With communities all over the world facing a growing number of challenges to the environment, to human health, well-being and security, it is becoming clear that governments alone cannot provide solutions to them all (maybe this has always been the case, we are now only realizing it now). Increasingly, the private sector is playing a crucial to help address many issues, by bringing new products and services to market that deliver not only financial returns to investors, but also environmental and social returns to communities.
During the past five years, leading institutions that have long played a central role in the realm of “traditional” asset management such as BlackRock, Bain Capital, Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs, to name just a few, have entered the impact investment sector, by channeling capital into companies with social and environmental goals.
The time has come for all of us to make a positive contribution to our society and to the environment. If not for us, we must do it for the future of our children and our children’s children. I feel lucky to live in an era where there’s such thing as impact investing, where I can ensure my investments serve a greater purpose. It is a win-win opportunity for people, like me, who are looking for a financial return, but also care about where their money goes and what it supports.
As with everything, there’s always room for improvement, but I believe we are on the right track. As UN Secretary General António Guterres said in the UN Environment Annual Report 2016 , helping countries mitigate and adapt to climate change, can lower the risk of floods, droughts, famine and instability. “And by promoting a shift to a green economy, we can create jobs, spur inclusive economic growth and make societies more resilient. These are all critical to sustainable development and a peaceful future.”