The sustainability crisis is finally starting to make headlines, especially in company boardrooms. BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager, with nearly $7 Trillion of assets under management. Each year, Laurence D. Fink (the founder and CEO of BlackRock), writes a letter called the “Letter to CEOs”. The letter is written from his company (representing the interest of investors) to the CEOs of the companies Blackrock holds stock in. Mr. Fink states that the “climate crisis” will reshape the world of finance.
BlackRock Changes its Investment Criteria to Address the Sustainability Crisis
This year, Mr. Fink announced that the firm would make investment decisions with “environmental sustainability” as a core goal. This move will fundamentally shift its investing policy. In sum, the old “profit over everything” is being traded in for a “Triple Bottom Line” mentality.
The consequence, this new mentality could reshape how corporate America does business. Moves toward sustainability, by large players in the market, put pressure on other money managers to follow suit.
This year, BlackRock will begin to exit investments that it perceives as having “a high sustainability-related risk.” The company will begin to divest its portfolio of companies in coal and other fossil fuel-related industries. The intent is to encourage every company to rethink its carbon footprint. BlackRock has said that it will move aggressively to vote against management teams that are not making progress on sustainability. In fact, BlackRock could use its voting power as a shareholder to vote down executive pay increases.
The question is, are you doing your part to help reduce your carbon footprint? Is a friend’s birthday coming up? Give the gift of sustainability with this Zero Waste Gift Box Set!
Carlyle Group Invests $100 Million in US Solar:
It’s not just large asset management companies that are making the shit towards supporting a sustainable agenda. Carlyle Group, a private equity company, is jumping on the sustainability bandwagon. The group intends to invest $100 million in developing, acquiring, financing and operating US solar projects through a new partnership with Alchemy Renewables.
Alchemy Renewables’ existing portfolio includes 38 projects in eight states. The Carlyle Group said that equity capital for the transaction comes from its ‘Renewable & Sustainable Energy Fund’. If you want to learn about how you can invest your money and have it support sustainable companies while earning you a healthy return, read “Saving for Retirement by Investing in Sustainable Companies”.
The Carlyle Group isn’t the only private equity giant making headlines by investing in solar. Blackstone announced in mid-January that it would make an $850 million investment in Solar as well. Yes, Blackstone and BlackRock sound like very similar names…But they are different companies.
Blackstone Invests $850 Million into Commercial Solar Projects:
According to PV-Tech, Altus Power America has raised $850 million in funding from Blackstone to build its commercial and industrial (C&I) portfolio. More importantly, the portfolio will concentrate on exclusively C&I solar generation assets.
It is my hope, that real estate developers will build homes and offices that will fit our needs into the future. With more than 7,000 Opportunity Zones nationwide, developers have an opportunity to change the way we live. If we continue to build properties without sustainability in mind and invest in the fossil fuel industry, we will lock ourselves into obsolete infrastructure that will not serve our needs properly.
More importantly, a grass-roots movement starts with your voice. If you know a construction engineer, an architect, a construction worker or developer, talk to them about what sustainability features their current projects are implementing. If they aren’t implementing any, it will remind them that consumers care about our climate challenge and are demanding products that are built with a triple bottom line in mind.
What You Can Do To Make A Difference:
Every time I use a reusable product, it serves as a reminder to help me be more aware of my other actions throughout the day. By gifting sustainable products to your friends and family, it will help them become more aware of their daily habits. Not to mention, it will save them money by reducing the amount they spend on purchasing one-time use products. You may think that a bottle of water doesn’t cost much, but the bottled water industry is expected to reach $334 billion by 2023.
Purchasing single-use-items is the equivalent of a “death by 1,000 cuts” for your wallet and the earth. Make a difference today and check out the Sustainability Shop to see how you can save money, water, and the planet.
It is encouraging to watch the top-down pressure investors are putting on companies. I know that if we all work together, companies, investors, and consumers can create a more sustainable world for a better future.
Interested in learning about how you can fund companies with a triple bottom line? Read the following articles:
- Saving for Retirement by Investing in Sustainable Companies
- How to Fund Your Retirement Account by Living Sustainably
- Financial Freedom: Investing in Sustainable Companies
Do you invest in an ESG company? If so, which one? Feedback is always welcome, so feel free to comment below!