As impact investors, we’re happy to see Bloomberg News predict great things ahead in 2020 for this and related fields in finance. Bloomberg summarizes the action ahead in five categories: 1) Investors reconsidering whether fossil fuels are worthwhile investments; 2) World’s asset managers likely pushing impact investing forward after run of shareholder proposals in 2019; 3) Continued growth and increasing democratization of ESG and impact investing funds so everyone can get in the game; 4) Pressure for lenders to focus on climate risk and green/sustainable investing; and 5) Continued focus on the recycling crisis, and expanded focus on other waste, including clothing and food.
The corresponding opportunities for impact investing are endless. Keep investing in oil, for example, or phase out fossil fuels and run the world on clean energy? A Stanford University Study says it would cost $73 trillion but “could pay for itself in under seven years.” This would require investing in all kinds of technology and infrastructure, but returns would be more than financial.
And what to do with our everyday waste? Since bottom fell out of easy options, investors have started supporting recycling operations in countries other than China, but that’s still a finite number of places. As a result, “Prices for U.S. recycled paper have plummeted into negative territory and virgin plastic is cheaper than recycled plastic,” the Bloomberg article says. Again, impact investing must address all kinds of technology and infrastruture.
And then our favorite investment right now – water: The need for clean, safe, accessible drinking water as well as enough H2O to keep the world’s industries and agriculture going. That’s one reason we’re investing in zNano WaterTech. As Bloomberg News says, the focus of investing is changing, and that’s a good thing.