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According to Morningstar, in 2018, flows into ESG funds totaled $5.4 billion; in 2019, that number jumped by more than four times to $21.4 billion; and in 2020, it reached $51.1 billion, a 10-fold growth in just two years that represented nearly a quarter of all investments in US stock and bond mutual funds in 2020.

This surge in ESG investing shows the idea that capital and business can play a strong role in strengthening our society is coming to life. However, the movement currently lacks consensus around a clear set of measurement and standards, and it’s up to the investor to ask the hard questions and scour the data to see if a fund meets the investor’s definition of ESG.

In her latest piece in Barron’s, Jean Case writes that the strong momentum for ESG-related policies and investing has created a unique opportunity to use capital for both financial returns and to help solve some of our world’s greatest challenges. She urges us to take advantage of this opportunity to rally around clear, consistent systems that inject more transparency, measurement, and standards so this ESG surge leads to long-term change and has real impact.

Jean Case took the Bloomberg Green virtual stage with National Geographic explorers Jenna Jambeck and Dan Raven-Ellison. Watch to learn what it’s like to be an explorer and how National Geographic is addressing climate change!
McKinsey Platform to Help Clients with Net Zero Transformation
McKinsey & Company launched a new platform aimed at helping clients get to net zero by 2050 and to cut carbon emissions by half by 2030. The focus will be on driving a ‘brown to green’ transition of the global economy’s installed base, building new green businesses, retiring the highest carbon intensity assets, and scaling nature-based solutions.
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The Women Over 50 Fighting To Save The Environment
A great list of changemakers with our grantee, National Geographic, featured at the top! Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Sylvia Earle is the founder of Mission Blue, a nonprofit that works to protect the ocean. Her work is the epitome of #BeFearless.
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Funding for Women Entrepreneurs
A new study from All Raise shows that in 2020, women entrepreneurs in the US raised about $22 billion, 14.4% of a record $156 billion in deployed capital. Pam Kostka, All Raise’s CEO, noted that “Despite industry-wide promises, 2020 was a setback year for women and non-binary individuals.”
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Podcast: The Case for Displaying your Failures
When she started out, Melissa Bernstein, the co-founder of educational-toy company Melissa & Doug, was terrified of failing. Today, behind Bernstein’s desk is a shelf full of her “failure” toys that didn’t sell or make it to market.
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Companies Lacking Boardroom Diversity Risk ‘Dying’
Starbucks Chair Mellody Hobson notes that stakeholder capitalism has strong benefits for shareholders, employees, consumers, and communities. “At the end of the day, we think all of [these] considerations enhance shareholder value.”
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Climate & Corporate Sustainability
Last week, our team reviewed the stock performance for the last year for all companies that received an “A” from the CDP for their sustainability disclosure and action. The quick take: businesses that incorporate climate risk are performing well in the market.
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