This week on Blue & Green Tomorrow, financial adviser Richard Essex explained how sustainable investment has already changed the world.
We also discussed the role of negative screening – excluding ‘sin stocks’ like tobacco and weapons – in sustainable investment and heard from Marks & Spencer’s chief executive on investors’ interest in sustainability.
1. Tickets on sale for Blue & Green Tomorrow’s Sustainable September events
Blue & Green Tomorrow: Tickets for five events taking place during Sustainable September, Blue & Green Tomorrow’s month-long celebration of sustainability, have been released to the general public. Read more.
2. Smart cities don’t add complication, they allow society to thrive
Francesca Baker: I still have in my head the notion that sustainability means green, green means countryside, and countryside means something nostalgic – a remote unreality for most of us, other than at weekends when we might consider a break from the urban or suburban areas in which we live. Technology on the other hand means modern, urban, industrial, grey and future focused. Never shall these different hues meet. Read more.
3. How sustainable investment has already changed the world
Richard Essex: It’s fair to say that the vast majority of us do not want to harm our planet for our children and grandchildren. Yet the investment decisions we make today can have that impact. Read more.
4. £6.1m investment for Oxford firm that battles dengue fever with GM mosquitos
Tom Revell: A company that breeds genetically modified mosquitos to battle dengue fever has announced the completion of a £6.1m investment round. Read more.
5. British Medical Association divests from fossil fuels over fears for human health
Ilaria Bertini: The British Medical Association (BMA) has become the first body of its kind to divest from the fossil fuel firms responsible for worsening climate change – on the grounds that they pose great risks to human health. Read more.
6. Ecosystem services: if they are so important, why did no one notice them before?
Claire Wansbury and Veronica Lawrie: Ecosystem services – the things that the nature does for us for free, like pollination – are not disconnected from the economy. Read more.
7. Prince Charles calls for investors to be given disaster risk information
Charlotte Malone: A proper appreciation of risk is required to bring about sustainable development, Prince Charles has said, as he called on businesses to disclose natural disaster risks to investors. Read more.
8. M&S chief: some investors ‘highly engaged’ on sustainability but most are not
Alex Blackburne: The mainstream investment community does not see sustainability as a “priority”, according to the chief executive of leading sustainability-focused retailer Marks & Spencer. Read more.
9. Ethical investment: using negative screens to avoid ‘sin stocks’ is a thing of the past
Regina Schwegler and Judith Reutimann: Negative screening is limited when it comes to reflecting complex but relevant sustainability aspects of a portfolio and to fully reflect investor values. For these reasons, investors have to overcome the possible temptation of using it as a half-baked solution. Read more.
10. Syngenta seeks exemption to use banned bee-harmful pesticide
Ilaria Bertini: Chemicals giant Syngenta has applied for an “emergency” exemption to use a banned neonicotinoid pesticide on oilseed rape in the UK, a day after a panel of international scientists said that the harm done by the chemicals on wildlife and food was undeniable. Read more.
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