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Investing for Positive Change: Christie Stephenson

Wanting to get your investments out of fossil fuels? Looking to invest in high-impact solutions that accelerate social change? More and more investors, institutions and financial professionals are deploying and managing capital to build a more sustainable and equitable economy. And they’re increasingly able to do so while also generating healthy financial returns.

At a recent seminar on Fossil Free Investing, Christie Stephenson, one of Vancouver’s champions of corporate social responsibility and sustainable business, explained Purpose Capital’s mission as an impact investing advisory firm to mobilize all forms of capital to accelerate social change. She also outlined the advantages of responsible investment, whether it be Socially Responsible Investing, Thematic Impact Investing, or Impact-first Investing.

The Financial Spectrum

Responsible investing considers environmental, social and governance risks.

Stephenson defines socially responsible investing as “an investment approach making reference to environmental, social, and government factors in the selection and management of investments.” It is a marriage between traditional financial analysis and ESG analysis.

As a part of financial risk management, many investors are getting out of primary fossil fuel industries, citing long term uncertainty around the energy sector in general, the possibility of devaluation and stranded assets, as well as evolving moral compasses.

Responsible investing creates high impact solutions.

By deliberately focusing their capital, investors are choosing which industries they support. Capital gets directed towards some sectors, and away from others, lowering or increasing the cost of capital for those companies, thereby influencing their growth and, ultimately, their impact potential.

The upshot is, that wherever you fit on the financial impact investment spectrum, you know that you are making good financial decisions, helping create high-impact solutions, and accelerating social change.