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Economy

UK’s founding B Corporations: EQ Investors

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EQ investors (EQ) provides financial advice and investment management services to individuals, small businesses and charitable endowments. The company was acquired by John Spiers, the founder of Bestinvest in October 2014. Based in the City of London, EQ’s three-dimensional investment approach checks attitudes towards impact as well as appetite for risk and return. Making a positive contribution to the wider community and helping people less fortunate than ourselves is a core part of their business philosophy.

Describe, in layman’s terms, what your company does in 75 words or less

EQ Investors (EQ) is a boutique wealth manager acting for private clients, small companies and charities all around the UK. We provide financial advice and investment management services to clients ranging from those savings £500 per month to those with over £10 million invested. We seek excellence in all that we do, placing the interests of clients ahead of all other considerations. Visit our website: www.eqinvestors.co.uk for further information.

In 140-characters or less what does being a B Corporation mean for your organisation?

We are honoured to be one of the UK’s founding B Corps and would encourage CEO’s of all businesses to consider taking the certification.

What were the biggest internal barriers to achieving B Corp accreditation?

Thankfully we didn’t encounter any major issues, a fully supportive CEO certainly helped! As all B Corps do, we went through our policies on employment, dealing with suppliers and impact on the environment to make sure these met the accreditation requirements.  We have been providing our positive impact portfolios since 2012 for clients who care about how and where their money is invested and this helped hugely in terms of scoring well in the assessment.

Will it change how you do business and/or who you do business with?

Making a positive contribution to the wider community and helping people less fortunate than ourselves is a core part of our business philosophy. We are certainly looking to work with the B Corp community. We have already hosted in partnership with ClearlySo (a fellow founding B Corp) an impact investing roundtable for B Corp members and promoted a group discount offer to B Corps for our newly launched investment advice service – Simply EQ.

There are 3,571,105 companies in the UK and 61 B Corps – how do we reach the point where every company in the UK is B Corp-ready?

The legal framework that allows people to form community interest companies has existed since 2005. It’s a matter of demonstrating that running a business in a sustainable manner and making profits are not mutually exclusive.

We need to get to the stage that there are enough B Corps listed on stock exchanges that their performance can be compared with competitors that are not prepared to sign up to trying to do things ‘the right way’.

Is corporate action commensurate with the environmental and social challenges we face, and responsibilities we have, as a one the world’s leading economies?

Absolutely and the burgeoning number of B Corps – is testimony to a growing feeling that change is needed and is on the way. The rise of impact investing in recent years is a sign that companies are keen to address some of the most pressing global issues. .

Any other comments?

Improving impact and meeting the highest standards of corporate purpose, accountability and transparency, helps B Corps build the most important asset: trust. If companies are interested in becoming a B Corp, a good first step is assessing their performance against dozens of best practices by using the free online impact assessment tool.

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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