by Suzanna Buck, Senior Impact Investment Associate at Domini Impact Investments (named to the 30 Under 30 list at The SRI Conference in Nov 2019)
I might be the only ecologist on Wall Street, but I don’t mind. It’s exactly where I want to be: after a winding journey through field research, advocacy, and legal work, I believe changing the financial system may be the most effective solution to climate change.
According to US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investing, Socially Responsible Investing (“SRI”) has reached the $12 trillion asset mark. Unfortunately, the vast majority — 97 percent, to be precise — comprises investments in the traditional capital markets in which decisions are made using Environmental, Social, or Governance (“ESG”) criteria. While I applaud people adding ESG screens to their portfolio, it is imperative that we find ways to support direct, community-level investments.
by Debra Schwartz Managing Director, MacArthur Foundation
Often, the most compelling impact investments are made, not found.
I have used that phrase over the years to describe how foundations and other impact-focused investors use “catalytic capital” to support social and environmental progress. These patient, flexible, “catalytic” investments are able to take on more risk and/or accept a lower return than commercial capital in order to finance gains that would not otherwise be possible.
by Annie McShiras, Investment Associate, Self-Help Federal Credit Union
Impact investing has emerged as a major force in philanthropy. Last year the Global Impact Investing Network conducted a survey showing that the estimated value of the impact investing sector doubled between 2017 and 2018, increasing from $114 Billion to $228 Billion in assets under management. The rise of impact investing signals a shift from a “do-no-harm” approach to a demand for investments that actively produce measurable positive social and environmental outcomes.