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August 2023 : 3 Things in Impact

Welcome back to the monthly SFi newsletter!

Happy end of summer vacation! The SFi team has been charging full steam ahead into Q3 with an exciting lineup of events (listed below). It’s still sweltering in HK, and the record-breaking heat waves around the world have amplified the climate change discourse, highlighting the urgent need for impact capital.

Read on for our Three Things in Impact.

Shades of Change: How bbase Design Group is Rethinking Sustainability in the Eyewear Industry

For this month’s Brownbag site visit, we have invited SFi member Daniel Vaughan, Chairman and co-Founder of leading eyewear design and production company bbase Design Group, to share their journey to bring sustainable solutions for the global eyewear industry.

At the stylish office of bbase, he reflected on the discovery journey that led to groundbreaking innovations and sustainable solutions for eyewear. Key takeaways include:

  • About 61% of total plastic greenhouse gas emissions come from creating the initial plastic. In other words, if we recycle plastics, we avoid the 61% contribution of plastics emissions. With regards to this, bbase has produced 8.5 million units of recycled materials sunglasses since 2019 and continue to grow.

  • Even so, it is always easier to switch energy usage into renewable at the production process, than to develop technology to make glasses from alternative materials.

  • Another hard-to-implement emission reduction solution would be having early discussion and forward plan with clients to avoid airfreight, and making use of in-house 3D printing lab and virtual showroom for digital sampling and selection. This has successfully reduced bbase’s air shipping by 95%.

For more details on bbase’s initiatives, please check our LinkedIn post here.

The Rise of Private Market Impact Investing: Shaping Market Trends

World Economic Forum released a white paper on Private Market Impact Investing: A Turning Point, some key highlights include:

  • The availability of a broader range of products in asset classes will allow more overall capital to be deployed by large LPs who wish to increase their commitment to positive impact on a wider scale across diverse asset allocation.

  • Asset owners’ ambitions have been growing faster than private capital markets have been able to provide solutions. Their demand is not just for more impact fund products, but for products with greater ambition and alignment to drive positive impact while simultaneously reducing any negative externalities.

  • LPs and GPs are adopting rigorous frameworks to verify impact fund due diligence, underwriting, and management and measurement processes. What is more, third-party verification of impact fund adherence to the OPIM (Operating Principles for Impact Management) is getting more attention as well.

To conclude, while progress has been made in the area of private market impact and transition investing over the last several years, much work remains to drive more capital towards addressing the SDGs and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Record-Breaking Heat Waves Reinforce the Importance of Sustainable Investing

This summer, the world has experienced yet another period of unprecedented global temperatures, with the potential for more heat records to be broken in August.

Unfortunately, these records are not cause for celebration. The consequences of extreme heat can lead to severe health issues and even loss of life. Moreover, the rising global temperatures have negative implications for economic activity, underscoring the urgency for companies and governments to prioritize investments in sustainability.

  • The IFRC warns of intensified and simultaneous disasters, urging preparedness from authorities and humanitarian organizations for El Niño. The IFRC has already allocated Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF) grants for climate-related events such as dengue outbreaks, floods, tropical cyclones, and cold waves. The situation is expected to worsen in the coming months, with Bangladesh already facing a significant surge in dengue infections, including multiple types of the disease.

Key Impact Investing themes to watch out for in Asia : climate mitigation, climate adaptation, biodiversity and nature losses, food security, poverty reduction and gender issues.

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