(1) Electric utility business models that favor energy efficiency and decentralized distributed energy over centralized power plants; (2) Stock exchange listing requirements that include disclosure of plans for measuring sustainability risks; and (3) Green Bonds.*
These are just 3 reasons Mindy Lubber, President of Ceres, gives for feeling positive about the sustainable consumer and financial markets for the new year. Read the entire article for more reasons (see below).
Rooftop solar, battery storage technologies and smartphone-assisted energy conservation are all part of the mix propelling a more decentralized energy delivery infrastructure. I expect leaders in this sector to drive positive regulatory change in the industry and capture market share from competitors that cling to business as usual models.
Some stock exchange listing requirements include climate change and water scarcity. Nearly a dozen stock exchanges currently subscribe to the basic management dictum that a company can’t manage risk it doesn’t measure. Almost 7,000 companies produce annual sustainability reports through GRI, the Global Reporting Initiative, and stock exchange listing requirements are critical to greater corporate transparency.
Bonds are the lifeblood of many companies that want to raise capital for business growth. The green bond market grew rapidly in the U.S. during 2014, and witnessed the first-ever issue of bonds backed by electricity payments from rooftop panels installed by Solar City. The company issued more than $300 million in solar-backed bonds in 2014.
I believe another reason to feel good about 2015 is the recent media coverage of environmental and social policy engagement by Pope Francis, who emerged in late 2014 as a powerful advocate for a comprehensive global Climate Change agreement at the Paris 2015 UN Climate Conference.**
While it may be tempting for advisors and investors to dismiss Pope Francis’ influence over global financial markets, I suggest we all consider some data related to his potential influence over 1 out of 7 global consumers: the Pope has 1.2 billion followers.
Advisors, make sure you keep developing strong relationships with your SRI business partners. It’s the best way to stay current with the increasing pace of change in the SRI investment world. And ask how your partners can support your client service and marketing programs for 2015!