Finance and SRI News

From Wall Street to SRI: Former Goldman Sachs Exec Invests in Triple Bottom Line

(3BL Media and Just Means) - When the bottom fell out of the economy in 2008 and Scott Sadler found himself without a job, he seized the opportunity to make a shift in his career; a change he would not have considered previously. Sadler had developed a solid career in finance and had worked at the VP level with Wachovia Bank and more recently, with Goldman Sachs.

Bringing Women into Africa’s Growth Story

(3BL Media and Just Means)- Yasmin Belo-Osagie and Afua Osei’s paths first crossed when they worked together at McKinsey & Company. But the idea to start a pitch competition and entrepreneurial training organization for women-owned, African companies was birthed a few years later during a women’s conference.

SE4All Report Shows Ways to Boost Sustainable Energy Finance by $120B Annually

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – The developing world faces challenges in raising finance for sustainable energy projects. Weaknesses in the regulatory frameworks, risk perceptions of investors, and a dearth of bankable projects limit the scope for investment in developing countries. Investors even in developed countries can face policy and regulatory challenges in financing sustainable energy.

New U.K. Rules To Help Bridge The Gender Pay Gap

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – The British Prime Minister, David Cameron has brought forward rules to make firms with more than 250 workers reveal whether they pay men more than women. This new legislation forces big companies to publish details of what they pay men and women, and is a big step forward in the fight to close the gender pay gap. 

Sustainalytics and Morningstar Partner to Launch First ESG Scores for Funds

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Investors are placing increasing importance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies and practices. Earlier this year, a Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing study showed that 71 percent of individual investors are keen on sustainable investing. The number of financial institutions that have signed the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) has gone up by 29 percent in one year.

SolarCity Launches Major Program For Small and Mid-sized Businesses

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Hillary Clinton has just rolled out her climate change plan, which would rapidly expand our use of renewables, tripling the number of installed solar panels to half a billion by the end of her first term. That’s certain an ambitious goal. In her statement she indicated her intention to rely heavily on tax credits to accomplish this. Whether or not that will be sufficient remains to be seen, but another announcement made yesterday by SolarCity, should certainly help.

The California-based company announced a new plan that would target small and medium sized businesses (SMB) as a huge untapped for solar energy systems. Focusing initially on owner-occupied businesses in California, the rollout contains a new pricing model that will allow these businesses to pay anywhere from 5-25% less for electricity than they currently pay, depending on usage and current cost, with no upfront charges. Twenty-year fixed rate financing will lock in savings, even if utility prices go up.

There are currently 28 million small and medium businesses in the US, which account for 99% of all businesses. It’s difficult to get a breakdown on what portion of energy use that amounts to, though this report from EERE suggests that this segment accounts for roughly 40% of all commercial building square footage (including government offices, but not malls). The report also highlights the substantial opportunities in energy efficiency while noting that California has been far more successful in reducing energy use than the rest of the country. This falls in line with the conventional wisdom that suggests that improving efficiency first, before installing renewables, is the more efficient path.

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