Despite a well-publicized once-in-a-decade meeting that brought government officials, businesses, and NGOs from 188 nations to the negotiation table, the Rio+20 environmental summit has concluded on Friday with no enforceable commitments on climate change and other ecological crises, frustrating participants and civil society alike. Some progress was made on the sidelines through NGOs and businesses, but there was an overarching failure to acknowledge the planetary boundaries that limit economic activity as currently constituted.
“We simply can't continue as if business as usual was the cheapest solution. It is not."
—European Union Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard
Field Guide to Investing in a Regenerative Economy: The Patient Capital Collaborative
The studies of our third field guide theme, “healing finance,” will report on the emerging financing and investment vehicles that are serving the transition to a more just and resilient economy. Below you will find the story of The Patient Capital Collaborative, an innovative fund bringing to bear the collective expertise of angel investors to help nurture early-state companies attempting to make meaningful social and environmental impact in the world.
Richard Heinberg’s latest book, The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality, argues for a new economic paradigm. He presents a clear, thorough, and convincing argument that our faith in unrelenting growth and unfettered capitalism has led to the demise of our global economic system. The book is well-cited throughout, encouraging curious readers to dig deeper into the source material that helped shape Heinberg’s case. (He acknowledges in particular our own Capital Institute Founder, John Fullerton, who provided background for the book from his perspective as a former managing director at JP Morgan on how Wall Street has evolved over the past quarter century.)
It is unfortunate that Heinberg’s terms seem harsh, but as a young person who is already concerned with limits to growth, he clarifies that the time is now for an era of qualitative development rather than quantitative growth. The End of Growth appropriately invokes fear and a sense of irreversible urgency but it is all in the cause of productive change towards a more buoyant and adaptable economy.
Capital Institute is proud to report that Peter Kinder, co-founder of KLD Research & Analytics and Capital Institute board member, is this year's winner of the Joan Bavaria Impact Award. He was honored along with William Foote, founder and CEO of Root Capital, as this year’s winners of the fourth annual Joan Bavaria Awards for Building Sustainability into the Capital Markets at the opening reception of the Ceres annual conference, held in May in Oakland, CA.
The Bavaria Awards are given annually to two leaders working to move the capital markets toward a system that balances economic prosperity with social and environmental concerns. Separate awards are given for recent innovation and long-term impact. Bavaria, a pioneer of social investing, founded Ceres and Trillium Asset Management before her death in 2008.
Kinder received the Bavaria Impact Award. In 1988, Kinder co-founded KLD Research & Analytics, the world’s first for-profit investment research firm dedicated to the evaluation of corporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance and practices. KLD established the intellectual framework and metrics eventually used throughout the world to measure sustainability performance for publicly-traded companies.