The Impact Economy Brief | 30 August

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:

“Stranded assets”

Editor’s Pick

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

The Statement Of Purpose And What You Need To Do. Bob Eccles, Visiting Professor of Management Practice at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, writes for Forbes about a joint “Statement of Purpose” initiative by Saïd Business School, Hermes EOS, Berkeley Law School, and others.

Impact Business

In a move away from Shareholder Primacy, the Business Roundtable redefines the purpose of a corporation in a new statement signed by 181 CEOs, committing to leading their companies for the benefit of all stakeholders: customers, employees, suppliers, communities and shareholders (press release).The New York Times provides commentary.

Don’t believe the Business Roundtable has changed until its CEOs’ actions match their words. Co-founders of the B Corp movement, Jay Coen Gilbert, Andrew Kassoy and Bart Houlahan, write for Fast Company in response to the Business Roundtable’s new statement. And, in The New York Times, 33 B Corp CEOs also responded to the Business Roundtable with the message ‘Let’s Get to Work’.

Blog – How the UK Ad Industry is Acting on Climate Change. Jonathan Wise, Co-Founder of The Comms Lab, describes the development of the Purpose Disruptors Network and the success of its recent Climate Crisis Summit, which brought together professionals from the advertising industry who want to use their skills to help solve climate change.  

The Money Trees: The role of corporate action in the fight against deforestation. CDP has published analysis of the 2018 reporting by 306 ‘high impact forests risk’ companies via its disclosure programme, looking at corporate awareness of deforestation risk and actions to remove deforestation from supply chains. 

Co-op Economy 2019. The membership body Co-operatives UK has published a report analysing the co-operatives movement across the UK, providing data on aspects including turnover, membership and employee figures. The publication was featured in The Guardian.

Impact Investment

For impact investors to kickstart a low-carbon future, they have to up their game. Ashden CEO Harriet Lamb writes for Ethical Corporation about how investment is not reaching green innovators, and how the impact investing market could further develop to change this. 

Podcast – Andy Kuper: impact investing pioneer, through empathy and inclusion. Good Future interviews the founder and CEO of Leapfrog Investments about his path to impact investing, Leapfrog’s record-breaking fund, and building business with purpose.

How a big French bank helped London tenants get back to work. The Guardian reports on the successful outcome of a loan from BNP Paribas to L&Q housing association, where the margin of the loan was tied to helping unemployed residents back into work. 

UK firm BBOXX, which creates turnkey solar systems to improve access to energy across the developing world, closed a $50 million series D funding round led by Mitsubishi.

A longer read – Research and consulting firm Ecorys has completed the first independent evaluation report of DfID’s Development Impact Bonds (DIBs) Pilot Programme, intended to aid understanding of how and when DIBs can enable effective DfID programme delivery. Ecorys Associate Director, James Ronicle, blogs for the Government Outcomes Labon the findings and recommendations.  

Legal and Regulatory

Transparency in supply chains. The Government has extended the deadline for responses to its consultation on the reporting requirements under section 54 (Transparency in Supply Chains) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015; the new deadline is 17 September 2019.

Blog – Gender pay gap reporting: no excuses. Rebecca Hilsenrath, Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, considers compliance rates and enforcement for 2019.

Internal carbon pricing (ICP) for low-carbon finance is a briefing paper from CDP, Navigant and Generation Foundation, intended to help investors and banks use ICP, in order to identify carbon risks and opportunities to shift capital to low-carbon investment and lending, and increase resilience in a low-carbon transition.  

Climate-related Financial Disclosures: Examples of Leading Practices in TCFD Reporting by Financial Firms. The Institute of International Finance has published a report aiming to provide insight on current “leading practices” among financial firms in implementing TCFD recommendations, providing a snapshot of “what good disclosure looks like”.

Recommendations for SDG disclosures: A consultation paper. Acknowledging the role accountants play in the provision of information for decision making, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland have published for consultation a proposed Framework for SDG Disclosures, to support the identification of risks and opportunities and the communication of impact. The consultation closes on 31 October 2019.


If you’d like to speak to us about our work in the Impact Economy, please get in touch.

If you’d like to speak to us about the Brief, please contact our editor, Phillippa Holland.

Sign up to the Brief

If you’d like to sign up for our Impact Economy Brief or any of our other mailings, please click on this link.

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 August 30, 2019.