Happy Tuesday, Agents of Impact! Welcome to this week’s ImpactAlpha Open. Two quick action items:
👋 Call No. 50: Metrics Madness: The Southern Reconstruction Fund’s Napoleon Wallace put out a call; Agents of Impact have answered with dozens of submissions. Join The Call for the fun and fruitful finale of Metrics Madness, tomorrow, March 29, at 10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm London. RSVP now.
🎉 Unlock an exclusive offer. Enjoying ImpactAlpha Open? Go daily, and deeper, with an all-access ImpactAlpha subscription. Join today and get your first year for $140. Learn more.
In this week’s newsletter:
- Texas’s climate lead
- The season’s proxy battles
- Lessons from the plant-based bust
- Opportunity Zone impact
Let’s get to it. – Dennis Price
Must-reads on ImpactAlpha
- Texas’s climate lead. The Lone Star state already leads the U.S. in wind power. Within a few months, Texas will surpass California in utility-scale solar capacity. An oil-pumping, Republican-led state seizing the lead in the U.S. clean energy race represents a decisive shift in the narrative, I report from Austin. Does Texas have the will to win?
- Managing human capital. The new research agenda on human capital from Just Capital and Ford Foundation could help reshape accounting to treat workers as assets, not liabilities, ImpactAlpha’s David Bank reports.
- Proxy battles. This spring’s spate of shareholder resolutions on climate action, reproductive rights and corporate political influence have become proxies in the broader battle over ESG investing, as ImpactAlpha’s Amy Cortese reports.
- Metrics and mood music. Our third roundup of impact reports, from managers like Founders First and Mercy Corps Ventures, keyed in on the metrics, such as quality jobs and rising small-business revenues.
- ‘Price on water.’ Other Agents of Impact are optimizing on water supplies, working forests, tree-planting and climate solutions in emerging markets.
Exclusive Offer: $140 for 1 year
⚡ Amplify your impact
The world is changing. As an Agent of Impact, you’re changing it for the better. Subscribe to ImpactAlpha today with an exclusive offer just for you: One year for just $140. Offer ends Friday.
Agents of Impact
📈 Mindy Lubber, Ceres: Making the business case for responsible investing
Hundreds of companies and investors last week urged policymakers to protect their “freedom to invest responsibly,” marking a new level of mobilization to reclaim the narrative from an anti-ESG campaign that refuses to go away. A key orchestrator of the effort was Mindy Lubber, who has, for two decades at the helm of the nonprofit Ceres, worked the levers of power in corporate offices, investor boardrooms and on Capitol Hill in support of climate goals.
- Keep reading, “Mindy Lubber, Ceres: Making the business case for responsible investing,” by Amy Cortese on ImpactAlpha and share the story on Instagram.
🏃🏿♀️ On the move
- Harold Pettigrew Jr., ex- of the Washington Area Community Investment Fund, will become president and CEO of Opportunity Finance Network.
- James Andrus, ex- of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, joined Franklin Templeton in the new role of sustainability global markets vice president.
- Stephen Vicinelli, ex- of TIFF Investment Management, joins Social Finance as vice president of impact investments.
🎧 On this week’s podcast
Host Monique Aiken has the headlines and Atlas Impact Partners’ Robert Brown and ImpactAlpha contributing editor Imogen Rose-Smith join David Bank to parse how bank failures and interest rate hikes have changed the dynamics of impact investing – perhaps forever.
- Listen to this week’s episode, and follow all of ImpactAlpha’s podcasts on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen.
💸 Catalyzing capital for Africa’s water and sanitation infrastructure
Providing access to clean water and sanitation has long been a public-sector responsibility. But lower-income countries struggle to fund and implement critical water and sanitation infrastructure. Two Africa-focused water access funds launched ahead of World Water Day last week “to prove that the drinking water sector is investment-ready, even when targeting low-income people,” said Incofin’s Dina Pons.
- Read the full spotlight.
🌱 Institutionalizing climate-risk mitigation. More than eight out of 10 investors (83%) consider or plan to consider climate risk when making investment decisions, according to a Nuveen survey of 800 institutional investors. Almost three-quarters plan to increase allocations to private investments over the next five years. (Nuveen)
🤖 AI and climate. Reducing paperwork overhead for rebates. Optimizing vehicle movement to minimize carbon emissions. Discovering new molecules to replace fossil-fuel derived plastics. Climate tech wonks answer this question from HubSpot’s Brian Halligan: How will generative AI be applied to the climate crisis? (Brian Halligan)
🍔 Lessons from the plant-based bust. The takeaway from Zora’s Venessa Bartram: Beyond’s enormous decline in market cap doesn’t reflect the failure of an industry. It tracks the return to planet Earth of an overhyped company in an overhyped stock market. (Vanessa Bartram)
👨🌾 Smart smallholder subsidies. Aceli Africa’s incentives are shifting lender practices in the fragmented agricultural markets of sub-Saharan Africa towards smaller ticket sizes, new value chains and more remote geographies. (Aceli Africa)
🏠 Opportunity Zone impact. Early achievements of the place-based policy: expansive geographic reach, large-scale private investment, and significant economic effects, according to Economic Innovation Group. Needed: supporting mission-driven funds, narrowing investment criteria and broadening who can invest, says Urban Institute. (Economic Innovation Group / Urban Institute)
💲 Maximizing investments in America. Trillions in federal funds are on the way. Among the ways state and local leaders can make the most of it: Establish results management offices to centralize operations, increase coordination, track spending and monitor project milestones. (Governing)
Get in the Game
💼 Step up
- In New York, 60 Decibels is on the hunt for a sales associate, Nonprofit Finance Fund is recruiting a business development manager, New York Life Investments is hiring an impact investing analyst and senior associate.
- U.S. International Development Finance Corp. is recruiting an impact management and monitoring specialist for climate projects.
- Rally Assets is hiring a head of impact management and other roles in Toronto.
Check out the full list of the week’s impact jobs on ImpactAlpha.com.
🤝 Meet up
Don’t miss these upcoming ImpactAlpha partner events:
- April 24-26: Big Path Capital’s MO Summit in Austin, Texas.
- April 13: Founders First’s webinar, “Innovating for Equity in an Uncertain Economy.”
- April 24-26: Neighborhood Economics’ “National conversation with local impact,” in Jackson, Miss.
📬 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].
‘Til next Tuesday!