Impact Investing

'Impact Investing': Good For The Planet, Good For Profit?

March 13, 2019

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(March 13, 2019) — Foundations and pension funds are under pressure to do more "impact investing," focusing not just on the bottom line, but also on doing good for people and the planet. But is it effective? If so, why isn’t impact investing catching on more?

"As evidence, take PG&E’s recent bankruptcy filing following the wildfires that ravaged California over the past two years.

"The company’s equipment has been blamed for contributing to those disasters. But another factor — the hotter climate and drier terrain in California and broader region — also contributed to the problem.

"'Any utility in those regions can be at risk for fires because they have a ton of infrastructure spread across a very fire-prone landscape,' said Julie Gorte, senior vice president for sustainable investing at Impax Asset Management and Pax World Funds.

"And the potential risks tied to climate change don’t end there.

"'Any company can face climate risk, and I think that is the 800-pound gorilla,' Gorte said.

"The good news for individual investors is that there are ways that you can invest with the intention of helping to make a difference and you can still make a profit doing it."

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