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Soil Restoration Notes help farmers go organic

Converting non-organic farmland to organic is hard and many farmers fail. Food and farmland investor Iroquois Valley Farms is issuing $5 million in short-term notes, with an interest rate of 1.5 percent, to help farmers make the changeover to USDA Certified Organic. The three-year term of the Soil Restoration Notes matches the organic transition period required

Norway’s Storebrand dumps shares in oil companies with stakes in Dakota access pipeline

Storebrand, a private pension and insurance fund with $68 billion in assets, is the third Norwegian investor to divest from DAPL-linked companies, following last year’s divestments from the Norwegian bank, DNB, and the Norwegian mutual fund Odin Fund Management. Storebrand sold off $34.8 million worth of shares in Phillips 66, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, and Enbridge,

Hartford Funds launches mutual fund with “global impact”

Hartford Funds, which manages $78 billion in assets, has launched the Hartford Global Impact Fund, its second socially responsible public equities product. The new fund will invest in companies addressing health, clean water and sanitation, financial inclusion, alternative energy, and resource efficiency. The fund is “a direct response to increasing advisor and investor demand for more

Silicon Valley is deep in ‘diversity debt’

You’ve heard of the diversity dividend. The flip side is the hit companies take from sexual harassment and other scandals, as Uber, Tesla and Magic Leap can attest. Not dealing with diversity and inclusion early can be as constraining (and compounding) to a company as financial debt, says angel investor Susan Wu, co-founder of Project Include,

Is Brazil’s progress against deforestation at risk?

Mighty Earth, an environmental watchdog, used drones and satellite imagery to monitor the impact of farmers who supply Burger King, one of the world’s largest fast food chains. The evidence in the new report shows farmers working for Burger King suppliers Bunge and Cargill burned tropical forests in Brazil and Bolivia to establish soy plantations to

These social impact bonds have an old-fashioned name: tax-free munis

Washington D.C. (green infrastructure), Seattle (affordable housing) and Philadelphia (low-income housing repairs) are all issuing bonds to fund quality-of-life improvements that could drive long-term fiscal value. We reported last month on growing impact investor interest in the $3.7 trillion muni-bond market (see, “How investors can help rebuild communities with muni bonds”). This week, Kresge Foundation highlighted the

Asian countries in 2030 will be divided between the worker-rich and the worker-poor

The highly restrictive “Asian model” of migration makes it “hard to fill jobs in many countries where they are needed, despite a surplus of labor elsewhere,” reports the Economist. Today, Asia is home to half the world′s population but just 17 percent of its immigrants. That will make it harder to meet labor needs as