Millennials and Sustainable / Responsible / Impact Investing -- A New Force To Be Reckoned With!




Millennials and Sustainable / Responsible / Impact Investing -- A New Force To Be Reckoned With!

We Americans are fond of putting specific age cohorts in neatly assembled descriptors -- the Silent Generation; the Greatest Generation; the Baby Boom Generation; Gen X and Gen Y.

Now in focus:  The Millennial Generation, fast approaching the vaunted celebrity status of the post-WW II Baby Boom Generation.  You'll recall The Boomers were born in years 1946 to 1964 and were some 77 million American women and men in total.  For many years this population cohort dominated trends in education, business, popular culture, entertainment, politics, investing, and other societal activities.

Now we have a new dominant force coming to leadership in those categories. The Millennials are considered to be the last generation of the 20th Century, those born between 1982 and 2004 -- estimated at 76 million people, according to demographic experts Howe and Strauss.  (Time magazine puts the dates as 1980-2000; The New York Times, 1976-1990. Whatever the exact years, this is the generation that will dominate at least the first half of the 21st Century.)

Even now, the Millennials are said to be outnumbering the number of Boomers in the workforce of 2017 -- they are wielding tremendous influence on "work in America."

What about their investing and wealth building activities?  The Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing has some guidance for us in the findings of their recent look at 1,000 individual active investors -- the Institute's MS Sustainable Signals survey. 

Highlights:  75% of all those surveyed and 86% of the Millennial investors surveyed think of themselves as interested in sustainable investing.  The first MS Institute survey was in 2015; the findings were similar to the 2017 attitudes.  But, the 2017 survey found a significant increase in those Millennials responding as  "Very Interested", which rose from a level of 28% two years ago to 38% in the recent survey round.

This, the Morgan Stanley Institute surmises is at least partly responsible for the spike: in the U.S., sustainable, responsible & impact investing between 2014 (established by US SIF survey at US$6.57 trillion in AUM) grew to $8.27 trillion in 2016 -- a dramatic, 33% growth rate..

Audrey Choi, Chief Sustainability Officer and Chief Marketing Officer at Morgan Stanley says:  "As widespread attention to sustainability continues to increase, consumers and investors alike are now more than ever factoring sustainability issues into their investment decisions."

Note that Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing  "...works to drive scalable investment solutions that seek to deliver positive social or environmental impact alongside the market-rate returns clients expect..."
There's a link in our Top Story to the 93-page report.

To think about:  In a commentary on TechTarget "WhatIs.com", the author said:  "Millennials are concerned about social justice and will not support institutions that they see in conflict with social and economic equality.  As such, Millennials are exerting their influence on the world around them..."

Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing is helping to chart that effect in the capital markets.

Top Stories This Week...

Millennials Are Driving Global Sustainable Investment
(Friday - August 18, 2017) 
Source: Clean Technica - A new investor survey conducted by leading global financial services company Morgan Stanley has revealed that three-quarters of investors and 86% of Millennial investors are interested in sustainable investing.

About Sustainability: Progress Is Being Made - We See Forward Momentum!

CFOs and sustainability—a growing relationship
(Monday - August 14, 2017) 
Source: Journal of Accountancy - There are powerful reasons why corporate finance teams should be key participants in their business's sustainability journeys. 

Which American cities are the most sustainable?
(Monday - August 14, 2017) 
Source: GRIST - U.S. coastal cities are coming the closest to meeting sustainability goals set by the U.N., according to the first analysis of 100 metropolitan cities by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). But no U.S. city has...  

How collaboration inspires sustainability heroes
(Tuesday - August 15, 2017) 
Source: GreenBiz - Thankfully, some of the world’s largest companies and big environmental NGOs — traditionally perceived to be at odds with each other — are showing the rest of us how to step out of our bubbles, onto common ground, and collaborate...

Business Stepping Up: The Principles of Sustainable Management  
(Wednesday - August 16, 2017) 
Source: Huff Post - In the early 1990s, Professor Mike Russo suggested that there was a broader context for our work helping companies profit by using resources more efficiently. There is, he stated, a business case for sustainability...

Companies Committed to Sustainability But Which Rely on Old-Economy Metrics Will Never Get There from Here
(Thursday - August 17, 2017) 
Source: Sustainable Brands - We simply cannot measure things in old ways when the things we’re trying to measure are entirely new. New constructs usually call for new metrics. 

Executive Perspective: Poor Sustainability Standards In Livestock Risk Health And Wealth Of All Of Us
(Friday - August 18, 2017) 
Source: Reuters - Three years ago a local reporter secretly captured footage of a Shanghai factory using expired and mishandled meat for supply to global fast food chains such as McDonald’s and KFC. The video went viral, launching an official...

How France is stealing the show on sustainability  
(Friday - August 18, 2017) 
Source: Ethical Corp - This month's magazine reports on the state of sustainable business in France, looking at how the country is taking leadership on issues from climate to human rights, and how the new Macron government looks set to lift that...


Our Focus This Week on A Range of ESG Topics & Issues -- Things to Think About..

Wildfires across southern European amid scorching heatwave – in pictures
(Tuesday - August 15, 2017) 
Source: The Guardian - Extreme weather across southern Europe has spawned and fanned numerous wildfires, including at the beach resort of Kalamos near Athens and in central Portugal...

Sierra Club sues U.S. Energy Department over power grid study
(Tuesday - August 15, 2017) 
Source: Reuters - Environmental group the Sierra Club sued the U.S. Energy Department on Monday in hopes of forcing it to reveal the groups it has consulted in conducting an eagerly awaited study on the electricity grid...

Socially-Responsible Investing: Earn Better Returns From Good Companies  
(Thursday - August 17, 2017) 
Source: Forbes - ESG investing — which accesses companies based in part on their environmental, social and governance policies — is a fast-growing segment of the financial landscape. Importantly, socially-responsible investing is not just a... 

July Was the 2nd Hottest Month in Recorded History
(Friday - August 18, 2017) 
Source: Bloomberg - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday Earth sweated to its second hottest month since recordkeeping began in 1880. At 61.89 degrees (16.63 Celsius), last month was behind July 2016's all-time record by...

Five Crucial Skills We'll Need to Actually Fight Climate Change
(Tuesday - August 15, 2017) 
Source: Science Alert - Kevin Rudd described global warming as "the greatest moral challenge of our generation", but this is too simple. It's the greatest economic, political, social, cultural, environmental, and scientific challenge of our time. 
 
Morgan Stanley finds 'record levels' of ESG investors
(Friday - August 18, 2017) 
Source: GreenBiz - Interest in sustainable investing is continuing to increase as evidence mounts that investment choices can deliver positive social or environmental benefits. But the sector is still being hampered by the "myth" that sustainable... 

The world’s largest floating solar farm is producing energy atop a former coal mine
(Friday - August 18, 2017) 
Source: Quartz - Now the city has become home to the world’s largest floating solar farm. Appropriately, it has been built atop a former coal mine, which had become a lake after being flooded with groundwater. The China Daily reports that the... 

The U.S. economy is "broken" -- here's the proof
(Thursday - August 17, 2017) 
Source: CBS - Many Americans correctly perceive the U.S. as a land of "haves" and "have-nots," reflecting the erosion of the middle class and a growing public awareness of economic inequality. Less widely understood is where the... 

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News for You From the Corporate Sector -Both Positive & Negative

Molson Coors Announces New Sustainability Goals, Aims for Zero Waste to Landfill by 2025
(Thursday - August 17, 2017) 
Source: BrewBound - Today, Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE: TAP;TSX: TPX) released its 2017 Our Beer Print Report, announcing a bold, new sustainability strategy and goals to guide the company through 2025.

Eastman Issues 2017 Sustainability Report
(Friday - August 18, 2017) 
Source: Greeneville Sun - Building on the company’s progress, the report provides a review of Eastman’s sustainability strategy and goals as well as highlights from the past year. 

Cooper Tire releases 2016 Global Sustainability Report
(Tuesday - August 15, 2017) 
Source: Traction - Cooper Tire & Rubber Company released its fifth annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability report – “Responsibility the Cooper Way.”  

Schnitzer Announces Fiscal 2016 Sustainability Report
(Tuesday - August 15, 2017) 
Source: BusinessWire - Our third consecutive annual report summarizes our environmental footprint, safety performance, corporate governance and compliance, and community involvement, and provides key performance indicators (KPIs) which demonstrate the... 

Carnival Corporation Launches Sustainability Website, Releases 2016 Sustainability Report
(Wednesday - August 16, 2017) 
Source: Business Insider - Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the world's largest leisure travel company, today released its 2016 sustainability report as part of the launch of its new dedicated sustainability website. 

Wells Fargo Shakes Up Board After Second Scandal Reignites Criticism
(Wednesday - August 16, 2017) 
Source: The Street - The bank is "reacting to the investor expectations that things have to improve," Hank Boerner, chairman of Governance & Accountability Institute Inc., a New York-based consultancy, said in a telephone interview. "Bringing in new independent directors, moving tenured directors out and bringing in fresh blood, those are moves in the right direction."

Costco owes Tiffany more than $19 million for selling counterfeit rings
(Tuesday - August 15, 2017) 
Source: CNN - U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain ruled on Monday that Tiffany (TIF) is entitled to $11.1 million in trebled profits -- triple the loss it incurred from Costco's actions -- plus interest, in addition to $8.25 million in... 

German green group to pursue diesel bans as agreed steps inadequate  
(Wednesday - August 16, 2017) 
Source: Reuters - BERLIN – German efforts to overcome a diesel scandal were dealt a blow on Tuesday after prosecutors widened a Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) probe and a key environmental group said steps proposed by automakers to cut pollution remained...  

UBER SETTLES WITH FTC AGAIN, THIS TIME OVER 2014 PRIVACY BREACH
(Wednesday - August 16, 2017) 
Source: Wired.com - UBER ON TUESDAY agreed to improve its privacy and security practices and to allow outsiders to monitor its progress for 20 years. 

Bayer-Backed Health Startup Medopad Raises Funds With UBS  
(Thursday - August 17, 2017) 
Source: Bloomberg - Medopad Ltd., backed by pharmaceuticals giant Bayer AG, is looking to raise new funds, joining the clutch of fast growing U.K. startups that are mixing artificial intelligence and health care.

Hyundai plans long-range premium electric car in strategic shift
(Thursday - August 17, 2017) 
Source: Reuters - Hyundai Motor Co said on Thursday it was placing electric vehicles at the center of its product strategy - one that includes plans for a premium long-distance electric car as it seeks to catch up to Tesla...  
 
Mylan, U.S. finalize $465 million EpiPen settlement  
(Friday - August 18, 2017) 
Source: Reuters - Mylan NV (MYL.O) has finalized a $465 million settlement resolving U.S. Justice Department claims it overcharged the government for its EpiPen emergency allergy treatment, which became the center of a firestorm over...

News & Opinion: Asset Managers, US Pension Funds, Sovereign Wealth Funds

Norway's SWF falling short on sustainability, says think tank
(Monday - August 14, 2017) 
Source: IPE.com - Norway’s NOK7.75trn (€829bn) sovereign wealth fund has strong policies on sustainability and climate change but falls short on putting these into action, according to a critical report from think tank Re-Define.

Vanguard seeks corporate disclosure on risks from climate change
(Tuesday - August 15, 2017) 
Source: Reuters - Vanguard Group on Monday said it has urged companies to disclose how climate change could affect their business and asset valuations, reflecting how the environment has become a priority for the investment industry. 

US Ramps Up Criminal Investigation into Malaysia’s 1MDB Scam
(Saturday - August 12, 2017) Associated Profiles : 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB, formerly known as Terengganu Investment Authority) 
Source: www.occrp.org - US law enforcement is intensifying a criminal investigation into a multi-billion dollar alleged fraud at Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MBD), Bloomberg reported Thursday. The news agency reported... 

GCC Sovereign Wealth Funds: Challenges, Opportunities, and Issues Arising from Their Growing Presence on the Global Landscape
(Thursday - August 17, 2017) Associated Profiles : Mauritania National Fund for Hydrocarbon Reserves 
Source: link.springer.com - GCC SWFs are very active global financial actors, investing primarily in foreign assets; these include equities, bonds, property, precious metals, and other financial instruments (IWG 2008). Unlike private equity and hedge funds... 

State pension fund divestment policies leave Californians another day older and deeper in debt
(Friday - August 18, 2017) Associated Profiles : California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) 
Source: Orange County Register - This has often had a significant negative impact on pension investment performance. CalPERS’ divestments cost it approximately $8 billion over a 15-year period, according to an October 2015 report from Wilshire Associates,.

Trump Administration News... Affecting Directions on Governance, Sustainability & Climate Change

Trump Administration Takes Key Step To Rolling Back Auto Fuel Standards  
(Tuesday - August 15, 2017) 
Source: NPR - The Trump administration has begun the process of rolling back tough fuel standards for America's car and light truck fleet. 

Trump Signs Order Rolling Back Environmental Rules on Infrastructure
(Wednesday - August 16, 2017) 
Source: New York Times - President Trump announced on Tuesday that he had signed a sweeping executive order to eliminate and streamline some permitting regulations and to speed construction of roads, bridges and pipelines, declaring that the...  


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