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Sustainable Development Goals Index Receives Exclusive BNP Paribas Licensing

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BNP Paribas Invest €7.7bn In Socially Responsable Projects

An announcement today sees BNP Paribas Corporate and Institutional Banking licensing the Solactive Sustainable Development Goals World Index – an all new index enabling investors in gaining exposure to companies which have been identified as making a significant contribution to the advancement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The United Nations’ SDGs are a set of 17 goals established to guide international cooperation to achieve sustainable development, end poverty and tackle climate change. They were adopted by UN member countries in September 2015 and require active participation from governments, corporations and investors.

The index consists of 50 global companies which have a clear, positive net impact on sustainable development. Eligibility for inclusion is based on Vigeo Eiris’ Equitics© methodology which maps the SDGs against the companies’ products, services and behaviours. Companies for whom sustainable products such as renewable energy or essential medicines represent a significant proportion of activity are eligible. Each company is rated with regards to their impact on people and the planet, and their business practices. For each sector, the leader is included. A further three levels of filtering are embedded into the process: a carbon footprint exclusion filter is applied based on the companies’ carbon emissions and energy transition strategies. Companies with major involvement in disputed activities such as nuclear, tobacco or firearms are also left out, as well as companies involved in critical controversies such as human rights violations. Solactive, the index provider, then applies volatility and diversification filters to reach the final composition.

 

The 2030 agenda for sustainable development is a transformative global framework for people, the planet and prosperity, and applies to each and every one of us over the next 15 years.

 

Neven Graillat, head of sustainable investment solutions, BNP Paribas Global Markets, said:

“The 2030 agenda for sustainable development is a transformative global framework for people, the planet and prosperity, and applies to each and every one of us over the next 15 years. Financial markets must support commercial innovations to deliver on the SDGs, and we believe that investors and corporations have a major role to play. This is the idea behind the Goal 17 Partnership for the Goals. Sustainability is at the core of BNP Paribas’ strategy – we want to deliver long term solutions for our clients and do business which has a positive impact on society and the environment. So we are pleased to have licensed this unique set of indices which will enable investors to allocate their capital towards companies that are leading the way in terms of advancing the UN’s SDGs.”

Henning Kahre, head of research at Solactive AG, said:

“We at Solactive see increasing demand for indices offering ESG compliant access to markets as a result of long-term initiatives such as UN’s SDGs. For the Solactive Sustainable Development Goals Index suite we combine our expertise in ESG focused index design with strong and experienced partners in the space, on the ESG research as well as on the product side. Furthermore, this new index series adds a Smart Beta layer on top of the initial universe of stocks, combining two of the most relevant themes in the indexing industry these days.”

Michael Notat, head of Global Markets at Vigeo Eiris, said:

“This new SDGs index is a great means to invest in long term value creation through a precise selection of companies based on their business behavior, the nature of their activities with regard to SDGs and their carbon strategy. It brings together a set of companies that are committing not only to sustainable growth in their products and services but as well in their way of doing business.”

The index is designed to fit the needs of a range of investors from retail to institutional in several regions including the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. A second set of European indices is also available.

BNP Paribas is one of the largest underwriters of sustainable investment globally. In total, BNP Paribas has lead managed more than EUR 12bn in green bonds including more than EUR 1bn in equity-linked (converted as at 31 August 2016 exchange rates). It also launched the World Bank’s first equity-index linked green bond in 2014 and has launched or licensed 12 ethical equity indices since 2013. To date, the bank has financed or advised on more than EUR 7.2bn in renewable energy projects across the globe. Last November, BNP Paribas committed to more than doubling the amount of capital it allocates to renewable energy to EUR 15bn by 2020.

 

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Ways Green Preppers Are Trying to Protect their Privacy

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Environmental activists are not given the admiration that they deserve. A recent poll by Gallup found that a whopping 32% of Americans still doubt the existence of global warming. The government’s attitude is even worse.

Many global warming activists and green preppers have raised the alarm bell on climate change over the past few years. Government officials have taken notice and begun tracking their activity online. Even former National Guard officers have admitted that green preppers and climate activists are being targeted for terrorist watchlists.

Of course, the extent of their surveillance depends on the context of activism. People that make benign claims about climate change are unlikely to end up on a watchlist, although it is possible if they make allusions to their disdain of the government. However, even the most pacifistic and well intentioned environmental activists may unwittingly trigger some algorithm and be on the wrong side of a criminal investigation.

How could something like this happen? Here are some possibilities:

  • They could share a post on social media from a climate extremist group or another individual on the climate watchlist.
  • They could overly politicize their social media content, such as being highly critical of the president.
  • They could use figures of speech that may be misinterpreted as threats.
  • They might praise the goals of a climate change extremist organization that as previously resorted to violence, even if they don’t condone the actual means.

Preppers and environmental activists must do everything in their power to protect their privacy. Failing to do so could cost them their reputation, future career opportunities or even their freedom. Here are some ways that they are contacting themselves.

Living Off the Grid and Only Venturing to Civilization for Online Use

The more digital footprints you leave behind, the greater attention you draw. People that hold controversial views on environmentalism or doomsday prepping must minimize their digital paper trail.

Living off the grid is probably the best way to protect your privacy. You can make occasional trips to town to use the Wi-Fi and stock up on supplies.

Know the Surveillance Policies of Public Wi-Fi Providers

Using Wi-Fi away from your home can be a good way to protect your privacy.However, choosing the right public Wi-Fi providers is going to be very important.

Keep in mind that some corporate coffee shops such a Starbucks can store tapes for up to 60 days. Mom and pop businesses don’t have the technology nor the interest to store them that long. They generally store tips for only 24 hours and delete them afterwards. This gives you a good window of opportunity to post your thoughts on climate change without being detected.

Always use a VPN with a No Logging Policy

Using a VPN is one of the best ways to protect your online privacy. However, some of these providers do a much better job than others. What is a VPN and what should you look for when choosing one? Here are some things to look for when making a selection:

  • Make sure they are based in a country that has strict laws on protecting user privacy. VPNs that are based out of Switzerland, Panama for the British Virgin Islands are always good bets.
  • Look for VPN that has a strict no logging policy. Some VPNs will actually track the websites that you visit, which almost entirely defeats the purpose. Most obviously much better than this, but many also track Your connections and logging data. You want to use a VPN that doesn’t keep any logs at all.
  • Try to choose a VPN that has an Internet kill switch. This means that all content will stop serving if your VPN connection drops, which prevents your personal data from leaking out of the VPN tunnel.

You will be much safer if you use a high-quality VPN consistently, especially if you have controversial views on climate related issues or doomsday prepping.

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How Going Green Can Save Your Business Thousands

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Running a company isn’t easy. From reporting wages in an efficient way to meeting deadlines and targets, there’s always something to think about – with green business ideas giving entrepreneurs something extra to ponder. While environmental issues may not be at the forefront of your mind right now, it could save your business thousands, so let’s delve deeper into this issue.

Small waste adds up over time

A computer left on overnight might not seem like the end of the world, right? Sure, it’s a rather minor issue compared to losing a client or being refused a loan – but small waste adds up over time. Conserving energy is an effective money saver, so to hold onto that hard-earned cash, try to:

  • Turn all electrical gadgets off at the socket rather than leaving them on standby as the latter can crank up your energy bill without you even realizing.
  • Switch all lights off when you exit a room and try switching to halogen incandescent light bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps or light emitting diodes as these can use up to 80 per cent less energy than traditional incandescent and are therefore more efficient.
  • Replace outdated appliances with their greener counterparts. Energy Star appliances have labels which help you to understand their energy requirements over time.
  • Draught-proof your premises as sealing up leaks could slash your energy bills by 30 per cent.

Going electronic has significant benefits

If you don’t want to be buried under a mountain of paperwork, why not opt for digital documents instead of printing everything out? Not only will this save a lot of money on paper and ink but it will also conserve energy and help protect the planet. You may even be entitled to one of the many tax breaks and grants issued to organizations committed to achieving their environmental goals. This is particularly good news for start-ups with limited funds as the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) is keen to support companies opening up their company in a green manner.

Of course, if you’re used to handing out brochures and leaflets at every company meeting or printing out newsletters whenever you get the chance, going electronic may be a challenge – but here are some things you can try:

  • Using PowerPoint presentations not printouts
  • Communicating via instant messenger apps or email
  • Using financial software to manage your books
  • Downloading accounting software to keep track of figures
  • Arranging digital feedback and review forms
  • Making the most of Google Docs

Going green can help you to make money too

Going green and environmental stability is big news at the moment with many companies doing their bit for the environment. While implementing eco-friendly strategies will certainly save you money, reducing your carbon footprint could also make you a few bucks too. How? Well, consumers care about what brands are doing more than ever before, with many deliberately siding with those who are implementing green policies. Essentially, doing your bit for the environment is a PR dream as it allows you to talk about what everyone wants to hear.

Going green can certainly save your money but it should also improve your reputation too and give you a platform to promote your business.

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