Beats | April 16, 2018

Philly chases another championship, Apple’s clean energy, UBS goes for impact delta

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Featured: ImpactAlpha Original

Philadelphia is chasing another championship: Civic revival and inclusive prosperity. The story a city tells itself can shape what happens in the next chapter. In Philadelphia, the NFL’s Eagles and the NCAA’s Villanova Wildcats set a high bar for the city’s innovators, entrepreneurs and investors. The championship trophy they are chasing: inclusive prosperity for the city’s growing and diverse population. Philadelphia has been selected for an identity makeover as part of the “Global Cities Initiative” from JPMorgan Chase and the Brookings Institute, which aims at helping city-regions “achieve more differentiation, visibility, and recognition to compete for business and talent.” (Another is Columbus, Ohio, the 2045 setting of Steven Spielberg’s film, “Ready Player One.”)

From Pt. Breeze to Germantown to Olney to Kensington, Philly’s New Revivalists are exploring new models of “inclusive gentrification” and shared prosperity. Shift Capital, a self-described impact real estate group, for example, is exploring exit strategies that share the increased value of the neighborhood, including a land trust (or for-profit company) owned by a mission-aligned non-profit to ensure local wealth creation. The latest in ImpactAlpha’s deep dive into Philadelphia’s 21st-century revival explores neighborhood-level efforts to make Philadelphia great again.

Read, “Philadelphia is chasing another championship: Civic revival and inclusive prosperity,” By Megan McFadden on ImpactAlpha.

Join ImpactAlpha in Philadelphia… on April 26-27 for the Total Impact Conference from Good Capital Project and ImpactPHL. The event will feature tools and opportunities for advisors, families and investors. Register here for a $300 discount with code TI_ImpactAlpha.

Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent

Ten organizations will receive a $1 million grant from the Communities Thrive Challenge, a Rockefeller Foundation and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative funding opportunity open to organizations expanding economic opportunity for financially insecure people in the US (50 days left to register)… The Africa Mini-Grid Developers Association launched to mobilize finance and advocate for policies to support the expansion of the mini-grid sector across the continent… Megan McFadden, Kelcey Gosserand and Colleen Connorshave launched ‘women + blockchain,’ a weekly newsletter that aims to boost the influence of women in the development of the distributed ledger technology.

Signals: Ahead of the Curve

Apple now running 100% on clean energy… sort of. The tech giant said last week that its retail stores, offices, data centers and co-located facilities in 43 countries are now powered fully by renewable energy sources. The iPhone maker says it has also secured a total 23 supplier commitments to power their Apple production with 100 percent clean energy.

  • What they really mean… Apple has built or bought enough renewable energy capacity to cover its total electricity usage. Many of its facilities are still connected to the grid, not directly to renewable sources.
  • Renewable projects… Apple has invested in 25 new renewable projects, including solar arrays and wind farms, biogas fuel cells, micro-hydro generation systems and energy storage technologies, totaling 626 megawatts of generation capacity (it has 15 more projects in construction). Where it can’t build, it buys renewable energy purchase contracts that support new and local projects. It also purchases renewable energy credits from new projects.
  • Green finance… To fund new clean energy projects, Apple sold $1.5 billion worth of green bonds in 2016 and another $1 billion in 2017. Total green bond issuances reached a record $155 billion in 2017.
  • Greener tech… Google too has purchased enough renewable energyfrom sources built specifically for Google to match 100 percent of the electricity it consumed in 2017.

Dealflow: Follow the Money

UBS Wealth aims to capture “impact delta” in sustainable portfolio. The bank’s “ESG Engagement Equities” strategy will focus on smaller listed companies in emerging markets, seeking to improve labor standards, supply chains, and environmental practices. Read more.

Atlanta community foundation launches impact fund. The Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta has launched a $10 million fund to spur impact investing in its donor base. Learn more.

BookNook reading tool secures $2 million for expansion. The Oakland, California-based firm makes a digital tool that helps teachers give reading instruction to small groups of children. Read on.

BioCarbon Engineering raises $2.5 million to plant trees with drones. The firm says its drones can plant trees 150 times faster and 10 times cheaper than traditional tree-planters. Dig in.