Sustainability in the news

Commercial PACE Financing – Available in 35 states.

CleanFund is the leading direct provider of commercial PACE (C-PACE) financing, offering long-term, fixed-rate, nonrecourse capital for commercial, multi-family and alternative non-residential property types. CleanFund’s PACECapital product finances up to 100% of both hard and soft building improvement costs for value-add, respositioning and retrofit projects through property taxes. Property types: Core: Office, Retail, Healthcare, Hospitality, Multifamily, Industrial. Special use: Hospitals, Golf Courses, Wineries, Educational, Cold & Self Storage (Warehouse/Distribution), Theatres, Auto Dealerships, Manufactured Housing and Non-profits. Eligible items include: energy efficiency, renewables, energy storage, water conservation. Interest rates of 5%-7%; financing fee of 1%-3%.



50 companies with the highest ESG scores indicate a strong correlation between financial performance and sustainability performance.

The Centre for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE) report on Sustainability (ESG) Reporting Trends: North America 2018 is based on 642 North American sustainability reports. Evidence suggests a strong correlation between comprehensive sustainability strategies, Sustainability Reporting and a culture of transparency that have a positive impact on revenues. CSE created the new Return on SustainabilityTM (RoS) framework to support businesses. It helps assess the impact of their Sustainability Strategies and Reporting on their bottom line. Any company can complete the CSE Sustainability and Financial Performance Questionnaire as a first step. Responses identify if they have the enablers and tools needed to integrate sustainability into their research strategy and maximize RoS.



Investing’s Final Frontier: Impact Measurement

Lisa Cox

Video – Measuring the impact or “social return” of money spent on enterprises and initiatives aiming to solve pressing social problems. Social returns can manifest in myriad ways, from increased literacy, to healthier infants, to reduced pollution. In general, each type of social return calls for its own metrics to answer this basic question: Is this social impact investment/initiative having the intended effect?



Why it’s now easy being green in the bond world

by Matthew Tucker

Internview with Ashley Schulten, BlackRock’s Head of Responsible Investing for Global Fixed Income. A green bond is a debt instrument in which the issuer commits to using the borrowed money for projects deemed environmentally beneficial. These can include everything from installing solar panels at factories to improving energy efficiency to constructing green buildings. The key is that the bond’s proceeds are ring-fenced on the issuer’s balance sheet to finance these green projects, so investors know that the money being raised is only going to go to the green projects outlined by the issuer. Importantly, a green bond doesn’t have to be issued by a green company, per se. Today there are almost $475 billion in green bonds outstanding, with over $150 billion issued in 2017 alone (source: BlackRock, Bloomberg, as of 6/30/2018). That market is global and spread across a range of public and corporate issuers. they offer investors the ability to pair their financial and environmental objectives. Investors can still access the bond market as a way of seeking income and adding diversification in a broad portfolio. At the same time, they can know that their investment will go towards funding projects designed to address climate and other environmental issues. iShares just launched the iShares Global Green Bond ETF ( BGRN ) . The issuers in this global market are generally investment grade. Although the fund seeks to track an index of global investment grade bonds, hedges are used to mitigate foreign currency risk. Additionally, for investors who want to get a sense of how “green” their investments really are, green bond issuers offer publicly disclosed reporting on the impact of their projects, like the amount of CO2 reduced. Fund investors can likewise see the “greenness” of the overall portfolio alongside other data.



Duke, Dominion issue $1.3B in green bonds

Duke’s green bonds have a weighted average coupon of 3.74% between the three-year and 10-year maturities. The utility said they priced the bonds on Nov. 5 and closed the transaction three days later, helping “ensure the company’s renewable energy projects continue to be financed on attractive terms to serve Carolinas customers.” Dominion said it had made significant investments in renewable energy over recent years, “but this marks the first time that the company has specifically allocated the net proceeds of a bond issuance to support investment in renewable (or clean) generation.”


How to Tie Executive Compensation to Sustainability

In a survey of 89 institutional investors by Callan, 43% of respondents said they incorporate sustainability factors into their investment decisions — up 21 percentage points from 2013. Compensation committees often start by tying bonuses and long-term incentives to goals related to compliance and risk management. Boards should demand entirely new kinds of strategic thinking from management, the kind of thinking that not only makes the company more sustainable but also aids suppliers and customers in becoming so.



BSR – The State of Sustainable Business 2018

Key Findings: Companies are defining a new sustainability agenda: Corporate integrity and diversity and inclusion, are top priorities for sustainability efforts, Climate change and human rights remain in the top four priority issues; Sustainability needs to be integrated into strategy; SDGs are driving strategy; Companies have limited focus on value chain impacts; There is a need for more cross-functional collaboration; There is room to improve communications.



Sustainability in coffee supply chain

Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) has committed to sourcing 100 percent of its coffee responsibly and to improving the lives of 1 million people in its supply chain by 2020, and is making significant progress in both areas. These goals are designed to bring KDP beyond the audit “checklist” and bring true, meaningful impact to coffee communities.



International Corporate Citizenship Film Festival

The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship’s International Corporate Citizenship Film Festival is the largest film festival devoted exclusively to celebrating the work of corporate social responsibility (CSR) professionals, their companies, and programs. The eleventh annual Film Festival, presented by BBVA Compass, is now accepting submissions. Winners will be honored at the 2019 International Corporate Citizenship Conference, being held April 28-30, 2019 in Dallas, Texas.
The Film Festival is open to all companies regardless of size or location. To participate, an organization is asked to submit a short film depicting one or more aspects of a recent corporate citizenship initiative. Winner announced: Winners will be announced on April 28, during the 2019 International Corporate Citizenship Conference, which is being held on April 28-30, 2019, in Dallas, Texas. Finalists must be present to win. Click here to submit your film for the 2019 International Corporate Citizenship Film Festival. If you have questions, please email
The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship (BCCCC) is a leader in the field of corporate citizenship helping corporate social responsibility (CSR) professionals know more about how to maximize business and social value; do more, and achieve more through environmental, social, and governance investments. Founded in 1985, the Center draws on a community of corporate professionals, original research, and resources of the Boston College Carroll School of Management. The membershipsupported organization engages more than 10,000 individuals annually across its network of more than 470 member companies each year. For more information, visit




The ROI of Philanthropy: Consumers Willing to Spend 6% More for Products from Socially Responsible Companies

New findings from Nucleus Research show that philanthropy is good for business, with the average consumer willing to pay up to six percent more for a product from socially responsible companies. The research is part of a guidebook developed by Nucleus for Philanthropy Cloud – a platform that connects consumers and corporations with the causes they care about. Consumers are 64% more likely to recommend socially responsible companies to friends Consumers are 63% more likely to try new products from socially responsible companies 50 percent of respondents believe it is important or very important to work for a company that supports philanthropic causes that they favor.