European institutional investors begin to commit to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

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European institutional investors begin to commit to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Momentum is gathering pace within European institutional investors as they are increasingly committing money to impact and SDG financing. Europe, led by the headline grabbing Dutch pension plans, has developed a reputation as a breeding ground for ideas and good intention within impact investing over the last decade. Now we are seeing evidence that institutional investors can act on their impact and SDG mandates, investing large allocations to SDG financing.

Collaboration is critical, and allocations will be driven by increased exposure to impact investment opportunities. Moving forward, best practices gained from the European experience can provide perspective and impetus globally as other institutional investors look to integrate SDG and impact related investments into their mandates. Flows across continents will expand the impact investing ecosystem and catalyze further capital towards the SDGs.

As the transition from good intention to real implementation unfolds, European institutional investors are now singing from the same hymn book as they see investments as a tool to fight climate change. This was evident at Impact Summit Europe 2017, where Al Gore led a roundtable discussion with 30 CIOs, CEOs and board members of leading European pension funds and insurance organizations.

Last September, Dutch pension giants APG and PGGM coined the term Sustainable Development Investing (SDIs), emphasizing the transition of SDG investments from niche to mainstream. There is a desire to make SDIs the ‘new normal’. Institutional investors are seriously seeking innovative ways to invest in the fight against climate change, reducing inequality and fight poverty, aligning their fiduciary responsibility with impact, and contributing to a better world.

Dutch Pension funds making the headlines

Arguably, the biggest headlines have been made within the Netherlands. The two largest Dutch pension fiduciaries APG and PGGM are targeting EUR 58 billion and EUR 20 billion respectively in Sustainable Development Investments across asset classes by 2020. Metal Electro Pension Fund, managed by MN announced in March 2017 at the Impact Summit Europe 2017 to link EUR 5 billion i.e. 10% of its assets to the UN SDGs by 2020.

Under the radar searches and commitments drive the momentum

Alongside this, several other investors have gone under the radar across the continent, as they look to finalize commitments. This demonstrates real progress and momentum for European institutional investors. For instance:

  • A Dutch pension and insurance fiduciary manager is currently looking to allocate EUR 50 to 75 million into 5-7 impact funds across geographies, including emerging markets.
  • A European family office is looking to build a EUR 100 million portfolio of diversified listed equity, impact investing funds.
  • A European healthcare foundation is investigating how to commit 1 - 3% of their assets i.e. EUR 5 to 15 million into healthcare impact funds.
  • An insurer is starting a search to invest EUR 30 million into 2 renewable energy private equity funds investing in US / Europe.
  • A large Dutch pension fund is currently searching an investment of EUR 50 million for a private equity/infrastructure fund investing in Europe and aiming to target SDG 7 Affordable and clean energy and SDG 13 Climate action.

Compellingly, a real diversity can be monitored within these commitments, spanning across geographies, asset classes, and the entire spectrum of impact and SDG target. In each of these searches, clear impact measurement will be required by the investors. 

The UN General Assembly and Climate week (12 - 25 September) is an opportunity to deepen the dialogue, expand the impact investing ecosystem, and catalyze further capital to UN SDG financing. Momentum from good intention to real implementation can continue build a head of steam.

Phenix Capital is an impact investing investment consultant based in Amsterdam and London . Our mission is to support the institutional market with educational events, consulting services, and catalyze $800bn of institutional capital towards the SDGs within the next decade.

We are currently building the missing piece of the impact investing infrastructure to facilitate flows of investments and expand the impact investing ecosystem.

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Spotlight this week: Generating impact through listed equity investments

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Spotlight this week: Generating impact through listed equity investments

What is impact investing in listed equity?

Public equity as an asset class is often overlooked in the impact investing space. There is a widespread skepticism surrounding what exactly classifies as 'impact' in the listed equity investments. Practices such as negative or exclusionary stock screening and best-in-class ESG screening are commonly grouped under umbrella terms 'responsible investing' or 'sustainable investing'. Such practices however may lack the intentionality, additionality or measurability required to qualify as impact investments.

Listed equity impact investments are investments made in public companies whose products and services directly address environmental, social and governance challenges. Going further, these challenges can even be classified in terms of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The impact of such investments would need to be continuously measured and managed.

The Impact spectrum which distinguishes between responsible investing, sustainable investing and listed equity impact investing can be seen here. (Source: Bridges ventures, 2012)

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Next to providing one-on-one meetings with listed equity impact managers in InvestorConnect sessions, the third edition of Impact Summit Europe which took place this March also offered two sessions to provide institutional investors with a better understanding of public equity impact investing - Panel discussion on contributing to SDGs and generating impact in listed equity, and Impact academy on measuring impact and sustainable development in listed equity investments.

Save the date : Impact Seminar Series on Listed Equity - October 12, 2017 - Rosarium, Amsterdam

On October 12, 2017 at Rosarium, Amsterdam, Phenix Capital is hosting an investor-only Impact Series Seminar focusing on listed equity. Mark your calendars and join fellow investors, fund managers and impact investing industry experts for a productive conversation on generating impact and contributing to the UN SDGs through listed equity.

In a short and constructive afternoon:

  • Learn from leading institutional investors and thought leaders how to manage and measure impact in listed equity
  • Meet with a group of impact fund managers during the InvestorConnect sessions to gain an overview of impact investment opportunities in this asset class

For more information on this seminar, please contact Marthe Reinette.

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APG and PGGM identify potential Sustainable Development Investments (SDI) across 13 UN SDGs

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APG and PGGM identify potential Sustainable Development Investments (SDI) across 13 UN SDGs

APG and PGGM have worked on investment strategies to boost the UN SDGs and developed taxonomies to provide ‘clear guidance on what type of investments qualify as SDIs (Sustainable Development Investments)’ and ‘kickstart the conversation about a market standard for SDIs’. Learn more about this new development in the impact investing space.

Since their inception in 2015, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals have attracted attention from investors for their potential to serve as a universal monitoring framework for measuring impact of their investments. Over the past year, there have been many developments bridging the gap between the SDGs and the mainstream investment community in Europe. Last September, Swedish pension funds AP1, AP2, AP3, AP4 and Dutch asset managers APG, PGGM, Actiam, MN and Kempen came together to show commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and put emphasis on using SDGs as a reference framework to guide investors.

The term ‘Sustainable development investments or SDI’ was coined, to represent the link between the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and tangible investment opportunities.  SDIs are investments that yield market-rate financial returns which generating a positive social and/or environmental impact.

Last December, leading Dutch financial institutions collaborated on the Dutch SDGI agenda to present their perspective on ‘Building Highways to SDG investing’. In their report, the signatories recommend priorities for maximizing ‘SDG investing’ (SDGI) – at home as well as abroad and offer concrete ways to accelerate and scale investments into the SDGs.

We at Phenix Capital welcome this move and hope it will prompt many constructive conversations within the institutional investor community to push the SDG agenda forward.

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Meet Phenix Capital at RI Europe

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Meet Phenix Capital at RI Europe

Phenix Capital's CEO Sophie Robe will speak about mainstreaming impact investing alonsgside JP Morgan Chase and Impax Asset Management at the upcoming Responsible Investor Europe conference in London on June 6-7, 2017.

Europe’s leading long-term, sustainable business and finance conference will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year. RI Europe, hosted by Responsible Investor, is a unique opportunity to learn, share and debate with 550+ investment professionals from across the globe.

View the conference agenda here.

 

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Fighting climate change - Call to action for investors and lessons from Al Gore's keynote

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Fighting climate change - Call to action for investors and lessons from Al Gore's keynote

Fighting Climate Change is more urgent than ever and we at Phenix Capital are doing our best to draw attention to the gravity of this movement. On 21st and 22nd of March 2017, Phenix Capital convened the third edition of Impact Summit Europe, an impact investing conference that aims to catalyze private institutional capital to support the financing and mainstreaming of impact and SDG investing. We believe that the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals provide a universal monitoring framework for identifying and measuring the impact of decisions and investments (institutional) investors make. 

The key focus of Impact Summit Europe this year was on ‘Climate change’, directly linked to the SDGs “#7-Affordable and clean energy” and “#13-Climate action”. We were honoured to have former U.S. Vice President and Nobel prize laureate Al Gore as keynote speaker making a case for mobilizing private capital to fight climate change. Here are some key takeaways from his keynote address: 

The inconvenient truth about the climate crisis
Mr. Gore began his climate change narrative with a meticulous array of inconvenient truths –several scientifically proven factual statements stemming from his Oscar winning movie ‘An Inconvenient Truth’. He explains how climate change works and what its direct and indirect ‘systemic’ consequences are - floods, hurricanes, droughts, mega fires, heat waves, famines, bacterial infections, pollution, refugee crisis - to name a few. 

Look beyond the visible spectrum to strengthen fiduciary responsibility
To revive a visibly deflated audience, Mr. Gore then moved on to the silver lining -the call for action. How can the financial sector help turn tables around on climate change and alleviate the damage it has caused? A fundamental problem lies in the way we define corporate growth. By looking ‘beyond the visible spectrum’ of financial data and taking into account the environmental and social impact of corporate activity, a more holistic picture of a firm’s sustainable profitability appears, bringing about better-informed investment choices in line with fiduciary responsibility. ‘Sustainable capitalism’ is no longer an oxymoron.

Al Gore during Impact Summit Europe 2017

Al Gore during Impact Summit Europe 2017

Be a part of the Sustainability Revolution
The Sustainability Revolution is the most powerful revolutionary change the civilization has yet gone through, taking the scale and magnitude of the industrial revolution and the speed of the digital revolution, and it is happening very quickly. Being still in early stages, the Sustainability Revolution presents tremendous investment opportunities– notably in sustainable solutions related to agriculture, forestry, transportation and power generation.

Call for Climate Action
Globalization has been a centrifugal force in driving change and advancing the global shared project of climate action. To gain a common ground with European investors and discuss the crucial role the private sector can play in leading the Sustainability Revolution and fighting climate change, Al Gore participated in several roundtables in an intimate setting with C-suite executives of pension funds, insurances and asset managers with combined AUM amounting to more than 1.5 trillion euros. The conversations took place in parallel to the summit with executives from pension funds/administrators ABP, Alecta, APG, MN, PFZW, PGGM, PME, PMT, PPF APG, Railways Pension Fund UK and Univest (Photo 1); insurances Achmea,  ACTIAM N.V, Aegon, a.s.r. Group Asset Management, NN IP and Storebrand (Photo 2).

A month down the line, 217 institutional investors representing more than USD 15 trillion in assets have written to the governments of the G7 and G20 nations, urging to combine forces and mitigate climate change. We are happy to see Al Gore roundtable participants ABP, ACTIAM N.V., Aegon, Alecta, APG asset management, PPF APG, MN, NN IP, PME, PMT and Storebrand among the signatories.

Phenix Capital has also signed the letter and stands committed to fight climate change. In a nutshell, the call to action touches on three key points:
●    Continue to support and implement the Paris Agreement
●    Drive investment into the low carbon transition
●    Implement climate-related financial reporting frameworks

The full letter can be found here. We would like to encourage our (institutional) investor network to join this movement and sign the letter.

The final deadline to sign the letter is June 30, 2017. Contact  AIGCC, CDP, Ceres, IGCC, IIGCC or PRI for more details.

‘Things take longer to happen than you think they will, but then they take faster to happen than you thought they could’. As Al Gore points out, that’s where the climate movement is.

The Sustainability Revolution will happen, because ‘a will to change is in itself a renewable resource’. Sign the letter now and be a part of the solution!
 

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Al Gore keynote speaker at Impact Summit Europe 2017

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Al Gore keynote speaker at Impact Summit Europe 2017

During the third edition of the Impact Summit Europe on March 21st, Al Gore will share his vision on sustainable investing at the Peace Palace in The Hague, The Netherlands. 

With an Oscar winning movie, several No. 1 international bestselling books and a Nobel Peace Prize, Al Gore is well known for his work on climate change. But that is only one of many projects in the life of the former U.S. Vice President.

His efforts have led to the undeniable fact that sustainable investing is the future, but today’s question is how to apply the theory in practice?

As founding partner of Generation, an independent investment management partnership, he believes in the transformative power of allocating capital to businesses that deliver positive, productive change. Generation’s approach to investing is based on an investment process that fully integrates sustainability analysis into decision-making and is focused on long-term performance. As a mission-driven organization, Generation’s vision is to see long-term oriented, sustainable investing become best practice in capital markets and sustainable capitalism become the enduring economic model. 

Gore supports the view that the responsibility not only lies with government but also with the private sector. The key is to mobilize private capital and collectively fight climate change, amongst other sustainable development goals. By doing so, investors no longer have to choose between impact and return. For the past twelve years, Generation has delivered better returns with sustainable investing than nearly every traditional fund manager.

Gore will share his views on the drivers of return in the transition to a sustainable economy.

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About Impact Summit Europe
The Impact Summit Europe gathers key players of the traditional institutional investment and impact investing industry, giving them a platform to exchange best practices, share experience and discuss the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals which were set out by the United Nations in September 2015. The Impact Summit Europe is initiated and organized by Phenix Capital.

Registration is now open to investors and fund managers. Third parties will be able to register at the beginning of February 2017. More information and registration links can be found on www.impactsummiteurope.com

About Phenix Capital
Impact Summit Europe is initiated and organized by Phenix Capital. Founded in 2012, Phenix Capital is an impact investment consulting firm based in Amsterdam. The firm primarily advises and assists institutional investors with designing their impact and sustainable development investing strategy, sourcing scalable impact investment opportunities, measuring and reporting their impact and contribution to the SDGs.  Phenix Capital also connects impact fund managers with institutional investors committed to aligning their investment policy with the SDGs. We provide an all-round perspective on impact investing through our scalable impact investment database and advisory services for institutional investors and fund managers. Visit our website www.phenixcapital.nl 

 

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Contact

Marthe Reinette
T: +31 20 240 2731  
E: info@impactsummiteurope.com

Lisanne Wintgens
T: +31 20 623 46 84
E: lisanne@conspiracysinc.com 


Web
www.impactsummiteurope.com 

 

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Impact Summit Europe 2017 – the major institutional platform where impact meets capital

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Impact Summit Europe 2017 – the major institutional platform where impact meets capital

PRESS RELEASE

Amsterdam, 15-12-2016.

The third edition of the Impact Summit Europe will take place at the Peace Palace in The Hague on March 21-22, 2017. The Impact Summit gathers key players of the traditional institutional investment and impact investing industry, giving them a platform to exchange best practices, share experience and discuss the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals which were set out by the United Nations in September 2015. Registration for investors is now open.

Not why, but how?

Impact investing is the fastest growing sustainable and responsible investment strategy in Europe. An increasing number of institutions share the conviction that investment capital can effectively address social and environmental challenges. Often it even makes good economic sense for those taking a long-term view on their investments. Therefore, the focus is no longer why Impact and Sustainable development investing, but how?

This year’s summit will attract eminent leaders of the traditional investment and impact and sustainable development investment industry and will be supported by PGGM and the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) as strategic partners.

Creating opportunities in impact investing

The Impact Summit Europe’s mission is to support the mainstreaming of impact and sustainable development investing. The main purpose of the summit is to educate institutional investors on opportunities in the impact and sustainable development investing space and inspire them to partake in the global agenda for sustainable development.

At the 2016 Impact Summit Europe, the Dutch Central Bank called upon investors, banks and other private sector actors to come up with a Dutch Sustainable Investing Agenda (SDGI Agenda) with the aim to accelerate sustainable investing in The Netherlands, and serve as a reference document for long-term collaboration and action across initiatives and sectors. Spearheaded by 22 signatories (i.e. PGGM, Triodos, ABN Amro, en FMO), the results of this initial assessment were presented to Minister Ploumen at the GIIN Investors Forum on December 7 in Amsterdam.

The summit not only offers a platform for the participants to exchange best practices and challenge each other but also creates networking opportunities in the space, thereby making the experience enriching, fruitful and educational. The conference also includes InvestorConnect meetings which provide a capital introduction and match-making platform across all asset classes to the participating impact fund managers.

Registrations

Registrations are now open to investors. More information and registration links can be found on www.impactsummiteurope.com


 

 


 

 

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Signatories of Dutch SDGI agenda publish report on 'Building Highways to SDG investing'

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Signatories of Dutch SDGI agenda publish report on 'Building Highways to SDG investing'

Signatories of Dutch SDGI agenda publish report on  “Building Highways to SDG Investing’ 

Amsterdam, Dec 7, 2016

The signatories of the Dutch SDGI Agenda presented their report “Building Highways to SDG Investing’ at the GIIN Investors Forum on December 7 in Amsterdam, in the presence of over 700 investors.

In their report, the signatories recommend priorities for maximizing ‘SDG investing’ (SDGI) – at home as well as abroad. They offer concrete ways to accelerate and scale investments into the SDGs. Further conversations will take place over the course of December, including a cross-sectoral stakeholder consultation at the Dutch Central Bank on the 14th of December. To access the report please click here 

 

Photo by Minister Ploumen and Signatories' Board Members. In alphabetic order: Ruter Bass, Director of Sustainability, Rabobank; Claudia Kruse, Managing Director Sustainability & Governance APG; Caroline Brown, Founder & CEO, C-Change ; Frank Elderson, Executive Director, DNB; Gerrit Zalm, CEO, ABN Amro; Herman Mulder, Chairman of the Board, SDG Charter; Hans van Houwelingen, Chief Executive Officer, ACTIAM ; Jack Julicher, Chief Investment Officer, ASR Netherlands ; Karl Guha, Chairman Executive Board of Van Lanschot Kempen; Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation; Linda Broekhuizen, Chief Investment Officer, FMO; Martin Edixhoven, Member of the Board, Aegon ; Marilou van Golstein-Brouwers, Managing Director, Triodos Investment; Peter Borgdorff, Managing Director, PFWZ; Peter Ferket, Member Executive Committee, Robeco

Photo by Minister Ploumen and Signatories' Board Members. In alphabetic order: Ruter Bass, Director of Sustainability, Rabobank; Claudia Kruse, Managing Director Sustainability & Governance APG; Caroline Brown, Founder & CEO, C-Change ; Frank Elderson, Executive Director, DNB; Gerrit Zalm, CEO, ABN Amro; Herman Mulder, Chairman of the Board, SDG Charter; Hans van Houwelingen, Chief Executive Officer, ACTIAM ; Jack Julicher, Chief Investment Officer, ASR Netherlands ; Karl Guha, Chairman Executive Board of Van Lanschot Kempen; Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation; Linda Broekhuizen, Chief Investment Officer, FMO; Martin Edixhoven, Member of the Board, Aegon ; Marilou van Golstein-Brouwers, Managing Director, Triodos Investment; Peter Borgdorff, Managing Director, PFWZ; Peter Ferket, Member Executive Committee, Robeco

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Leading Dutch financial institutions embrace United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals

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Leading Dutch financial institutions embrace United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

 

Amsterdam, 6 December 2016


Last year, the UN set out the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030, a set of 17 highly ambitious goals relating to climate, poverty, health care, education, and other challenges. Institutional and private investment capital is critically needed to help finance the $5-7 trillion that is needed each year to finance the 2030 Agenda.

 

Tomorrow, 18 Dutch financial institutions, which collectively manage over €2.8 trillion in assets, will invite the Dutch government and Central Bank to continue to make a concerted effort with them in support of the SDGs. The Initiative is the first in the world to bring together national pension funds, insurance firms, and banks around a shared SDG investment agenda. Board representatives of the Signatories will present their call for further cooperation and collective action to Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, at the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN)’s conference in front of over 700 investors.

 

The consortium believes that it is not only of societal importance, but also in the interest of their investors and business relations, to consider the largest social and environmental challenges of our time in their work and investments. In their report ‘Building Highways to SDG Investing’, its signatories recommend priorities for maximizing ‘SDG investing’ (SDGI) – at home as well as abroad.

 

The SDGI agenda is a result of a six-month consultation process with more than 70 fellow investors, government representatives, and expert practitioners. In their report the signatories offer concrete ways in which to accelerate and scale investing in the SDGs. Further conversations will take place over the course of December, including a cross-sectoral stakeholder consultation at the Dutch Central Bank on the 14th of December.

 

The Signatories look forward to collectively build Dutch ‘SDG investment highways’ in the years ahead. Per Herman Mulder, co-facilitator of the SDGI Agenda: “In today’s tumultuous world, public-private action is ever more important as a driver for positive change. The 2030 Agenda offers not only a challenge, but also an opportunity to collectively do well by doing good.”  

 

 

For more information:

-         The report ‘Building Highways to SDG Investing’ will be released tomorrow at 10 AM on www.sdgi-nl.org

-         For questions, please contact Veerle Berbers – SDGI Communications

+31 6 24236642 / Veerle.Berbers@c-change.io

 

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Catch Sophie Robé speak at the GIIN Investor forum

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Catch Sophie Robé speak at the GIIN Investor forum

Sophie Robé will be speaking at the GIIN Investor forum 2016, taking place on December 7-8 at Amsterdam.

The Global Impact Investing Network is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing. With over 80 speakers and 600 delegates from more than 30 countries across the world attending, the GIIN Investor Forum is the landmark event for anyone who is involved in impact investment or is interested in engaging with the industry.

Sophie will be speaking at the working lunch session on ‘Implementing impact investment strategies-Knowledge accelerator’ in the afternoon of December 7th along with Giselle Leung, Director of GIIN, and Kurt Morriesen, Senior manager, Investment practices - Alternatives, PRI association. In the session, the development of Impact investment since inception to the current stage will be explored. An overview of the impact investing industry and the key stages in development of impact investing will be provided to those who are new to the market.

Phenix Capital is looking forward to attending the GIIN Investor forum! More details on the event can be found here.

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Save the date - Impact Summit Europe 2017 - March 21 / 22 - the Hague

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Save the date - Impact Summit Europe 2017 - March 21 / 22 - the Hague

Shaping the Future of Impact and Sustainable Development Investing

Not why, but how?

An increasing number of institutions share the conviction that investment capital can effectively address social and environmental challenges.

The focus is no longer why impact investing, but how?

The Impact Summit Europe offers you a platform to exchange best practices, challenges and opportunities in the Impact and Sustainable Development Investing across asset classes.

During the summit, recognized leaders of the impact investment industry will gather, providing a unique networking and educational opportunity, sharing their experiences managing for impact across plenary and breakout discussions.

This year, the summit will take place on 21-22 March at the Peace palace, the Hague. For more information about registration, participation or sponsoring, please contact us via e-mail or visit our website

Catch up with Impact Summit Europe 2016 here

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