The Impact Economy Brief | 19 July


Impact Economy

Welcome to the latest edition of Bates Wells’ Impact Economy Brief.

Our fortnightly ‘Brief’ is intended to be a helpful reference point and resource for our network, providing an overview of activity in the Impact Economy. You won’t be surprised to see that we’ve taken a particular interest in legal and regulatory developments.  

We hope you find the Brief to be a valuable digest of the things you need to know, and invite you to tell us what you’d like to read more about.

Talk the Talk

As the language of the Impact Economy develops, we’ll add relevant terminology to our Impact Economy Glossary, to help share a common understanding. This week’s jargon is:

Gender lens investing”

Editor’s Pick

If you only have 5 minutes of quiet this week, we recommend…

Mind the Gap! Five ways to accelerate investing for impact. Sumerian Foundation co-founder Chris West considers the mismatch between the supply of impact investment and the needs of social purpose organisations (from the EVPA/Pioneers Post Impact Papers series).

Impact Business

Decoupling Debunked: Evidence and arguments against green growth as a sole strategy for sustainability is a new report from the European Environmental Bureau, looking at whether decoupling environmental harm from economic growth, to pursue “green growth”, is working.  

UK credibility on climate change rests on Government action over next 18 months. The Committee on Climate Change, which provides independent advice to government on building a low-carbon economy, has published two new reports on reducing emissions and preparing for climate change impacts, finding that the UK is falling significantly short of targets and calling for action.    

Over 20 agencies abstain from fossil fuel briefs in support of Extinction Rebellion. The Drum reports that more than 20 environmentally-conscious agencies from across the marketing, advertising and communications industry have pledged to the Creative Climate Disclosure, to avoid fossil fuel-related work and disclose ‘climate conflicts’ by revenue percentage.

Co-op to halve emissions with 1.5C science-based target. Edie reports on Co-op joining a growing number of businesses committed to aligning their emissions reduction strategies with the highest ambitions of the Paris Agreement.

Podcast – Is Corporate Sustainability Broken? From the Network for Business Sustainability, the founder of the Toronto Sustainability Speaker Series and a professor at the Ross School of Business discuss whether corporate sustainability activity is “a small fix from within a broken system”, and the role of companies in saving the planet.

Brands taking a political stand: Why authenticity is key. Corporate Citizenship provides a US perspective on brands that have, and haven’t, taken stances on key social issues, and considers when this can be effective in connecting with customers.

Impact Investment

The final report of the Implementation Taskforce on ‘Growing a culture of social impact investing in the UK’ has been published, detailing progress made in implementing the recommendations of the Advisory Group’s 2017 report.

The data shows a trend towards smaller social investment deals. Seb Elsworth, Chief Executive of Access, writes in Third Sector about key developments in the social investment sector, including the increase in blended finance and small investments.

Webinar – Investors and the Blue Economy: Turning the risk of system collapse into an investible opportunity. Sign-up to Bright Talk to watch this webinar from Responsible Investor: a panel discussion (WWF, NatureVest, Rockefeller Capital Management, UN EFI and Crystol Energy) on the need for more investment in SDG 14 (oceans and marine resources) and the opportunities this creates.

GIST has published the FT Investing for Global Impact 2019 report, presenting the results of a survey of 410 participants from 56 countries, representing a total wealth of $124.7bn, which is described as the largest global study of philanthropy and impact investing amongst individuals, family offices and foundations. Philanthropy Impact provides commentary on the findings.

Podcast – How to Save the World: Green Bonds and Central Bank Regulation. The Bank of England’s Michael Sheren discusses how financial markets can be incentivised to fund sustainable infrastructure.

Legal and Regulatory

The Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies has published its annual report for financial year 2018/2019, focusing on the environmental contribution of CICs and providing case studies and quantitative data.  

The Government has published its response to the Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, and announced the creation of a new modern slavery research centre.

Global trends in climate change litigation: 2019 snapshot is a new report from the Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at LSE, finding that the trend of climate change litigation is growing beyond the US and that, whilst most defendants are governments, lawsuits are increasingly targeting the highest greenhouse-gas-emitting companies, with claims being pursued by investors, activist shareholders, cities and states.

EU Council and Parliament publish response to proposed regulation on crowdfunding platforms. The proposed regulation on European crowdfunding service providers sets out a new regulatory framework for the operation of these platforms (press release).

The European Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance has published a call for feedback on the EU Taxonomy, via an online questionnaire; the call closes on COB 13 September.

Disclaimer – The information contained in this briefing is not intended to be a comprehensive update – it is our selection of third party reports, news, podcasts and other materials, as well as some content produced by Bates Wells where indicated as such, which we think will be of interest to those working in the Impact Economy. This content is necessarily of a general nature; it does not constitute advice, and specific advice should always be sought for specific situations.

This information is necessarily of a general nature and doesn’t constitute legal advice. This is not a substitute for formal legal advice, given in the context of full information under an engagement with Bates Wells.

All content on this page is correct as of July 19, 2019.