ImpactAlpha Open | May 30, 2023

ImpactAlpha Open: Ownership economy + carbon market correction

Dennis Price

Get a weekly pulse on news and trends in impact investing with our free newsletter.

*I agree to receive marketing emails from ImpactAlpha, its affiliates, and accept our terms of use and privacy policy.
By signing up you agree to receive marketing emails from ImpactAlpha Inc. and accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

Greetings, Agents of Impact! One quick reminder:

👉 Exclusive offer ends todayTake 50% off an ImpactAlpha subscription. Upgrade to an all-access plan for daily insights on investable deals, career opportunities, and breaking news in impact investing and sustainable finance.

In this week’s newsletter:

  • Ownership economy
  • Gender as a value-driver
  • Carbon market correction
  • Ukraine’s green reconstruction

Let’s get to it. – Dennis Price

Must-reads on ImpactAlpha

  • ESG backlash. “Policy and sustainable investing have become deeply intertwined,” Lisa Woll, the outgoing head of US SIF, tells ImpactAlpha’s Amy Cortese in her exit interview. “We have to stay focused, we have to stay defended on this.”
  • Ownership economy. Common Trust and Clegg Auto are showcasing the promise of “purpose trusts” in sharing ownership benefits with employees.

    • Ford Foundation and other asset owners want to see more fund managers add worker ownership to their “quality jobs” strategies, as David Bank reports.
    • The American Sustainable Business Network and Social Economy Europe are hailing a “transformative” UN framework with more comprehensive metrics for enterprise contributions to worker benefits, power and ownership, as Ilcheong Yi of UNRISD and Michael Peck of 1worker1vote write.
  • Follow the activists. Just Economy’s Deb Nelson and Tina Beck share success characteristics of the 156 financial activists they’ve supported over the last six years.
  • Climate resilience. Central Appalachia is digging deep into its solutions toolkit to unlock the region’s potential as a climate haven, reports Roodgally Senatus.
  • Global goals. Gender equality may be the key to unlocking progress on the other development goals as well, as journalist Esha Chhabra details in ImpactAlpha’s excerpt from her new book.

FINAL DAY: Take 50% off annual plans

⚡ Last Chance: Upgrade and save up to $370

Enjoying ImpactAlpha Open? Upgrade to an all-access subscription to get in-depth impact investing coverage and insights in The Brief, our award-winning daily newsletter, exclusive calls with industry experts, and much more.

Agents of Impact

♀ Jessica Espinoza, 2X Global: Proving gender as a value-driver

A decade ago, investors pushed back against the loan products Jessica Espinoza was designing for female business owners as an executive at ProCredit Bank Nicaragua. Their argument: “There just wasn’t a market opportunity,” Espinoza tells ImpactAlpha. This week, the 2X Challenge of development finance institutions and multilateral banks worldwide announced that it has helped mobilize over $27 billion in public and private capital for the express purpose of serving women and advancing women’s business leadership in emerging markets.

“We see a lot more interest from private sector and institutional investors,” says Espinoza, who leads the challenge as CEO of 2X Global, formed by last year’s merger of 2X Collaborative and GenderSmart. “It’s exciting to see the momentum.”

🏃🏿‍♀️ On the move

  • Swati Chandra, ex- of Ruffalo Noel Levitz, joined Opportunity Finance Network as a senior credit analyst.
  • Oliver Withers, ex- of Credit Suisse, joined Standard Chartered Bank as its first head of biodiversity.
  • Isabelle Schmidt, ex- of Wellington Management, joins Beyond Capital Ventures as an operations associate. Pooja Monga, ex- of KOIS, also joins the firm as an investment associate.

Impact Briefing

🎧 On the podcast

Jack Moriarty of Ownership America chats with ImpactAlpha’s David Bank about employee ownership and new legislation to help investors back companies that are turning workers into owners. Host Brian Walsh has the headlines.

Deal Spotlight

💸 Carbon removal

After soaring in 2021, voluntary carbon credit markets slumped last year amid reports and investigations that took aim at the quality and integrity of projects underlying the credits (see, “Voluntary carbon markets face a reckoning over credit quality and environmental impact”).

  • This week, JPMorgan signed purchase agreements worth over $200 million for carbon removal, which is based on more robust processes and fetches higher prices. The bank agreed to a $20 million, nine-year deal with Switzerland’s direct-air capture pioneer, Climeworks, for 25,000 metric tons of carbon removal credits.
  • Read the full spotlight.

Six Signals

🏃🏿‍♀️ ImpactACTIVE. With 38 deals in the first quarter of 2023, ImpactAssets ranks among the top 10 most active venture capital dealmakers globally. The impact investment firm ranks fifth in US venture capital deals, third in late-stage VC deals and fifth in early-stage VC deals. (ImpactAssets / Pitchbook)

😇 Faith-based investing. Hundreds of religious congregations across the U.S. are building homes to stem the housing crisis. Enterprise Community Partners, Local Initiatives Support Corp. and other nonprofit lenders are guiding leaders through the complex development process. (The Chronicle of Philanthropy)

☀️ Global clean energy economy. Investment in solar power ($1.7 trillion) is expected to exceed spending on oil production ($1 trillion) this year for the first time, said Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency. (Financial Times)

💸 Climate reparations. Calls for oil, gas and coal producers to take financial responsibility for climate harm are rapidly growing in the scientific literature, among climate movements, and in the policy debate. One Earth has quantified reparations for the top 21 fossil fuel companies. (One Earth)

🇺🇦 Ukraine’s green reconstruction. Ukrainian activists, scientists and architects are pushing for a postwar rebuild that has as small a carbon footprint as possible and improves the nation’s resilience to impacts of climate change. (Bloomberg)

✈️ Rise of alternative jet fuels. New policies in both the European Union and the US are boosting sustainable aviation fuels, which can largely be used by existing planes. Airlines are pushing ad campaigns that feature their efforts to switch fuel sources. (MIT Technology Review)

Get in the Game 

💼 Step up

Don’t miss dozens of more impact jobs curated this week on

🤝 Meet up

Don’t miss these upcoming impact investing events:

  • June 20-22Asian Venture Philanthropy Network Global Conference 2023 (Kuala Lumpur)
  • July 13-14Africa Impact Summit, hosted by GSG, African national advisory boards for impact investing, and the University of Cape Town’s Bertha Center (Cape Town)
  • August 27-30Latimpacto’s 2023 Conference (Rio de Janeiro)

📬 Get ImpactAlpha Open in your inbox each Tuesday

 Sign up for FREE

Don’t be a stranger. Connect with us. Tell us who you are and what you’re up to. Share your news, tips, data points, introductions and high-impact ideas, to [email protected].

See you back here next Tuesday!

Partner with us, including by sponsoring this newsletter. Get in touch.

Get ImpactAlpha for Teams. Save with substantial group discounts. Start here