On May 26th we had our last Impact Café event. In this edition, called the Investor Deep Dive, host Alicia Requena discussed with Stephanie Chretien (Demeter), Florian Malidin (Generation Investment Management) and David S. Miller (Clean Energy Ventures) about the relationship between investments and impact. It was a very lively and enlightening conversation in which they covered several important points:
- Innovation is crucial for the road to sustainable development.
- Knowing the impact of the innovation is just as important.
- There are some challenges related to the measurement of impact: it is difficult to do in a fully objective way and there is no globally recognised standard of set of guidelines for it. This issue is very important in the case of social impact, but also relevant for environmental aspects such as climate impact assessment and avoided emissions.
- Luckily, despite the challenges, the whole society is moving in the direction of positive impact, not only investors and corporates but more importantly, regulations.
- The market penetration of the technologies and business models, not only the market share of a specific company, is also important: if we support companies that have a technology with positive impact, there is a chance that other companies develop the same technology and therefore adding to the overall impact.
- Direct impact is important, but so are the enabling technologies that make it possible. They often create systemic changes which can multiply their impact, and therefore they need to be taken into consideration.
- There are a lot of technologies that have much potential, and many companies that develop these technologies and that have sound business models. Impact often correlates with positive economic performance.
- The interaction between cities and investors to foster innovation is still rare. Although we have cases such as Paris Green Fund, there is a lot of ground to cover in this area.
This very brief summary is a taster for the actual contents of our last Impact Café. Willing to know more about the contents or how we work? Send us an email with your questions! And don’t forget to sign up for the next Impact Café. We will keep you posted.