Danone to create a public benefit corporation to hold WhiteWave

The French multinational food company signaled it wants to preserve WhiteWave’s healthy vibe after completing its $10 billion acquisition of the U.S. dairy company. Danone Dairy and WhiteWave’s health-focused brands (including Horizon Organic, Silk and Earthbound Farm) will combine under the name DanoneWave, which will become one of the largest “public benefit corporations” to date. Benefit corporations,

Buffets launch a seven-year, $90 million plan to support girls of color in the U.S.

Members of the Buffet family have launched a seven-year, $90 million plan to support girls of color in the U.S. The NoVo Foundation, established by Peter and Jennifer Buffett, will target groups and organizations working with girls of color in the southeastern U.S., home to 40 percent of minority girls in the U.S. Warren Buffett’s youngest son

IntelleGrow to raise $100 million to meet capital demand from Indian social ventures

CEO Akbar Khan, the former GE executive who joined IntelleGrow in November, is charting an aggressive growth strategy for the company. The venture debt arm of India’s Intellecap Group plans to raise $100 million in debt and equity this year to finance young, high-risk and under-banked companies in social sectors in India. “As our customers grow, their

Housing startups test new approaches to increase supply and affordability

Urban.Us, a U.S. venture capital firm targeting the challenges of cities, opened its playbook for investing in housing startups. “The top 10 home builders made a combined $43 billion in 2015,” Urban.Us co-founder Stonly Baptiste notes in a post on Medium. A few takeaways: Better housing requires better designs and manufacturing processes. See Manufacton, which helps

S-Ray aims machine learning and big data at the sustainability of big businesses

Arabesque’s new S-Ray aims machine learning and big data at the sustainability of big businesses. The new tool will “capture vast amounts of sustainability information that now exists on companies,” and make it relevant to investors, says Georg Kell, a vice chair at Arabesque. The asset management firm’s S-Ray service, with free and paid versions,

SerenityShares says its exchange-traded IMPACT fund goes “beyond ESG”

Exchange-traded funds became popular as a low-cost way for investors to track standard indexes and gain exposure to entire sectors or geographies. A new batch of ETFs are tracking positive environmental, social and governance, or ESG, factors as signals for long-term outperformance. Now, SerenityShares, launched last year, has listed its IMPACT ETF (ticker: ICAN) to

Three keys to progress toward 2030 goal of sustainable energy for all

2030 The good news: More than 90 percent of Afghans have electricity, up from 40 percent in 2010 — and solar accounts for most of the growth. More than 50 million more people in Indonesia now cook with cleaner fuel. And tens of millions across sub-Saharan Africa and Asia now have access to electricity through off-grid solar