How treasurers can lead their company’s impact investing

April 26, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

How treasurers can lead their company’s impact investing Catherine Berman Mon, 04/26/2021 – 00:05 When you think about who makes the greatest social and environmental impact with corporate dollars, you probably think of the head of ESG or the chief investment officer, not the treasurer. Today’s corporate treasurers, however, are redefining their role beyond risk mitigation, and they’ve become a surprising source of impact within their organizations, moving millions of dollars of cash and investments into low-income communities. Corporate finance departments haven’t historically been positioned to create impact within their organizations, but an ever-increasing amount of attention on ESG ; diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and racial justice initiatives has led C-suite executives to look holistically at their business practices for opportunities to innovate. That’s led corporate leaders to recognize that they need new tools to advance change, demonstrate corporate leadership and be good corporate citizens. According to the philanthropy research organization Candid, following the police killing of George Floyd in May 2020, American corporations emerged as the leading funding source for social and racial justice initiatives. And because many of these ESG and DEI initiatives are directly tied to money movement, whether it’s cash or investment, corporate treasurers are an often hidden but essential driver of social impact within an organization. There’s such an opportunity today for treasurers to redefine how corporations align their dollars with their values. So, first and foremost, we need to recognize the great work that many treasurers already are doing in terms of aligning corporate dollars with impact initiatives. Let’s not forget that this probably isn’t part of their job description. Instead, treasurers who are being intentional about impact investing are going above and beyond what they’re paid to do and, more often than not, they’re learning as they go. Until recently, there was no playbook for this. With that in mind, here are four key learnings that corporate treasurers may want to consider when thinking about how they can leverage their position within an organization to create tangible impact. 1. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. The most common approach I hear from corporate treasurers trying to create impact is this: They call up a few mission-focused banks and try to move in millions of their deposits. What these treasurers eventually realize, however, is that this isn’t a scalable strategy. Indeed, too much capital actually can be a bad thing, negatively affecting the capital ratios these organizations must maintain. That’s not to say that you need to hire a boutique consulting firm that takes two years to put together a roadmap and deal plan for you, or that you need to hire a team of lawyers to pull this off. The low-friction approach is to take advantage of technology platforms created to help you efficiently, sustainably and intentionally move money, generate impact reports and evaluate risks. There’s a common myth among corporate treasurers that this is really hard, but remember, you’re not the first one to do this  and you definitely don’t have to invent anything from scratch. 2. Invest in long-term partnerships. I’ve heard from a lot of treasurers that they reached out to a minority depository institution, or MDI, which turned down their corporate deposit. It’s important to remember that this doesn’t mean that deposit programs are a bad idea. Instead, that rejection likely indicates a mismatch in either timing or scale (or both). That Black-owned bank might not need your deposit tomorrow, but they would likely take it sometime in the future. Partnering with impact deposit platforms such as  CNote can help resolve the need-supply mismatch in a scalable, authentic way, while empowering corporations to foster deep, direct relationships with those same institutions. If the timing is not right with an MDI, it isn’t necessarily a reason to walk away in frustration. Instead, when thinking about generating impact through your corporate finance department, be prepared to forge partnerships built with the future in mind. A long-term approach to these capital programs will increase the positive impact your organization’s funds have on underserved communities. 3. Don’t fall victim to analysis paralysis . For risk-minded treasurers, there’s definitely the friction of identifying who to work with and where to channel cash and investments to create impact. Some treasurers view community investments through the same risk framework that they use for all of their investments, while others acknowledge that it makes little sense to apply those same risk standards to low-income communities. It can be hard to know where to strike the right balance. If you’re feeling stuck, I suggest reaching out to a peer at another corporation who’s experienced success. For example, Alfred Kibe, the corporate treasurer at Mastercard, is a passionate champion of leveraging deposits for impact, and he’s an approachable leader in this space. Similarly, Peter Filipovic, Starbucks’ treasurer, has been investing in community development financial institutions (CDFIs) for years, funneling hundreds of millions of investment dollars into federally certified private financial entities that are 100 percent dedicated to providing responsible, affordable lending to historically underserved borrowers. These include low-income households and business owners, women, minorities, unbanked borrowers, first-time homebuyers, nonprofits and tribal organizations. Others like them are doing equally effective work. You probably know one, so consider tapping your network of peers to test ideas and share best practices. 4. Look beyond the obvious targets and leverage your networks. Many high-impact organizations need long-term capital partnerships. Asking the people you know and offering to make a multimillion-dollar deposit in their MDI may seem the quickest path, but it doesn’t necessarily ensure that your deposit will reach the communities that would benefit most. For example, more than 1,000 CDFIs in the United States are investing in everything from minority-led small businesses to affordable housing projects to gender equality. Because investors can invest both thematically and geographically in CDFIs, consider the full spectrum and diversity of impact opportunities out there, and remember that the people you’ll need to work with likely won’t show among your LinkedIn connections. There’s such an opportunity today for treasurers to redefine how corporations align their dollars with their values. We’re seeing treasury leaders step into this opportunity because they recognize that there’s massive potential to invest in underserved communities, further racial justice and shrink the wealth gap in our country. And by doing so, corporate treasurers are demonstrating that impact investing isn’t risky business. It’s smart, it’s human, it’s achievable and it’s the future. Pull Quote There’s such an opportunity today for treasurers to redefine how corporations align their dollars with their values. Topics Finance & Investing Community Resilience ESG Banking Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Shutterstock

Read more:
How treasurers can lead their company’s impact investing

Illegal luncheon in Italy included protected birds on the menu

April 21, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Illegal luncheon in Italy included protected birds on the menu

Police recently followed a tip of an illegal gathering near Brescia, Italy. The luncheon included about 20 people, despite COVID-19 restrictions in the region. But upon arrival, authorities found the culprits were also dining on protected migratory birds. When the officers raided the luncheon at a local government building, they found the guests enjoying appetizers and drinks — sans entrees. However, further investigation revealed that they were hiding 65 protected migratory birds, which they were preparing for the feast. Among the birds on the menu included many protected finches, specifically two hawfinches and one brambling. Related: Critically endangered regent honeyeaters are losing their song The fried birds were hidden beneath a table after the suspects saw the police arrive. The officers immediately recognized the protected birds based on their shapes, particularly their unique, easily identifiable bills.  Several organizations have condemned the actions following the news. The anti-hunting league of Italy termed the actions “shameful” in reference to feasting on protected species . The animal protection league said it was “enraging.” Gardone Val Trompia, the region where the event happened, lies right in the middle of the migratory path for greenfinches, thrushes and blackbirds. Traditionally, the locals here hunt for the birds by laying traps in tree branches or by shooting them. However, legislation has made hunting for some of these species illegal, requiring the locals to stay away from the practice. But Italy remains a hotbed for illegal bird killings, and many of the birds being targeted are classified as threatened. Valleys north of Brescia have remained particularly dangerous zones, with hundreds of thousands of birds killed each year. According to  BirdLife International , almost 5 million birds are shot every year in Italy alone. This accounts for about one-fifth of all birds killed illegally in Northern Europe, the Mediterranean Coast and the Caucasus. “There is a general crisis of biodiversity ,” said Annamaria Procacci, a board member of Italy’s Animal Protection League. “And then there are people feasting on it.” Via The New York Times Image via Vine House Farm

Read the rest here: 
Illegal luncheon in Italy included protected birds on the menu

This moment: An open letter to the GreenBiz community

June 2, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on This moment: An open letter to the GreenBiz community

This moment: An open letter to the GreenBiz community Joel Makower Tue, 06/02/2020 – 02:11 In the wee hours of Nov. 9, 2016, shortly after Donald Trump was declared the 45th president of the United States, I sat down and penned a note to the GreenBiz community. A lot of us were shocked, confused, depressed and angry that this vulgar man, who saw climate change as a hoax and “beautiful clean coal” as our savior, would be setting the national agenda at such a critical time. It was “a stunning and devastating indictment of decency, fairness and inclusion,” I wrote that morning. And: It will be critically important, for both our individual sanity and our collective future, that we stay the course, double down, make every program, project, partnership and product count. That was then. The past few days, in the wake of the national upheaval over the death of yet another black man at the hands of yet another white police officer, have been similarly filled with angst and anger within the sustainability community. “What do we do?” we’ve asked one another. Should we simply stay the course, doubling down on our work on climate and the clean economy, which is growing more urgent by the day? Or do we stop, take stock and rethink what we do? Today, I’m not sure that staying the course is, in and of itself, what’s needed. It may be time for a radical rethink: Given all that’s changing, what does the world need of us now? Whether you come from privilege or poverty, whether your education comes from the best schools or the streets, whatever your politics or identity, this is a brutally tough moment. The coronavirus and economic crash already had laid bare the inequity and disparity among the classes and races: those who have a job and those who don’t; those who are able to earn a living at home versus those who must risk going to an employer’s workplace during a pandemic; those who are able to afford food, shelter and healthcare, even amid economic upheaval, and those who can’t; those who feel comfortable walking or driving or just being outside their home, and those who fear that any moment could lead to their becoming the next George Floyd, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice or Sandra Bland. Now, all of those inequities and disparities have been cast into the open. To the extent they existed in the shadows — festering societal problems to which those with power and privilege largely threw up their hands — they are now center stage. To the extent these problems could be ignored — that one could live life without having to reckon with race, poverty and inequality — they have been thrust onto our individual and collective doorsteps. To the extent they were topics relegated to hushed, private conversations — well, those conversations are full-throated, 24/7 and inescapable. To the extent these problems could be ignored — that one could live life without having to reckon with race, poverty and inequality — they have been thrust onto our individual and collective doorsteps. The calamities of 2020 — the physical, economic, social and psychological crises we’d already been confronting these past few months — have contributed to this raw moment, the culmination of centuries of systemic oppression and institutionalized racism. Words of comfort, of healing and hope, aren’t cutting it, and they shouldn’t. For those of us working in sustainability, it raises some fundamental questions. Among them: What led you to this work in the first place? Was it to protect the unprotected? To ensure the well-being of future generations? To engender community resilience? To create solutions to big, seemingly intractable problems? Or maybe, simply, “to make the world a better place”? If so, then this is the moment to live up to those lofty goals — fully and, most likely, uncomfortably. That means having difficult conversations with family, colleagues, friends and peers. It means recognizing — really, truly recognizing, not just mouthing the words — that nothing is sustainable if people are in pain. It matters little how much renewable energy is generated, how many circular supply chains are created, how much organic or regenerative food is produced if our fellow citizens are being exploited, discriminated against, threatened and worse. This is what ‘sustainability’ should be about — the security and well-being of all species. This is what “sustainability” should be about — the security and well-being of all species, including humans — and it no doubt will provoke nodding heads among many of you. But nodding heads aren’t enough. They never were and certainly aren’t now. This is a moment for the private sector to step up. Not just in helping to calm and heal, although that will be a critical task in the coming days and weeks, but also to lobby for justice: economic justice, racial justice, criminal justice, climate justice. And to deeply understand what these terms even mean, and how they relate to creating the societal value that is the beating heart of business.  This is a seminal moment that is testing all of us — those in sustainability, certainly, along with most everyone else. And as we work on or support societal solutions — and countless ideas are likely to come out of this, from every conceivable source — it’s important to ask some simple but profound questions: Who’s setting the rules? Who’s calling the shots? Who’s being heard? Who’s left out? Who’s benefiting from the status quo and from the proposed solutions? Does it empower the marginalized or merely placate the restless? These are the kinds of questions that have been woefully absent in the past. And we are living with the result. If we are to change the course, not simply aim to get back to some elusive “normal,” these questions will need to be asked and answered. Failure to do that will lead us right back to where we are. I’d like to end on a positive, hopeful note, much as I tried to do back in November 2016. But hope and positivity are in short supply right now. So I’ll just say this: Don’t underestimate your power in this moment. You may not feel powerful, particularly in light of the deafening voices screaming in the streets and on our screens. But there is power in us all: to care for those around us, to contribute time and resources at the community and national levels, to take the time to truly comprehend the issues before us and to understand that silence is complicity. Pull Quote To the extent these problems could be ignored — that one could live life without having to reckon with race, poverty and inequality — they have been thrust onto our individual and collective doorsteps. This is what ‘sustainability’ should be about — the security and well-being of all species. Topics Policy & Politics Featured Column Two Steps Forward Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) On Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

Go here to read the rest:
This moment: An open letter to the GreenBiz community

Cities replace citation fees with school, pet supply donations

August 15, 2019 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Cities replace citation fees with school, pet supply donations

In many towns around the country, getting a parking ticket is an opportunity to do good. Police departments in cities from across the country allow parking violators to pay for their ticket by donating school or pet supplies to local schools or shelters. In some towns, news of the program spread so fast that even people without parking violations contacted the police with donations. In Muncie, Indiana, officers had to dispatch a police vehicle to pick up contributions at donors’ homes. Their program focused on pet supplies after a police officer’s daughter noticed the shelter was overwhelmed with hundreds of abandoned kittens during the breeding season. Nearby towns were calling the Muncie police department asking for details on how they could run similar donation programs. “Nobody likes to get a parking ticket. But if you can pay it forward and give a donation of school supplies that will help somebody, it kind of makes it less bad,” said Las Vegas city spokesman, Jace Radke. Related: A guide to going green for the back-to-school season Las Vegas has operated a similar donation program since 2016, with just a one month window in the summer for donations. Parking violators between June and July have 30 days to bring in un-opened school supplies of equal value and their ticket is waived. So far this summer , the police department has collected $1,707 in donations that they hand over to a local nonprofit affiliated with the school system. “It’s reached people that don’t even have a parking ticket to pay. They just want to do good,” said Erin Vader from Olathe, Kansas, which runs a similar donation program. Most tickets eligible for the donation program are small, low-risk tickets that equal about $25, as is done so in Muncie. For the majority of the programs, larger tickets, or more serious violations that might require a court hearing are ineligible to meet the donation option– including parking in a handicap space, or in a fire lane. Via Washington Post Image via Pexels

Read the rest here: 
Cities replace citation fees with school, pet supply donations

Woman arrested in Florida for stomping on sea turtle nest

June 18, 2019 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Woman arrested in Florida for stomping on sea turtle nest

Last weekend, a woman was arrested and taken into custody for prodding and stomping on a protected sea turtle nest on Miami Beach in Florida. The woman, Yaqun Lu from Hudsonville, Michigan, was reported by bystanders, who saw her actions and alerted the police. The police also witnessed her stepping on and poking at the turtle nest. The section of the beach where the nest was situated was blocked off by tape and “Do Not Disturb” signs, indicating that the area is a protected nesting site. Three species of turtles typically nest along Miami Beach: loggerhead turtles, green sea turtles and leatherback turtles. All three turtles are protected by the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973. It is also illegal to interfere with sea turtles, their nests or their hatchlings, according to Florida state legislature. Related: Study finds microplastics in sea turtles around the world According to a Miami Beach website on the importance and vulnerability of turtle nesting sites, “It is important not to disturb [sea turtle] hatchlings, eggs or nests since hatchlings need to crawl to the sea unimpeded. Touching nesting females, taking flash pictures of nesting females or hatchlings or digging into nests is prohibited by law.” Nesting season typically runs from April to October. Female turtles can lay up to 100 eggs per nest and approximately seven nests per season. Predators, marine debris and illegal fishing have contributed to the decline in sea turtle populations worldwide. It has not yet been publicized why the woman was interfering with the nest; however, spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez of the Miami Beach police department said, “Thankfully, it appears the eggs were not damaged.” Lu is being held on a $5,000 bond and is facing a felony charge of harassing a turtle nest. She will be represented by a public defender. Via Huffington Post Image via Mitch Lensink and TravelingOtter

Read the original here:
Woman arrested in Florida for stomping on sea turtle nest

Swiss police to replace diesel fleet with 7 Tesla Model X-100Ds

March 19, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Swiss police to replace diesel fleet with 7 Tesla Model X-100Ds

The Swiss police are electrifying! The Basel-Stadt canton announced in a recent press release that they plan to replace their fleet of diesel vehicles with seven Tesla Model X-100D electric vehicles. Although the purchase will be expensive, at about $147,000 a piece, the police are convinced their overall costs will fall. Plus, they expressed concern about reducing their environmental impact . In addition to lower maintenance costs, the police expect the resale value of Tesla vehicles to be greater than that of their existing fleet. And they aren’t concerned with running out of juice while on a high-speed chase. “With a current charge the Tesla drives at least 500 kilometers,” they wrote in their press release. “Vehicles of the alerting patch cover an average of 200 kilometers per day per day.” Related: Dubai police unveil electric hoverbikes Dutch security firm Force Pro have customized the Basel city police’s new vehicles, according to regional daily the Basellandschaftliche Zeitung . Force Pro sales director Theo Karanfantis told the paper cited connectivity and communication as among the Tesla vehicle’s key benefits. “A conventional car brings a police officer from A to B,” he said. “What Basel police are now buying is a laptop on wheels”. Two charging stations will be installed at Kannenfeld and Clara police stations, according to the press release. Lastly, the police said the Tesla X-100D is the only electric vehicle on the market that is capable of meeting their needs. + Basel Police Via The Local Images via Tesla

See the original post here: 
Swiss police to replace diesel fleet with 7 Tesla Model X-100Ds

Police brutally attack DAPL demonstrators with tear gas, rubber bullets, and sub-freezing water cannons

November 21, 2016 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Police brutally attack DAPL demonstrators with tear gas, rubber bullets, and sub-freezing water cannons

As protests over the in-progress Dakota Access Pipeline continue to grow near Standing Rock, North Dakota, demonstrators seek new ways to carry on a peaceful resistance in the face of brutal police force. Late on Sunday afternoon, self-proclaimed ‘water protectors’ attempted to remove the burned out cars police had previously used to barricade the bridge on Highway 1806, partly in an effort to gain visibility along the roadway. Morton County Sheriff’s Department, still supported by supplemental National Guard soldiers from other states, responded by firing rubber bullets into the crowd at close range, exploding tear gas bombs and concussion grenades, and shooting water cannons at the demonstrators despite the sub-freezing night air. The result was a chaotic scene where dozens of wounded protesters were left to ward off hypothermia after being soaked with icy water in 25F weather.

Originally posted here:
Police brutally attack DAPL demonstrators with tear gas, rubber bullets, and sub-freezing water cannons

Ecocor starts production on groundbreaking new prefab passive homes

November 21, 2016 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Ecocor starts production on groundbreaking new prefab passive homes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvRvvkXcfaQ The Goldenrod design is 1,051 square feet, and preliminary pricing is around $330,000. The original design comes with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, but Scott wanted extra space for a workshop . Scott’s Goldenrod will be one and a half stories tall. Ecocor was able to increase the size of the house through the use of an Ecocor Passiv Roof, which draws on the same materials as the Ecocor Passiv Wall. According to Pedranti , the roof increases home size “by capturing the area directly under the roof typically used for attic insulation.” The Ecocor Passiv Roof is the sole opaque roof in America to obtain certification from the Passive House Institute in Germany. Related: North America’s first fully prefabricated passive houses could revolutionize the housing market Scott grew up in a passive solar house built in 1979 by her parents. She said she was drawn to Ecocor and RPA’s Solsken Line because of their use of advanced technology and quality materials like cellulose insulation instead of foam insulation. The home will be complete in an estimated six to eight months. Customization took six weeks, and it takes an additional four to six weeks to manufacture the panelized roof and wall pieces. The panels will be shipped via trucks to Scott’s 8.7 acre site. Once there, the panels can be assembled in a snappy two weeks. After plumbing and electricity are put in, and the house is finished, Scott could move into her home in Spring 2017. + Ecocor + Richard Pedranti Architect Images via Ecocor

Here is the original post: 
Ecocor starts production on groundbreaking new prefab passive homes

Afghan Police Shoot Endangered Bird They Thought Was Wearing a Bomb

December 2, 2014 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Afghan Police Shoot Endangered Bird They Thought Was Wearing a Bomb

On a weekend in America dedicated to eating dead birds, an innocent and endangered bird became the most recent victim of Afghanistan’s fight against the Taliban . Motherboard reports that on Saturday Afghan police killed a “suspicious-looking” bird on a roadside because it was wearing an antenna, which they saw as a sign the bird could be wearing a bomb. Read the rest of Afghan Police Shoot Endangered Bird They Thought Was Wearing a Bomb Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: afghan , afghan police shoot endangered bird , afghanistan , bird , bomb , Emirates Center for Conservation of Houbara , endangered , houbara , police , roadside , shoot , taliban , Uzbekistan , Wildlife conservation

View original here: 
Afghan Police Shoot Endangered Bird They Thought Was Wearing a Bomb

UN Reveals Billion Dollar Price Tag Associated with Environmental Crime

November 6, 2013 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on UN Reveals Billion Dollar Price Tag Associated with Environmental Crime

Photo of waste shipping container via Shutterstock Illegal deforestation , animal poaching and the shipping of toxic waste are all environmental crimes that cost the world billions of dollars each year, the UN recently reported. In order to promote greater cooperation between the police and environmental officials and stem such crimes, 500 law enforcement and environmental experts from around the world are meeting for the International Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Conference in Nairobi this week.  Interpol and the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) have also teamed up to find solutions that will arrest lucrative environmental crimes that are destroying our planet. Read the rest of UN Reveals Billion Dollar Price Tag Associated with Environmental Crime Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Achim Steiner , animal poaching , environmental crime , Illegal deforestation , International Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Conference , international fund for animal welfare , law enforcement and environmental experts cooperate , Nairobi UNEP and Interpol Conference , shipment of toxic waste , syndicated crime networks , UN Environmental Program Executive Director , United Nations Environmental Program        

Excerpt from: 
UN Reveals Billion Dollar Price Tag Associated with Environmental Crime

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 5842 access attempts in the last 7 days.