June Social Impact News Roundup: The “E” in ESG

Alexandra Nemeth

Senior Manager, Content Marketing & Storytelling at MovingWorlds

Every month, we share leading social impact insights, trends, job opportunities, and events to help you drive positive change from wherever you are. Here are some highlights from June 2022:

Cracking Down on ESG-Washing (and billionaires are mad about it)

For individuals and institutions looking to invest in a more sustainable form of capitalism, ESG (Environmental, Social, & Governance) funds have become an increasingly popular method – rising by 38% in the past year alone. The rush towards ESG has happened quickly, and regulators are still working to catch up and filter out those riding the coattails of this trend from those truly embodying it. As the New York Times explains, ”that has led to episodes like one last month when Elon Musk called the entire industry a ‘scam,’ after S&P Global had the temerity to remove Tesla from an E.S.G. index…in part because of accusations of racial discrimination and other worker mistreatment. Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission is frantically trying to catch up, investigating Goldman Sachs and other big banks and questioning whether some are slapping E.S.G. labels on funds that may not deserve them to make a grab for investor assets.” For more about the history and present status of ESG, check out our comprehensive ESG guide here.

The Central Role of Entrepreneurs in Combating Climate Change

The impacts of climate change are expected to push 132 million people into poverty within the next decade, and inadequate access to energy and clean cooking fuels plays an outsized role in driving the cycle of poverty. Access to reliable energy creates greater opportunities for those in rural and off-grid communities to engage in productive activities such as building businesses, creating economic livelihoods, and educating their children. Learn how social entrepreneurs are addressing poverty by making clean energy accessible worldwide with solutions like solar lights, clean cookstoves, village-level mini-grids, solar water pumps, and biodigesters in this article from the Miller Center team in Impact Entrepreneur. New data from the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) also shows that Small & Growing Businesses (SGBs) must be a part of the global effort to create necessary climate solutions, but they need support. Check out ANDE’s breakdown of the latest IPCC reports – and what they mean for SGBs – here.

The Value of ESG and Impact Reporting for Companies

ESG and impact data can completely transform how companies raise capital, attract new revenue streams, build customer loyalty, and create a more sustainable business. A recent report from Accenture/WEF shows that companies that embed effective environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices into their operations generate more than 20% higher profitability on average. Two new articles from Proof of Impact highlight what this looks like in practice: this post about how CFOs can use impact performance data to create financial returns, and this post about how SME lenders can use impact data to secure funding. As part of this corporate focus on ESG, many companies are looking for social enterprise partners. Learn more about how your social enterprise can take advantage of this opportunity in this recent blog post with advice from top accelerators and impact investors. 

Disrupting Traditional Healthcare Models With Digital Tools to Expand Accessibility 

A new digital health model, Padayon, demonstrates the benefits of task-shifting from traditional skilled health workers to community health teams with the help of reach52’s offline-first app to support a fully integrated solution for low-income patients providing coaching, testing and medicines in one accessible subscription service. This sustainable and scalable model, designed, built, and implemented by a public-private sector partnership between municipal health providers in the Philippines and social enterprises Medtronic LABS and reach52, overcomes access barriers by training members of communities as Agents with digital tools customized to work in regions with low internet connectivity. Learn more about the Padayon model in this report.

Social Impact Job Opportunities

Upcoming Events & New Programs

  • July 1: Join Makers Unite at its new United Repair Centre in Amsterdam at 5:00pm for an evening of inspiration about clothing repair as the new cool, a look into its new repair centre, along with drinks and music.
  • July 6: Application deadline for Her Environment, Her Future: An Empowerment Program for young women in Africa & Europe fighting against Climate Change. Apply here.
  • July 11: CASE at Duke is launching its third third year of the Fred Morgan Kirby Prize for Scaling Social Impact, an unrestricted $100,000 prize to one amazing social enterprise working to achieve impact at scale. Register here for the informational webinar to learn more about the prize and application process.
  • July 19-20: ANDE is hosting its 2022 West Africa Regional Conference on the theme “Accelerating SGB Growth in Africa,” which will focus on critical talent challenges in the SGB sector, as well as how SGBs can help developing economies achieve the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in the context of rebuilding a sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem post-COVID. Learn more and register here.
  • July 20: Join the TRANSFORM Support Hub for a free social enterprise growth webinar, “Using Social Impact as a Sales Advantage” with special guest Tim Rann of Mercy Corps Ventures. Register here
  • Ongoing: If you lead a mission-driven social enterprise looking to scale a proven impact model, Miller Center’s Silicon Valley-based, globally recognized accelerator programs help leaders develop pathways to scale and prepare for next-level investment. Learn more and apply here.

Join us in Welcoming the Newest Partners to the TRANSFORM Support Hub

  • Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship: A Center of Distinction at Santa Clara University accelerating entrepreneurship to end global poverty and protect the planet.
  • Good Market: A curated community of social enterprises, cooperatives, responsible businesses, civic organizations, networks, and changemakers.

Congratulations to….

A final bit of inspiration

“The reason that [Elon Musk] is confused is because [he’s] a single-issue C.E.O., and that’s not the way of the future. The way of the future is people and planet, and a fractured society can’t make anything, including electric cars.”
Rachel Robasciotti in the New York Times

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