Blog

Microfinance and Impact/ESG Investing in Indian Tech Startups

“The success of the microfinance model inspired us to replicate a similar approach
in healthcare and education, which are as critical to rural India as credit.”
-
Srikrishna Ramamoorthy of Unitus Ventures

Image Source: Indiatimes.com

Microfinance typically aims to provide low-income or impoverished communities with access to capital. They are often in the form of small business loans with the goal of helping communities and businesses become self-sufficient. A recent Forbes article notes that the success of microfinance projects in India has resulted in larger-scale impact investments, including the funding of impact/ESG-oriented tech startups.

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Q&A with CCM Chief Impact Strategist David Sand

CCM’s Chief Impact Strategist, David Sand, has more than 35 years of investment management experience and is a trailblazer in the socially responsible/impact investing arena. Recently, a member of our team sat down with David and asked him a few questions about his career and experience.

Q: What started your career in impact/ESG investing? Was there any specific catalyst(s) that led you to become a pioneer in the development of market-rate, fixed income impact investments?

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The Disconnect Between Sustainable Lifestyles and Sustainable Investments

“Wealthy investors are motivated by sustainable values, yet many don’t apply them to investment decisions.”1

It has become more common for affluent investors to incorporate sustainability into their lifestyles.  These new behaviors include recycling and using natural household cleaners, making large scale environmentally friendly purchases such as solar panels and electric cars, and even choosing impactful careers.  These investors may be more likely to purchase a product from a company with a reputation as a leader in environmental sustainability, versus a slightly-cheaper version of the product from a manufacturer with no known sustainability focus.

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Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5: Achieve Gender Equality and Empower All Women and Girls

According to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) and Sustainable Development Goal #5, providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.

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State Treasurers and Public Pension Fiduciaries Seeking to Increase Allocations to Impact/ESG

Across state and municipal pension plans, state treasurers and plan fiduciaries are seeking to learn more about impact/ESG investments. Similar to our recent blog noting the adoption of impact/ESG strategies in defined contribution/401(k) plans, these municipalities also look to introduce new or increase their existing impact/ESG allocations.

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The Adoption of Impact/ESG Strategies in 401(k) Plans

Adoption of Sustainable Investing (SI) strategies, or those that integrate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals, has seen considerable growth in defined contribution (DC) plans. This growth has been primarily fueled by an increased appetite from participants, interest from plan sponsors to align DC menus with their corporate values, and a growing set of investment capabilities that fit the performance needs and values of investors.1 

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Investing to Further Your Values: Faith-based Impact Investing

Since 2014, the Vatican has held three conferences on impact investing (2014, 2016, 2018), and the Catholic Church has become a major player in the impact/ESG space. This biennial series of Vatican Impact Investing Conferences is a “vital, long-term global platform around Pope Francis's vision of 'putting the economy at the services of peoples'”.At these events, impact investing experts and Catholic leaders from around the world convene to share and evaluate finance models and investible vehicles to address systemic challenges of great importance to both the Catholic Church and the global community. Current challenges include Climate Change, Health, Migrants and Refugees, and Youth Unemployment.2

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A Closer look at CCM’s Impact/ESG Investments and how they Positively Support Affordable Housing and Seniors/the Disabled

Housing is critical to quality of life, especially for older adults. A 2014 report released by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and AARP Foundation discusses how America’s older population is experiencing unprecedented growth, but the country is not prepared to meet the housing needs of this aging group. 

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When a Great Impact Opportunity Just Doesn’t Make Financial Sense

Picture a large office building in your nearest city. At night, there are usually a handful of lights on in various rooms and offices which you notice from miles away. Now picture that same building during the day with every light on and consider the amount of energy that is being pulled from the grid to provide that illumination.

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Why We Incorporate Walk and Bike Scores into our Impact Themes

If you’ve gone through the home buying or renting process during the past few years, you may have seen something called a Walk Score while exploring properties online.  This metric, which is patented by a company with the same name, has become a popular addition to online real estate sites such as Zillow or Redfin and provides an instant idea of how easy, or difficult, it is to navigate an area on foot and whether there are stores, schools and employers nearby.

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 A full list of regulatory disclosures for Community Capital Management, Inc. are available by visiting: https://www.ccminvests.com/regulatory-disclosures/.