| April 16, 2024

ImpactAlpha Open: Climate risk at insurance companies + investing in food waste solutions

Dennis Price

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ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

Greetings, Agents of Impact! 

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In this week’s Open:

  • Infrastructure justice for divided communities
  • Investing in food waste reduction
  • Muni multiplier for the green bank
  • Sweet-tooth supply shake up

Ok, let’s get to it. – Dennis Price

Must-reads on ImpactAlpha

  • Infrastructure justice. Cities that have been divided by interstate highways and other infrastructure projects of an earlier era are now reconnecting communities with bridges, buses and bike lanes, reports Andrea RiquierLearn how.
  • One person’s trash… is another’s treasure. ReFED’s Alejandro Enamorado details a handful of opportunities across the investment spectrum to reduce food waste. Chow down.
  • Muni multiplier for the green bank. Complex stacks of capital are needed for The Great Deployment of green infrastructure. Matt Posner and James McIntyre envision the bundling of loans from community lenders for state green banks to take to the muni market. Bundle up.
  • Climate risk at insurance companies. Climate disasters are causing insurers to pull out of parts of California, Florida and other states. Such risks have not stopped the industry from underwriting and investing in the sectors that are destabilizing the environment, reports Andrea RiquierDig in.
  • Small business investing. British International Investments’ Paddy Carter shares how investors are finding ways to close the financing gap for small- and medium-sized enterprises, the foundation of job growth and livelihoods in emerging economies. Level up.
  • Ownership economy. Fund managers like Apis & Heritage and Common Trust are creating ELBOs, EOTs and other financing structures to encourage more business owners to exit to employee ownership, reports Roodgally SenatusExit left.
  • ICYMI: Puerto Rico’s impact investing opportunity. Platform for Social Impact’s Ramphis Castro explains how impact investors can help unlock billions in federal funding for the Caribbean island and bring in commercial capital for social infrastructure and economic mobility. Read more.

Agents of Impact

🎓 Impact MBAs: Raising up the next impact leaders (video)

The winner of a contest to sharpen the impact lens of students through deal sourcing and diligence was a team from London Business School, which proposed a wind turbine recycling company for investment. The company will get $50,000 towards an early stage venture round pending further diligence by ImpactAssets. “Before going through the Turner MIINT program, I wasn’t really considering a career in impact investment,” London Business School’s Shavir Pooniwala (MBA ‘25) told ImpactAlpha. “I think now after going through the whole experience, it’s definitely something that I want to pursue.” 

🏃🏾‍♀️ People on the move

  • Heading for Change named Sana Kapadia, formerly with 2X Global, as chief catalyst. Samantha Anderson will step away as the organization’s “change weaver” (disclosure: Heading for Change sponsors ImpactAlpha’s Climate + Gender coverage).
  • Jethro Townsend joined Nia Impact Capital as partner and portfolio manager as part of Nia’s acquisition of Addend Capital Management.
  • Adam Wagner, a former consultant with Deloitte, joined Ownership Works as a senior associate.

The Week’s Podcasts

Host Brian Walsh takes up ImpactAlpha’s top stories with editor David BankUp this week: federal funds to reconnect communities divided by federal highways, the impact investing opportunity in Puerto Rico, and the ways that investors can help business owners exit to their employees.

  • Listen to the new episode of This Week in Impact
  • Agents of Impact. And check out Sherrell Dorsey’s interview with Olivia Watkins of Black Farmer Fund.

Get these podcast and all of ImpactAlpha’s podcasts in your feed by subscribing on Apple or Spotify.

Short Signals: What We’re Reading

🤖 AI opportunities in emerging markets. AI applications are helping to optimize traffic flow in Rio de Janeiro, detect locust outbreaks in Africa and improve women’s health outcomes across emerging markets. Google.org compiled “AI sprinters” such as upskilling workers and enabling policy to help governments and international organizations ensure AI drives inclusive economic growth. (Google.org)

🙏 Unlocking impact capital in the UK. Big Issue’s John Bird and Nick Temple of Social Investment Business are among more than three-dozen UK-based Agents of Impact that penned a letter calling for the next government to adopt a four-part policy plank to catalyze £50 billion in private investment for social priorities. (Financial Times)

🌱 Climate litigation history. The European Court of Human Rights ruled this week that failure to address climate change threatens human rights. The binding ruling requires Switzerland and perhaps other European nations to address their climate goals. (Reuters)

🍦 Sweet-tooth supply shake up. First chocolate. Now vanilla. Essential inputs for ice cream, candy and other sweets are facing climate-related supply chain disruptions. This year’s vanilla harvest could fall by 1,000 tons after  a cyclone hit Madagascar’s key vanilla-growing region. (Bloomberg)

🛢 Net-zero reductions. A study from the European Central Bank, MIT, and Columbia Business School finds that while signing on to the Net-Zero Banking Alliance may boost a bank’s ESG rating, the voluntary climate commitment has done little to reduce financed emissions. (New York Times)

Get in the Game

💼 Step up

  • Social Finance is seeking an associate in Boston.
  • Lafayette Square is searching for a data analytics and policy associate for a remote position.
  • International Finance Corp. is hiring a senior environmental and social dev specialist in Bangkok.

Visit ImpactAlpha’s Career Hub for more impact investing jobs. Contact us for job posting rates.

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