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G8 2013: Syria, tax and impact investment on the agenda



Leaders from eight of the most powerful nations in the world have begun two days of talks in Northern Ireland, where they will discuss such things as tax transparency and the Syrian conflict as part of the annual G8 summit.

The UK is hosting the Group of Eight (G8) meeting for the first time since 2005, with discussions being held at Lough Erne in County Fermanagh. The leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the US will also be in attendance.

In an exchange of letters with Pope Francis, David Cameron recently said he would “aim to help secure the growth and stability on which the prosperity and welfare of the whole world depends” through the event.

On the agenda will be negotiations over Syria, which Cameron and Russian president Vladimir Putin have disagreed on in the past. According to the Financial Times, during discussions between the two men on Sunday, Putin said Russia was “supplying arms to the legitimate government of Syria in line with international law”.

However, both are said to want to end conflict in the region.

Issues surrounding tax, trade and transparency, as well as social impact investing, are also on the table. The UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF), the sustainable investment industry’s trade body, has welcomed the inclusion of both topics, and urged leaders to make progress in encouraging long-term responsible investment.

It also called for better corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting by large companies.

Integrating long-term sustainability factors into companies’ business strategies could help increase the quality and flow of information which lets investors make the informed and long-term decisions vital for the global economy, environment and society”, said Simon Howard, UKSIF chief executive.

We hope that G8 leaders will return from the summit and strengthen their dialogue with the responsible investment community on how best to utilise key movements such as social impact investing to reshape capital markets for a more sustainable future.”

In the run-up to the G8 summit, Cameron has been vocal in promoting social impact investment. He said in a speech that it was “a great force for social change on the planet”. Meanwhile, last Friday, the Department for International Development (DFID) revealed two new measures to help promote impact investment in the UK.

Discussions around tax transparency come after a number of big brands were found to have paid very little corporation tax, despite making billions in revenue. The anti-poverty campaign group Enough Food for Everyone IF claimed last week that global hunger would be eradicated by 2025 if G8 leaders clamped down on tax avoidance. IF spokesperson Melanie Ward called on attendees “to [make] public and automatically [share] the information poor countries need to collect their missing billions.”

In her annual speech to parliament in May, the Queen said, “My government will use [its G8 presidency] to promote international security and prosperity”. However, a notable hole in the G8 summit agenda has been left by climate change – arguably one of the most prominent threats to international security and prosperity.

Friends of the Earth’s executive director Andy Atkins said, “G8 policies are not only failing to tackle major international crises like climate change, world hunger and the trashing of our natural resources; they often make them worse.

Proposals at this year’s summit would accelerate corporate control of the world’s food system and do little to end our fossil fuel addiction.

The world’s richest nations must stop pursuing economic growth at any cost and build economies that allow us all to live sustainably and equitably within the planet’s limited resources.”

Further reading:

Tackling tax avoidance could end world hunger, say IF campaigners

World governments commit billions to tackle malnutrition in poor countries

Cameron: ‘social investment can be a great force for social change on the planet’

Government lauds UK impact investment as part of solution to African hunger


How Going Green Can Save A Company Money



going green can save company money
Shutterstock Licensed Photot - By GOLFX

What is going green?

Going green means to live life in a way that is environmentally friendly for an entire population. It is the conservation of energy, water, and air. Going green means using products and resources that will not contaminate or pollute the air. It means being educated and well informed about the surroundings, and how to best protect them. It means recycling products that may not be biodegradable. Companies, as well as people, that adhere to going green can help to ensure a safer life for humanity.

The first step in going green

There are actually no step by step instructions for going green. The only requirement needed is making the decision to become environmentally conscious. It takes a caring attitude, and a willingness to make the change. It has been found that companies have improved their profit margins by going green. They have saved money on many of the frivolous things they they thought were a necessity. Besides saving money, companies are operating more efficiently than before going green. Companies have become aware of their ecological responsibility by pursuing the knowledge needed to make decisions that would change lifestyles and help sustain the earth’s natural resources for present and future generations.

Making needed changes within the company

After making the decision to go green, there are several things that can be changed in the workplace. A good place to start would be conserving energy used by electrical appliances. First, turning off the computer will save over the long run. Just letting it sleep still uses energy overnight. Turn off all other appliances like coffee maker, or anything that plugs in. Pull the socket from the outlet to stop unnecessary energy loss. Appliances continue to use electricity although they are switched off, and not unplugged. Get in the habit of turning off the lights whenever you leave a room. Change to fluorescent light bulbs, and lighting throughout the building. Have any leaks sealed on the premises to avoid the escape of heat or air.

Reducing the common paper waste

paper waste

Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By Yury Zap

Modern technologies and state of the art equipment, and tools have almost eliminated the use of paper in the office. Instead of sending out newsletters, brochures, written memos and reminders, you can now do all of these and more by technology while saving on the use of paper. Send out digital documents and emails to communicate with staff and other employees. By using this virtual bookkeeping technique, you will save a bundle on paper. When it is necessary to use paper for printing purposes or other services, choose the already recycled paper. It is smartly labeled and easy to find in any office supply store. It is called the Post Consumer Waste paper, or PCW paper. This will show that your company is dedicated to the preservation of natural resources. By using PCW paper, everyone helps to save the trees which provides and emits many important nutrients into the atmosphere.

Make money by spreading the word

Companies realize that consumers like to buy, or invest in whatever the latest trend may be. They also cater to companies that are doing great things for the quality of life of all people. People want to know that the companies that they cater to are doing their part for the environment and ecology. By going green, you can tell consumers of your experiences with helping them and communities be eco-friendly. This is a sound public relations technique to bring revenue to your brand. Boost the impact that your company makes on the environment. Go green, save and make money while essentially preserving what is normally taken for granted. The benefits of having a green company are enormous for consumers as well as the companies that engage in the process.

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Report: Green, Ethical and Socially Responsible Finance



“The level of influence that ethical considerations have over consumer selection of financial services products and services is minimal, however, this is beginning to change. Younger consumers are more willing to pay extra for products provided by socially responsible companies.” Jessica Morley, Mintel’s Financial Services Analyst.

Consumer awareness of the impact consumerism has on society and the planet is increasing. In addition, the link between doing good and feeling good has never been clearer. Just 19% of people claim to not participate in any socially responsible activities.

As a result, the level of attention that people pay to the green and ethical claims made by products and providers is also increasing, meaning that such considerations play a greater role in the purchasing decision making process.

However, this is less true in the context of financial services, where people are much more concerned about the performance of a product rather than green and ethical factors. This is not to say, however, that they are not interested in the behaviour of financial service providers or in gaining more information about how firms behave responsibly.

This report focuses on why these consumer attitudes towards financial services providers exist and how they are changing. This includes examination of the wider economy and the current structure of the financial services sector.

Mintel’s exclusive consumer research looks at consumer participation in socially responsible activities, trust in the behaviour of financial services companies and attitudes towards green, ethical and socially responsible financial services products and providers. The report also considers consumer attitudes towards the social responsibilities of financial services firms and the green, ethical and socially responsible nature of new entrants.

There are some elements missing from this report, such as conducting socially responsible finance with OTC trading. We will cover these other topics in more detail in the future. You can research about Ameritrade if you want to know more ..

By this report today: call: 0203 416 4502 | email: iainooson[at]

Report contents:

What you need to know
Report definition
The market
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
The consumer
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Competition from technology companies
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
What we think
Creating a more inclusive economy
The facts
The implications
Payments innovation helps fundraising go digital
The facts
The implications
The social debt of the financial crisis
The facts
The implications
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
An ethical economy
An ethical financial sector
Ethical financial services providers
The role of investing
The change potential of pensions
The role of trust
Greater transparency informs decisions
Learning from past mistakes
The role of innovation
Payments innovation: Improving financial inclusion
Competition from new entrants
The power of new money
The role of the consumer
Consumers empowered to make a change
Aligning products with self
For financial products, performance is more important than ethics
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Competition from technology companies
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
Overall trust levels are high
Payments innovation can boost charitable donations
Consumer engagement in socially responsible activities is high
Healthier finances make it easier to go green
37% unable to identify socially responsible companies
Building societies seen to be more responsible than banks….
….whilst short-term loan companies are at the bottom of the pile
Overall trust levels are high
Tax avoidance remains a major concern
The divestment movement
Nationwide significantly more trusted
Trust levels remain high
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Socially conscious consumers are more concerned
Strategy reports provide little insight for consumers
Lack of clarity regarding corporate culture causes concern
Consumers want more information
The social debt of the financial crisis
For consumers, financial services firms play larger economic role
Promoting financial responsibility
Consumer trust is built on evidence
The alternative opportunity
The target customer

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