is subject to data risk. Any decisions made in reliance on the data could have a direct impact on the fund’s performance.

The Fund is non-diversified, which means that it may invest a greater percentage of its assets in the securities of a smaller number of issuers or sector than if it were a diversified fund.  This may increase the Fund’s volatility and cause the performance of a relatively smaller number of issuers to have a greater impact on the Fund’s performance.  The Fund’s investment strategy or emphasis on the Ocean Health sector and utilizing Environmental, Social and Governance criteria may limit the types and number of investment opportunities available to the Fund and it could underperform other funds that do not use this screening methodology.

The Fund may invest in American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) which has the risk that it may not provide a return that corresponds with an underlying foreign share.  Investments in foreign securities are subject to risks associated with adverse political and economic developments including economic sanctions.  Also, there may be less rigorous disclosure or accounting standards and regulatory practices which may cause more fund volatility.  Investing in small or mid-capitalization companies may be more vulnerable to adverse issuer, market, political, or economic developments than securities of large-capitalization companies. The securities of smaller companies generally trade in lower volumes and may be subject to greater and more unpredictable price changes.

The Fund is distributed by Foreside Fund Services, LLC.

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