Each week, we compile and summarize the top articles on corporate social impact, impact investing, and conscious capitalism from around the world, and deliver it to your inbox every Saturday morning for you to enjoy and digest.
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A CLOSER LOOK AT IMPACT INVESTING
With the fraying contract between society and business an urgent priority, many companies and banks are eager to find investments that generate business and social returns. One avenue is “impact investing,” directing capital to enterprises that generate social or environmental benefits—in projects from affordable housing to sustainable timberland and eye-care clinics—that traditional business models often sidestep.
Mainstream investors often fear to tread on this terrain, leaving the field to adventurous venture capitalists and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) who act as “first institutional investors.” Our research in India—a testbed of new impact-investment ideas, where some 50 investors have poured $5.2 billion into projects since 2010 and investment is growing at a 14 percent annual clip—presents a different perspective.
OPINION: IF BUSINESS WANTS A SOCIAL CAUSE, HOW ABOUT GLOBALISM?
If corporate leaders are to increase their involvement in political debates, they shouldn’t let their agenda be determined by the day’s headlines. Instead, they should focus on the values, policies and institutions that create long-term security and well-being. Strong American leadership, an embrace of free trade and globalism, openness to immigration, a commitment to democracy, and strengthening international institutions have helped create seven decades of prosperity in the developed world. Though the postwar system is not championed by the Trump administration and many European leaders, it is necessary to ensure prosperity in the future. For this reason, its promotion is in the interest of the business community. Because over the long run, what’s good for business is good for us all.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND TYSON'S MEATY NEW SUSTAINABILITY AGENDA
Former McKinsey consultant Justin Whitmore was on the job as the first chief sustainability officer of Tyson Foods just one month when he disclosed his team’s intention to set science-based targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and to embrace "outcome-based" water conservation goals across the company’s operations and supply chain. It tapped World Resources Institute to assist with that process. "Sustainability is about thriving today and doing the right thing to thrive tomorrow," Whitmore said, announcing the partnership. "We’re collaborating with WRI on aggressive and attainable goals rooted in science. These will give us the opportunity to reduce our environmental impact over time so we can benefit now, and other generations will benefit in the future." Last week, Tyson partially delivered on that promise with an ambitious commitment to trim North American emissions by 30 percent by 2030. The company also launched a new Innovation Lab in Chicago. Its first project: researching ways to reduce food waste by using meat scraps that are usually discarded in production as part of a new snack line, Yappah.
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