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Hogan Lovells & Big Society Capital: ‘Golden Shares’ A Solution To Protecting Social Mission



Hogan Lovells and Big Society Capital have today launched a report, ‘Going for Gold: How golden shares can help lock in mission for social enterprises’, which outlines how a social enterprise business can preserve its mission as it grows and raises further investment.

Commenting on the launch of the report, Amanda Onions, Counsel, Hogan Lovells said: “Increasingly, it’s not just Government but business that is embedding a sense of mission to their organizations. Many new entrepreneurs and investors alike are also being driven to improve society, not just make a profit.

“The use of golden shares in social enterprise is relatively new but, used effectively, it can differentiate a company of any size from its purely commercial peers and ensure that its social mission is protected – for the benefit of owners, investors and wider stakeholders.”

Granting a golden shareholder the right of veto and control over the mission statement, which an enterprise is founded upon, makes it possible to ensure that the guardianship always remains in the hands of an organization where social impact, and not profit, is the primary focus.

Amanda Onions added: “The key question is not just what mission an organization has but how it is protected for the long term. Changes in stakeholders over time can result in a shift in attitude towards the interplay between profit and impact. Protecting the mission means that the impact can be preserved. These fundamental issues are essentially the same whether you are a start-up or FTSE100.”

“Impact investors are attracted to this clear sense of mission and, above all, how this is protected over the longevity of a business.

“Equally, consumers and employees are increasingly interested in the attitudes of companies and how those ideals are upheld.”

According to the Deloitte Millennials Report in 2013, 50% of young people wanted to work for a business with ethical practices – meaning that 50% of the very best of young talent will hold those ideals.

Simon Rowell, Strategy & Market Development Director, Big Society Capital, said: “The golden share is a robust and practical tool to help social enterprises traverse the delicate route between increasing their reach and staying true to their founding social goals. Tried and tested by Government, social enterprises can apply this legal innovation to manage the difficult decisions that come with change and growth.

“Better still, it’s a tool that social investors can look to build confidence that their investment will keep on delivering social impact in the long-term. Further development is needed. I encourage social enterprises and investors to collaborate to see where golden shares can help them align towards improving society.”

According to data, approximately 8% (100,000 businesses) of the UK’s SME employers are impact focused while distributing profits (profit-with-purpose business). There are anticipated to be a similar number of asset and profit locked businesses. Attracting the necessary capital to achieve change, while remaining true to its social mission is a key balance which the report, ‘Going for Gold’, finds.

Commenting on the use of golden shares, Shantelle Rochester-Henry, CEO, London Film Studios, said: “One of the biggest challenges that an impact business faces is to be open to equity investors while maintaining its social mission. There is a perception that it is dirty to think about revenue generation if you run a social enterprise. However, without revenue a business simply won’t survive and, ultimately, will fail to deliver on its purpose.”

Shantelle continued: “The use of golden shares for London Film Studios has not only ensured we stay true to our mission, but it has also provided us with a clear investment structure that benefits all our stakeholders and gives our investors and grant financiers the security that, as a business, we won’t change our model. It doesn’t have to be a choice between making profit and improving society so I urge all impact focused businesses to get on board with enshrining a golden share into their organization.”


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




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



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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