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EU vote on non-financial reporting ‘historic’ for sustainable investment

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The European parliament has voted through new legislation that requires large companies to disclose non-financial information. The changes have been described as “landmark”, making corporate information more transparent and assisting sustainable investors.

The new law means that large companies will have to include environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters in their annual report and accounts. The legislation represents the first time this information will be explicitly required. The parliament said the changes would contribute to long-term economic growth.

The issues businesses will be required to cover include human rights, corruption, bribery, environmental impacts, social and employee issues and diversity on boards. The companies affected by the legislation will also have to include issues within their supply chains.

Currently, fewer than 10% of the largest EU companies disclose ESG information regularly, which can make it difficult for investors to assess a company’s sustainability.

The European parliament noted that investors were increasingly interested in non-financial information in order to have a comprehensive understanding of a company’s performance and impact, and the changes seek to address this demand.

Raffaele Baldassarre, an Italian MEP, said, “The demand by investors and civil society for greater transparency and accountability of undertakings is growing.

“The new rules will enable forward-looking business leaders to address this demand and to fully make use of the huge potential of corporate social responsibility in order to increase their competitiveness while contributing to smart and sustainable growth in Europe.”

The legislation is expected to be formally approved by the council later this month and come into force in 2017.

The European Sustainable and Responsible Investment Forum (Eurosif) has welcomed the changes, saying it sends a clear message to companies that non-financial information can be material to competiveness and performance.

Francois Passant, executive director of Eurosif, commented, “Having harmonised European regulation regarding non-financial information disclosure has been a longstanding request of the sustainable and responsible investment community. [The] vote by the European parliament is historic in that respect.”

However, the organisation added that it was “disappointed” that the text of the legislation had been “significantly weakened” during negotiations. Eurosif said it regretted that it now does not prescribe key performance indicators, which would allow investors to compare companies more easily.

It also notes that the 6,000 companies the legislation covers is significantly less that the 18,000 listed and non-listed companies that the original proposal intended to cover.

British Labour MEP Richard Howitt, who is also the European parliament rapporteur on corporate social responsibility, first proposed the change in a report in 1999.

Howitt commented, “All the evidence suggests that transparency is the best way to change business behaviour. This European law will prevent corporate scandals and make a leap in the transition towards a sustainable, low-carbon economy for the future.

“By exempting small business but requiring the report to apply to the company’s supply chain, the new law has the best chance of being genuinely implemented to prevent corporate abuse of workers’ rights at home and broad”

He added that the new law could prevent tragedies such as the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh last year. Over 1,000 factory workers died in the accident, which raised serious questions about health and safety. A number of high street brands, including Primark, Matalan and Walmart, were found to have products manufactured there.

Photo: hisks via Freeimages

Further reading:

EY survey: majority of institutional investors considering sustainability

Large firms in Europe must report non-financial information, say investors

90% of investors say CSR and sustainability reports are ‘essential’

Mandatory corporate responsibility reporting favoured in poll

73% of advice firms fail to clearly show cost of advice

Energy

Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis

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Energy Investments
Shutterstock / By Sergey Nivens | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/nivens

Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.

Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long will my retirement savings last?”

Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.

Tip #1: Focus & Determination

Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.

Tip #2: Minimize Spending

One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!

Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal

You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.

Investing in Clean Energy

One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.

With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.

The Future of Green Biz

As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.

Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.

In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!

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Invest

How to make a sustainable living out of Forex Trading?

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sustainable forex trading
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Robert Kneschke | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/robertkneschke

There are two different types of forex trading in general: the profitable one and the not so profitable one. Everyone wants good profits at the end of the day, but unfortunately a good number of traders are burdened with the huge losses at the end of their forex careers. Many newbies run the other way around when they hear about forex trading due to heavy losses in their initial period. Of course, you would have heard about all those success stories, in your friends’ circle or on the internet. However, if you are looking forward to replicate those success stories, you need get yourself ready before that.

In this article, we will discuss the six essential skills that are needed to earn some profits from trading foreign currencies and make a sustainable living out of it.

1. Limit your risk ceiling

When you start with forex, you should try to define limits. Try to create a balanced scorecard that defines your personality with regards to various parameters such as your strengths, weaknesses, behaviors, and ability to take risks. It is essential that you list your financial goals before you start with forex trading.

2. Learn about leverage ratio and account type

When you start, brokers will suggest different forex trading accounts that might take you for a whirl if you aren’t prepared. Each forex trading account has its own pros and cons. It is essential that you engage with your broker to create a mini trading account so that you will be able to warm up on your forex trading skills in a low risk environment.

3. Start small

While starting out, some investors rush to have multiple currency pairs without doing proper research on them beforehand. It is very important have you understand the nature and volatility of a currency before you start trading a pair. Every single foreign currency is like a market onto itself. It is therefore important that you take the time to study about the country before forming pairs to understand the volatility of the currency. By using forex trading platforms such as ETX Capital, you can take informed decisions easily.

4. Learn to control emotions

A forex trader should never take any decisions on the spur of the moment based on emotions and should be as rational as he can. Controlling your impulses is the key to becoming a great forex trader.

5. Automate your processes

I am not suggesting you to rely completely on forex robots and trade copiers, but make use of the latest automation tech to execute transactions faster than ever before. Make use of automation features such as stop loss, price options etc. to make the most out of the exciting opportunities.

6. Keep it simple.

Not everyone can be a genius economist, mathematician and a trader, bundled into one. Forex trading is not a complex subject, you only need to arm yourself with positive thinking, and set yourself clear and realistic goals.

Conclusion

I hope this article was useful for you to learn about the key reasons why online forex trading is a good investment and how you can earn money through it. If you have any doubts with regards to this, let us know through the comments and we will be glad to help you out. If you have any suggestions regarding how we can improve the article, let us know them through the comments as well for us to improve.

Though it’s a reliable source of income, you will have to educate yourself properly before you start investing. It is important that you take the time to understand why things are the way they are before you jump all in and start making your first big bucks. All the best for your future ventures and keep coming for more interesting and useful articles.

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