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:
If you only have 5 minutes of quiet this week, we recommend…
Five ways your business can take climate action. A blog from B Lab UK on how several UK B Corps have reduced their environmental footprint, giving tangible examples of actions taken.
London named as top city in Europe for developing tech for social good by the European Digital Social Innovation Index (EDSII), an interactive map that ranks 60 European cities on 32 factors important for ‘digital social innovation’ and tech-for-good to thrive.
Podcast – Conduit Conversations interviews Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales about the role of Wikipedia in an age of fake news, the ethics of social media platforms and how to ensure that technology is a force for good.
B Lab has launched a new guide: How to Declare a Climate Emergency – A playbook for business by B Lab UK. A short blog from B Lab UK accompanies the launch.
DfID has published the first Voluntary National Review of the Sustainable Development Goals, tracking the UK’s progress towards the Goals.
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development has published a CEO Guide to Human Rights, in which 35 top company executives call to raise the bar on human rights performance, highlighting drivers for action beyond compliance.
The government’s Green Finance Strategy – Transforming Finance for a Greener Future has been published, coinciding with the opening of the UK’s Green Finance Institute. John Glen MP spoke about the publication of the Strategy at this years’ Green Finance Summit.
The Gathering: Conference Report 2019. A report from Pioneers Post following this year’s conference, on the current state of the social investment industry – view individual articles or download as one report.
Everything and therefore nothing: why we must reject the ‘impact’ investors adding nothing new. The founder of Italy’s first impact fund considers the ways we define the approach of impact investors, and how this can help preserve the integrity of impact investment (part of the ‘Impact Papers’ series, by EVPA and Pioneers Post).
The 2019 Annual Impact Investor Survey published by GIIN provides insights on impact investors’ motivations and activities, and perspectives on market progress and challenges.
As part of its work on sustainable finance, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a questionnaire to gather evidence on potential short-term pressures on corporations stemming from the financial sector.
Legal and Regulatory
UK becomes first major economy to pass net zero emissions law, committing us to reducing our net carbon account for 2050 to at least 100% lower than the 1990 baseline; see the statutory instrument for more detail.
A longer read – The European Commission’s Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (TEG) has published its:
- technical report on the EU ‘Taxonomy’ of environmentally sustainable economic activities, and a user guide;
- report on the EU green bond standard, recommending clear and comparable criteria for issuing green bonds, to help investors to scale up green investment; and
- interim report on EU climate benchmarks and benchmarks’ ESG disclosures, providing technical requirements for indices to guide climate-conscious investors and setting out ESG disclosure requirements for benchmark providers.
The European Commission has published new supplementary guidelines on reporting climate-related information, to help the financial sector play its role in the transition to a carbon-neutral economy. Although intended for use by companies subject to the Non-Financial Reporting Directive, the guidelines can be used more widely.
On 11 June 2019 a Commission Delegated Regulation came into force that amends the European Regulation on European Social Entrepreneurship Funds (EUSEFs) (2013). The amendments affect conflicts of interest that EUSEF managers must manage, impact measurement processes in relation to EUSEF investees, and minimum information to be provided to EUSEF investors.
The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association launched its new ESG and Stewardship: A Practical Guide to Trustee Duties, to help pension trustees meaningfully consider, design and implement ESG and stewardship approaches. Press release.
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 5, 2019.