Almost all investors want to look good (Responsibility), but we must be (Impact).
Companies in different sectors make a big influence on society and the way we live, be more positive depending on the purpose, intention. Some examples:
First of all renewable energies impact, with photovoltaics at the front: Solar power plants are an enviromentaly friendly and high profitable investment due to tecnology advances. Now, although it is responsible to generate renewable energy and pour it into the grid, self-consumption or energy efficiency will have more impact, beyond mere cost savings.
Secondly online education. Any investment in education has, without a doubt, a social measure , but when it is in distance education it has an even greater impact. Allows to bring education to those persons that for several reasons (financials, geographical …) ccannot attend in person.
Microfinance are the investments with greatest social impact, as it is a tool that allows people to overcome poverty by themself. The benefits they will be receiving they will be invested on increasing their quality life (food, education, healthcare and houses). However, like all impact assets, invest part of it the money to gain some financial profitability by investing in a relevant, meaningful way, integrating policies and to minimise the final client vulnerability.
Also in the asset management you can impact; Thus, we have seen the director of BlackRock and Vanguard, on behalf of others, ask the companies in which they are investing to pursue business practices that contribute positively to society in the long term. Although employees focus on the short term, due to financial incentives. A time ago shareholders were the value of the company, later the directors. Nowadays apart from the shareholders and the business leaders the value of the company are also stakeholders (employees, suppliers) and community.
“Time to prioritize values over value”.
Impact should be understood in a transversal way: We must achieve a positive impact on society with all investment in different sectors or areas while we create jobs with a living wage. Reconciliton of working and family life, promote training educational staff for job development and promotion.
Being less bad is no being good; moral theology equates a bad act with the culpable omission of a good act. It is time to prioritize values over value.