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Building Clim8 Invest together

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13 April 2021 Inside Clim8

Sharing our roadmap

The trick to building good products is to very clearly identify and define what problem your product solves. Useful products tend to solve a pressing need.

At Clim8, we’re starting with what we believe is now the biggest problem the human race has ever faced. The climate crisis is very real and very urgently needs to be solved. 

Add on top the complexity, accessibility and murky nature of the investment world. And the difficulty of working out exactly what activities our investments are funding. We’ve got ourselves a pretty meaty (or should we say a plant based alternative) problem to solve.

Shifting towards sustainability

The global economy needs to rapidly shift to be sustainable. In other words, to stop consuming resources quicker than our planet can produce them.

According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world must invest $2.4 trillion in clean energy, every year until 2035, to avoid catastrophic damage from climate change. I think you understand why we’re building Clim8 invest now!

Research by Nordea Bank tells us that sustainable investment can be 27x more impactful on a person’s carbon footprint than eating less meat, using public transport, reducing water use and flying less. 

Shaping Clim8’s product

The magnitude and complexity of this problem is huge. But so is the opportunity. And this is why we have always been determined to build Clim8 around a community of passionate customers and supporters. 

We can’t solve this thing alone but together our impact can be huge. 

That’s why we’re proud to have completed two crowdfunding campaigns and love the fact many of our customers are our shareholders.

This community has also been invaluable during the build of our beta app, helping us shape the early product we have today. Thousands of you have already downloaded our app and given us incredibly useful insight and feedback. But we know we are only one percent of the way there. 

Our mission

Our mission is to have a positive impact on climate change by empowering anyone to invest sustainably into truly green, sustainable companies. 

We know we need to make it simple to invest in those companies that are actually leading the charge and having the most impact.

That is why we have decided to share our roadmap with our community and publicly. This is to help you understand what we’re working on right now and what problems we think need to be solved next. You’ll find a combination of features that are well defined and almost ready to use as well as some things we want to explore.

They often say it takes a village to raise a child. But in the case of climate change it takes the whole world. There is no time like the present to become a Clim8er. 

With investing, your capital is at risk. This information is for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute investment advice.

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Our view of seven sustainability trends on the rise in 2021

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08 April 2021 Climate ChangeSustainability

sustainability trends

Sustainability trends suggest a shift towards a more circular system is beginning.

In the last 70 years, mass consumerism and a maturing linear system (make, use, throw away) have changed how we view resources.

The term ‘waste’ can infer little or no worth. All resources, effort, energy and time that goes into making products are dismissed in a single word and often after very short lifespans.

Sustainability trends in waste management

Times are changing. Although landfills and incinerators continue to fill and mindsets still need shifting, rays of hope are on the horizon.

2021 looks to be a year of accelerated change in the waste management world.

Here, in our view, are seven sustainability trends to watch closely over the course of the year.

1. Capturing methane

Landfills emit 15% of the world’s methane emissions, a potent greenhouse gas 28 to 36 times more powerful than CO2 at trapping heat in the atmosphere.

Waste Management, one of the largest waste management companies worldwide, focusses on capturing this methane and using it to run its natural gas-powered fleet of vehicles.

Hopefully this system will also encourage other companies to capitalise on their own methane emissions.

2. Ending the single-use wave

Every additional six-month delay on the ban of single-use plastics results in hundreds of millions more items filling our landfills and oceans. China also recently decided that it would no longer (unsurprisingly) accept non-recyclable waste, heightening the landfill situation further.

Thankfully, we believe legislation is within reach and will force change.

For example, Canada is banning the majority of single-use plastics by the end of this year with Montreal aiming to have a zero waste policy by 2030.

Other countries including France, Taiwan and Kenya are in hot pursuit, many having already banned plastic cups, plates, cutlery and bags.

3. A puzzling affair

The UK has a decentralised waste system with an array of recycling criteria and a confusing labelling system. No wonder 73% of British consumers would welcome greater transparency about their waste.

Combined with a widening variety of plastics and mixed-polymer plastics on the market, sorting waste is, in our view, a complex issue.

Good news though. Advancements in sorting technology continue to make headway in alleviating the pressure for waste-to-product companies such as Renewi.

However the system is still heavily reliant on humans separating out the different plastics at a maximum rate of 30 to 40 recyclables per minute. 2021 will be the year AI becomes prevalent. Increased sorting accuracy and efficiency enables AI-powered machines to sort 160 plastic items per minute.

4. Upping the recycling ante

Increased customer pressure and new legislation are pushing brands to think carefully about their design choices.

Whilst fiscal policy changes (for example a tax on all products that do not hit a 30% recycled-content threshold will be introduced in the UK in 2022) will drive some decision-making, others will be good-will, or value-led (the value of recycled materials especially rare earth could be significant which creates an incentive to recycle), such as the surge in battery technology recycling research by companies like Umicore.

5. Collaboration is king

Waste is, in our view, a systemic issue. Brands trying to solve the situation alone generally stall early on.

We believe worldwide collaborations and partnerships are and will be the answer. Co-founded by Tetrapak, Nestle, Danone and Veolia, 3R Initiative, in our opinion, is a prime example.

A global collaboration, it researches different methodologies to help reduce, recover and recycle the ever-increasing plastic production by companies. Findings are open source so all companies can benefit.

6. Thinking outside the box

Designing out waste completely is the ideal scenario. Unfortunately, society has become less and less circular over the decades. Only 8.6% of waste worldwide is recycled and the figure is getting worse.

Rethinking the way products are designed with end of life in mind will change this. DS Smith, a global packaging solutions company, now trains all of their designers in Circular Design Principles to help them hit their 2023 target of producing 100% recyclable or reusable packaging.

7. Is alternative better?

Sustainable paper-based packaging’s popularity has increased tenfold and Smurfit Kappa is leading the charge.

However, many other brands are turning to plastic alternatives such as plant-derived materials that claim to be biodegradable. Despite sounding green on the tin, in reality they typically only degrade in highly-controlled environments.

Although new varieties of such materials encourage consumers to lower their plastic consumption, they can wreak havoc on a waste management system not capable of processing these materials.

Though it’s not obvious, solutions, partnerships and innovations are being worked on behind the scenes. Working collaboratively is the only way to productively move forwards. Invest your money in companies pioneering the way and accelerate the rate of change.

With investing your capital is at risk. Information is for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute investment advice.

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Overcoming water scarcity: water crisis solutions you should know

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31 March 2021 Climate ChangeSustainability

Tackling water scarcity

Water scarcity is one of four major challenges preventing 2.1 billion people, almost a third of our global population, from having regular access to clean drinking water.

The other three are pollution, quality and affordability. For this first part in the series, we will be focussing on water scarcity.

Water scarcity? And yet water is everywhere I look

The vast majority – 97% of water on earth is stored in its oceans. A further 2.5% is frozen in polar caps, is locked up in soil or polluted beyond repair. The remaining 0.5% of our global water resources is used by 99% of the Earth’s 1 trillion species, of which humans use a disproportionate amount.

To exacerbate the situation even further, populations are booming, existing infrastructure is poor, farming methods are damaging and climate change is already upon us. Every year, water is becoming scarcer.

Two sides of the water scarcity coin

Water scarcity happens in two ways. Physical water scarcity occurs when water supply does not physically meet demand. This affects 20% of the global population.

Economic water scarcity, however, arises when an adequate water supply cannot be tapped due to insufficient funds; often caused by lack of good governance. Economic water scarcity affects 23% of the global population, predominantly in Africa

A range of innovation and technology businesses look to solve water scarcity via different channels.

Focus on reducing non-revenue water

We lose a third of all drinkable water worldwide. Old infrastructure such as leaky pipes cause inefficiencies, alongside human factors such as meter reading errors, theft and corruption.

‘Non-revenue water’ costs countries millions of pounds and usually passes onto the ratepayer, making affordability an ever-growing concern.

Thankfully, many companies have developed and are implementing solutions, for example:

  • Xylem SmartBallTM is a multi-sensor tool that detects and locates leaks without the need for costly excavation exercises. Africa’s largest water utility company, Rand Water, used this technology to examine 2,200 kilometres of pipelines and locate every single leak down to the closest metre.
  • Utility companies rarely have funds to replace infrastructure. In fact, USA companies need $1 trillion in the next 25 years to replace all existing leaky infrastructure. Aegion Corporation have invented future-thinking technologies that aim to enable effective pipeline rehabilitation rather than replacement.
  • Smart water meter technologies, such as Badger Meters, are being used to replace existing antiquated systems. Smart technology enables companies to check water usage, identify water leakages and detect tampering in real time.

Moving to access the 97%

Rapid adoption of desalination technologies in arid regions such as the Middle East, has helped countries deal with physical water scarcity. In Saudi Arabia, desalination now accounts for nearly 70% of their drinking water. 
However, desalination plants are power-hungry using 4 kilowatt hours of energy for every cubic metre of water produced. This costs customers as much as $5 per 1000 gallons versus $1.50 per 1000 gallons from a typical municipal water supplier even if the costs have fallen significantly over the last 2 decades.

Increasing solar power generation will bring this cost down, though some experts believe that desalination must be coupled with other solutions to reduce costs substantially.

water scarcity
Source: Mission 2017

To make desalination truly affordable, Energy Recovery, an innovative desalination company, produces highly efficient and scalable solutions that minimise existing plants’ energy usage and carbon emissions. To date, $2 billion in energy expenses have been saved and 11.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions have been eliminated.

A team in Singapore are also exploring biomimicry techniques to see how mangrove plants are able to extract fresh water from the sea with minimal energy.

Slowly changing perceptions

Reusing and recycling water should alleviate municipality and industry-wide water scarcity. Depending on whether it is drinkable, water can irrigate orchards, recharge groundwater or wash vehicles. Wastewater treatment technology has improved exponentially in the last decade. Kurita Water is a prime example that has created Zero-Liquid Discharge (ZLD) systems, a closed-loop process which treats and reuses water without any discharge. 

The public appears to remain sceptical as to whether recycled, treated wastewater is drinkable. Highly visible champions such as Bill Gates are vouching for its safety, which should help grow the practice. Australia turning to greywater would save 1 trillion litres of water.

Intelligent irrigation

The global agricultural industry uses 70% of our freshwater supply. Inefficient watering methods loses much of it to field run-off. 

In developing countries, the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) launched an initiative, Global Framework for Action on Water Scarcity in Agriculture helping farmers adapt to climate change impacts and water scarcity. In the meantime,  precision irrigation systems and computer algorithms are becoming commonplace in developed countries, reducing water usage ten-fold and preventing run-off. 

For many of us living in rain-abundant countries, it can be hard to envisage water scarcity. With increasing global temperatures though, it may become more frequent. 

In order to resolve this worsening situation, investment into innovative companies applying solutions to water scarcity is essential.

With investing your capital is at risk. Information is for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute investment advice.

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Clean Energy Superpower: The Energy Storage Solution

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13 April 2021 Climate ChangeSustainability

Wind farms and solar panels are a common sight these days. Originally criticised for blemishing unspoilt landscapes, they are now welcomed as signs of greener times.

And as fossil-fuel energy gradually gives way to clean energy, wind and solar will likely take over as the dominant energy source. Especially in the UK and other less mountainous countries that do not benefit from an abundance of hydropower, currently the world’s most utilised renewable energy source.

Actually, over the course of the last two years, the UK managed several months without coal-based power generation at all.

The clean energy conundrum

Water might always flow, but what happens when the sun does not shine and the wind does not blow? How do you maintain a consistently sufficient supply of power when the weather isn’t playing ball?

 Adding to the challenge, electricity consumption patterns are changing. Transport systems are gradually electrifying and our dependence on numerous electronic devices increases.

Clean energy: the missing solution

The answer, we believe, is energy storage. Combining solar, wind and battery storage technology (known as SWB) cannot only, in our view, help bring the cost of green energy contracts down but also balance intermittent energy supply for grid operators.

Think tank, RethinkX, believes that when SWB technology is finally fully integrated in power systems and running at optimal conditions, it will generate 3x-5x as much energy as today’s grid whilst energy can be stored on the less windy days.

If anything, clean energy sources are capable of excessive amounts of surplus electricity generation, produced at near-zero marginal cost, coined ‘Clean Energy Superpower’.

An idyllic thought but a few hoops we feel need to be jumped-through first.

Automotive industry – a source of inspiration

Battery storage size (the number of kWh that a battery can hold as opposed to the physical size) and output remains a challenge for the adoption of electric vehicles.

Thankfully the race to find solutions to these challenges is drawing closer; the magic figure of $100/kWh is widely seen as the threshold beyond which batteries will become mainstream. This is mostly driven by the Electric Vehicle (EV) industry’s need for batteries that last longer, hold more energy, and weigh less.

As of this month StoreDot, a startup battery manufacturer working in the automotive marketplace, released a battery that it says can fully charge in just five minutes; a notable step change brought about by highly-targeted industrial innovation.

We all want an electric car but where can we get power when we want it? The concept of ‘range anxiety’ is key; when people  try to keep their battery charged 100pc even when they do not need it.

Some clean energy companies such as Vestas, a wind turbine manufacturer, are latching onto the innovative sprint and deep pockets of the automotive industries and forming partnerships with leading EV companies like Tesla to help accelerate the process further.

Capturing the clean energy superpower

Many energy suppliers are taking storage issues into their own hands.

Ørsted, originally a Scandinavian oil and gas company and now the world’s largest offshore wind power developer, has recently installed one of the first stand-alone, large-scale battery energy storage units near their wind turbine site off Liverpool, UK.

Ørsted can now, we understand, capture 90MW of energy directly from their turbines, helping existing local grid services to meet peak demands when required.

Flattening out peak demand

Factories have, in our opinion, had this nailed for decades; running their machinery overnight when energy is abundant and prices are low.

However, despite the availability of smart home technology on the market, adoption levels are still low; the cost savings are often not understood, or not enough to outweigh the timing convenience on a per-household basis.

Studies also reveal that perceived usefulness, ease of use, trust and compatibility are inherently affecting uptake levels. More research needs to be done, in our opinion, to enable companies to break down entry level barriers.

Elephant in the room or The inconvenient truth

Transitioning to a green economy, we believe, is going to need substantial resources; starting with all the raw materials needed to meet the growing battery and wind turbine demands. Wind turbines alone need 5.5Mt of copper to meet 2028 targets, regardless of all other metals required in their construction.

Sadly, the long-term ill-effects of most current mining operations are considerable. Mining these materials also has a detrimental effect on the environment. Most notably from air and water pollution, to land damage and loss of biodiversity.

Climate change deniers, in our experience, repeatedly raise this as part of their argument against the green transition. We must carefully explore this point while we look for alternative solutions.

Mark Carney, ex- Governor of the Bank of Canada and Bank of England, as well as Financial Advisor to Boris Johnson for COP26, has stated that the net-zero transition is the ‘greatest commercial opportunity of our time’. Many companies worldwide also share this opinion and are jumping on board to find solutions. The race is on to turn abundant amounts of clean energy into an abundance of money.

Companies are already jumping on the bandwagon. They are focusing on technologies that aim to minimise mining for virgin materials. Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund recently put a sizable portion of its $2 billion pot into Redwood Materials, a company founded by Tesla’s former Chief Technology Officer. It focuses on solving the battery recycling challenge.

Whilst Vestas has teamed up with Aarhus University and the Danish Technology Institute to build a circular economic model. This retains and reuses everything, including the wind turbine blades, which to this day has been a sore sticking point for the industry.

Final word

The topic is hugely complex but in our view, if solved, comes with an equally huge reward. And we may not have solved the challenge yet.

But with so many countries and companies worldwide striving for a solution, one can’t help but feel optimistic that positive change is on the horizon.

The big question is – will it be too late? We think not, but it will require huge investment in the right companies to find answers fast.

With investing your capital is at risk. This information is for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute investment advice.

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What is upcycling and how can it stop food waste?

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19 March 2021 Climate ChangeSustainability

From fashion to food, upcycling is in Vogue this year. No pun intended, here is the article. Everyone wants a slice of the cake. A welcome trend that is helping tackle our inherent waste problem. 

Simply put, upcycling takes what would traditionally be seen as waste and turns it into new products of similar or higher quality. Making better use of the energy expended in sourcing, transporting and processing material, it prevents valuable resources going to landfill.

A term originally coined by Michael Braungart and William McDonough, upcycling also plays a major role in the circular economy transition.

Food waste: today’s problem

Waste is a recent phenomenon. Until the 19th century, people made all they needed at home, squeezing out every last drop of value from each item. Broken ceramics, shells and animal bones were all discarded. 

During Queen Victoria’s reign (1837 – 1901), an enormous societal shift took place. Incomes were on the rise and people subsequently started buying what they previously made at home from stores. Packaged goods became the norm average household waste skyrocketed and the perceived value of each item was lost. 

Only when waste started visibly piling up were people forced to start finding solutions to fix this new systemic issue. Upcycling was born. 

Changing perceptions about food waste

The term ‘waste’ can imply something of little value. Although upcycling in other industries is becoming ‘trendy’, people still perceive food waste as ‘rotten’, ‘useless’ or even ‘inedible’.

Today’s biggest challenge is not figuring out how to upcycle food waste but convincing people that food waste is in fact perfectly fine to consume. Marketing has a major role to play if upcycled goods are to become mainstream. And not just for eco conscious customers.

Messaging, in our view, needs to steer away from waste’s negative connotations. Companies that have latched onto this have changed the narrative, successfully luring customers in with terms such as ‘by-product’ or ‘derivative’.

Killing two birds with one stone

Despite the marketing conundrum, upcycling food waste brings substantial economic benefits. Companies have discovered a win-win opportunity; an additional revenue stream and a means of saving money on waste disposal.

Their creativity, in our view, is inspiring. Here are some imaginative examples:

  • Sensient Technologies use leftover grape skins from the wine industry to make a hotly sought-after purple extract for dyeing.
  • International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) recently safeguarded 400 metric tonnes of surplus spinach from farmers’ bins after their production levels exceeded supermarket demand. IFF subsequently turned the leaves into nutrient-rich powders, adding them to health products such as nutritional beverage powders or snack bars. Originally a pilot program, it generated an additional USD $1.3 million leading to discussions on how the initiative could be permanently rolled out.
  • Symrise uses discarded cranberry by-products that do not meet current food standards in cosmetics.
  • Givaudan converts spent coffee grounds into premium ‘coffee oil’ adding it to premium skincare products.
  • Rubies in the Rubble rescues leftover wonky and slightly bruised fruit and vegetables from local markets and transforms them into condiments. 

We still throw a third of all food produced worldwide every year. We have a long way to go to tackle  this but upcycling is definitely one lever we can and should be pulling to ease the load.

With investing your capital is at risk. This information is for illustration purposes only and does not constitute investment advice.

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Unveiling Clim8 Careers: Q&A with Alice Leguay, Clim8’s CCO

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12 November 2020 Inside Clim8

We are very excited to announce the launch of our new platform with our community: Clim8 Careers, the new home for careers and businesses with purpose.

Our CCO Alice Leguay explains the why and the magic behind our new venture.

Alice, let’s start from the end. You joined Clim8 Invest as Chief Commercial Officer in January 2020 and launched Clim8 Careers, the new platform for sustainable recruitment, only 9 months later. What motivated you and the team to launch this new venture? 

From the very beginning of Clim8 Invest, Duncan constantly had lots of fantastic ideas for the Clim8 roadmap. Top of the list was building a sister platform for people who want green jobs with a mission. He asked me if I would like to lead this project and I grabbed the opportunity with both hands!

The timing was ideal. As we went into lockdown last March, I was in the midst of a fantastic course on Business Sustainability, as I felt I lacked cornerstone knowledge to understand key issues around climate change and sustainability, which prevented me from exercising any critical thinking.

The lockdown created a strong bond and cohesion in my cohort. We started asking each other why we had chosen to learn about sustainability. Was it with a view to upskill in an existing job, or opening an entirely new door professionally? 

These 150 professionals of all ages and backgrounds all cared about embedding sustainability in their jobs. And yet, we couldn’t find an online destination to source or discuss sustainable jobs. A perfect case study for Duncan’s idea.

On LinkedIn, and all other platforms in fact, ‘sustainability’ is sometimes used as a skill, when it features at all. Not exactly an effective filter for your dream job search.

At Clim8 Invest, we had just launched our first crowdfunding round and people were signing up to our waiting list in droves. A number of our new investors were from my course cohort. We put two and two together: our new community members cared about investing their savings sustainably; and they also cared about leveraging their work and professional skills to make an impact in the fight against climate change. 

You have 19 years of experience growing businesses across Finance, Tech & Fintech. Your own career started at Morgan Stanley on the High Yield desk, where you spent 6 years. What skills and knowledge do you still leverage from this experience in your day to day job, and what are some of the transferable skills you’ve used later in your career?

I was very fortunate to spend those years at Morgan Stanley. After my team recovered from the shock of having to teach a history grad finance from scratch, they provided an incredibly rich experience.

Of course I learned about finance. The big picture of funding a company via the capital markets, and the micro view via the complexity of structured trades. Thanks to my colleagues’ patience and the ongoing education I was able to access there, I can read the Financial Times without looking up too many words!

I find the macro picture fascinating: how finance makes the world go round; understanding how a company, ecosystem or country is financed has so many ripple effects itself is incredibly important. But I had started working there by chance to a large extent, and I didnt feel this was a conscious and driven career choice. 

Another skill still with me to this day, is picking up the phone at lightning speed. Not sure I can call it ‘transferable’ though.

In 2012 you co-founded a crowdsourced salary data platform, Emolument.com. How did you transition from your career in finance to roles in business development and marketing? And what would you recommend to other professionals looking for a similar pivot?

Prior to that experience, I had been thrown in at the deep-end – again – by picking up a project for a large digital incubator. Exponential growth at speed. 

I learned on the job, leveraging my team’s knowledge, reading up on growth models and strategies. The work ethic, engrained from my years in finance was extremely useful at that point: I could show up and deliver without expert knowledge. Using my intuition, energy, leaning on relentless teamwork and learning. 

As I then moved on to build my own business with my fantastic partners, I knew I could venture into an entirely new professional realm, counting on good strong common sense and passion beyond all else.

Pivots are a joy, in my experience. I would encourage embracing them, not only as a journey of self-discovery, but also as a chance to uncover a new industry afresh, leveraging earlier learnings.

With Clim8 Invest, you’re on a mission to have a positive impact on the climate crisis by moving billions of pounds of capital into clean energy and truly green, sustainable companies. How do you think human capital can be best leveraged to have a dent on the climate crisis, and what role can Clim8 Careers play in it?

Most of us feel some degree of climate anxiety. It’s such a set of ‘wicked’ issues upon which we feel powerless to have an impact. Building Clim8 Invest is a clear signal to the retail investor, you and me, that they can make a difference with their wallets. 

Along the exact same thinking, we can drive businesses to make fundamental changes, not only to the way they operate, but also push them to transition their strategies towards a zero carbon economy. 

Businesses need human capital to operate. They want to recruit the best and brightest. If we, as employees, turn away from those who don’t take climate change seriously, it is an incredibly powerful way to trigger them into action. Make sustainability a demand on your employer.

Clim8 Careers filters companies based on the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals their business is trying to further. Why does this matter to companies as well as candidates in the platform?

The UN SDGs are an actionable map for a sustainable future. To me personally, the keyword is ‘actionable’, which is groundbreaking. 

The SDGs have become a global language for business and individuals alike, encouraging society to think about the values that matter most, endorse them and apply them. 

Specific targets and toolkits underlie each of the SDGs as a common framework, which are sorely lacking in many sustainability endeavours, such as ESG investment standards for example.

On Clim8 Careers, we challenge businesses by asking ‘what are you fighting for?’. Because it should be a default setting for any business to fight for a cause, a level of betterment, beyond placing product on a shelf. That is what employees and consumers demand more and more, which is great to see. Rallying to specific SDGs is a clear, recognisable rallying call to a cause. 

Which of the UN SDGs are most close to your heart?

While it’s incredibly difficult to choose a single UN SDG, I selected ‘Goal 13: Climate Action’. So much social and economic capital is tied to the climate crisis that focusing on that goal alone would have a myriad benefits.

Why should young people look to start a career in sustainability, or seasoned professionals consider pivoting into this space? 

Today, we perceive sustainability as a skill, a silo within a business. But the world is changing fast and sustainability won’t be a stand alone vertical for much longer. 

Rather, it will permeate all areas of a business. I often think about ‘sustainability’ as we used to think about ‘digital’: ‘digital marketing’ is now entirely embedded into ‘marketing’.

Pivoting to a career is sustainability right now, is simply building essential business knowledge ahead of the massive transition we are going to witness to a green economy.

Pivoting now is choosing to be a leader in this space. And for those who like a challenge, turning many preconceptions on their heads and choosing to think about business entirely differently, ie: through a sustainability lens.

What can Clim8 Careers Insiders expect from your platform in the future?

Obviously, expect the all-singing job/candidate matching functionality to be rolled out in the coming months. 

More importantly, expect to find a selection of businesses leading with sustainability, showing the way. We will also share exciting stories of invention and re-invention, both from an employee and employer perspective.

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever been given?

‘Perception is everything’ is what I was told early on at Morgan Stanley. It took me a while to really understand it, as initially, it struck me as cynical.

What it is really about though, is not being afraid of making a noise about the good work you do. Take credit where it is due and own your professional space. It’s particularly relevant for women’s stature at work, which is a topic very close to my heart.

A second brilliant piece of advice was to network every day. That has been the key to innumerable professional adventures. Crucially, it has enriched my personal life with new friendships and relationships beyond my perceived comfort bubble. 

What is your personal definition of a “Career with a purpose”?

I came to it fairly late in my professional life. What it means to me today is two things: working towards an idea or a vision bigger than my day-to-day tasks. And feeling connected to my team in such a way that I constantly learn from them, and ensure they can also learn from me. 

It sounds a little pompous but really, it’s all about jumping out of bed in the morning and looking forward to another day.

***

We hope you’ll love our new platform and find tools and inspiration for your own sustainability journey. As many more sustainable businesses (our “Sustainability Champions”) join us, look out for exciting ideas and stories to build your own version of a career with a purpose. Don’t forget to sign up to stay up to date with all our latest news!

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How To Start Sustainable Investing: The Key Questions

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02 September 2020 Investment Academy

Investing in stocks & shares, bonds, funds and commodities can be seen as a smart way to grow your money over time. It can help you achieve your personal goals and give you the financial freedom to tick off lifelong dreams.

In this article we’ll answer the key questions that many people ask before they start investing.

What can I invest in?

There is a wide range of available investments, from businesses to property, cash, commodities and even cryptocurrencies, you can invest in many things. In many cases it is possible to invest directly (i.e. own the physical asset) as well as indirectly (e.g. own shares of a physical asset).

There are a number of ways to invest indirectly too. Here are two of the most common indirect investment types:

  • Stocks & shares

You can buy shares in businesses and markets in the hope that their value will increase over time, meaning your investment is worth more than the amount you originally invested.

  • Funds

You can also invest in a fund (a collective investment vehicle which “pools” assets), which is made up of a number of assets, whether stocks & shares, property or bonds. This will be looked after by a professional fund manager, who will invest your money usually in one of two ways:

– An ‘active’ fund. This aims to outperform the market by actively selecting stocks and shares and/or other assets.

– A ‘passive’ fund. This kind of fund simply tracks an index and could even be structured as an Exchange Traded Fund (or “ETF” for short).

How long should I invest for?

Investing is a personal journey, so the length of time you hold your investment should depend on your own circumstances and what you’re looking to achieve. As a general rule, investments in stocks and shares should be seen as a medium to long term investment. These investments are generally not appropriate to be held over the short term due to the fluctuations in value that can be experienced.

Investing your money for longer periods of time also means your investment may benefit from the compounding effect, which is in short when your investment increases due to interest being earned on accumulated interest. Compounding was described by none other than Albert Einstein and more recently, the legendary investor Warren Buffett as the “8th wonder of the world”.

How much should I invest?

You should only invest from your savings, always making sure that you have enough to fall back on – at least three months of living expenses is generally considered the general rule of thumb. However, you should also consider your assets to debt ratio. Typically, it is best to repay debt before making investments as the interest on debt can be higher than the returns that can be earned by investments.

How much risk should I take?

Every investment carries an element of risk. There are no guarantees and the value of your investment can increase or decrease over time. Investments are not like savings accounts, but at the same time, they are not subject to the same risks of the rate of inflation/cost of living eroding the real value of your money that can occur by simply leaving your money in cash.

Think about risk on a spectrum, from low, to medium, to high. Investments with a lower level of risk typically offer less in returns annually. However they expose investors to a lower level of potential loss than higher risk investments. Higher risk investments often generate higher returns but carry with them higher risk of loss of your initial capital. This is generally viewed as the risk/reward pay off.

Where should I invest my money?

Think carefully about the types of companies and industries that you want to support. Do you want them to have a social conscience? Do you care if they are a force for positive change in the world? And from an economic perspective, are these businesses likely to grow in coming years or die out as industries focus on becoming sustainable? You should also consider diversification (i.e. different assets, geographies, etc) when considering where to invest your money.

One aspect to think about is that with society more aware of its responsibilities than ever, and the impact of environmental, social and governance issues on the environment, long term sustainable investing is becoming an increasingly important consideration.

What is the investing process?

You can breeze through the onboarding process with the Clim8 app in just a couple of minutes, choosing your risk profile and how much you want to invest. Lots of people start investing by making use of some or all of their £20,000 stocks & shares ISA allowance. This allowance currently means you won’t pay tax on any profits earned from investments.

Before making your first investment, it’s important that you have a basic understanding of these questions, which we hope will put you in a strong position to start thinking about investing with confidence.

Clim8 Invest is a simple way to invest in a sustainable portfolio of carefully selected companies already making a positive impact on climate change.

Investments of this nature carry risks to your capital. Investing in private equity involves a high degree of risk. Please invest aware. Please note this information is for illustrative purposes only and it must not be construed as investment advice.

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£4.5M raised: what investors are saying about Clim8

Avatar Clim8 Team

23 December 2020 Inside Clim8

Clim8’s second crowdfunding campaign has raised over £2,500,000 from more than 1,900 investors across 55 countries. We have now raised almost £5M in funding to build and launch the 1st digital platform focused on sustainable investing.

7percent Ventures, a £30 million venture capital fund and our first institutional investor backed by the British Business Bank, has followed through their initial investment from the first round, to invest in this second round too. 

As an early stage investor in tech across the UK, Europe and the US, 7percent Ventures select technology which is transformative and solves a problem for a big market. 

Their continued commitment demonstrates how much they trust in what we’re building together. As we start onboarding the first beta users into our app

We are proud to have brought together such a community of investors committed to fight climate change. Here is what some of them have been saying about Clim8 during this second crowdfunding campaign.

Thanks to everyone who has invested in Clim8, as we take yet another step forward in investing in a more sustainable future.

Duncan Grierson, Founder and CEO

Capital at risk


Vivian Bertseka – Part of Clim8’s investment committee and former director at Generation Investment Management, a $25 billion sustainability fund co-founded by Al Gore.

“I’ve been working in the field of climate change for almost a decade now and I appreciate how Clim8 has found a focus for those who are as passionate about the planet. I think there’s very few companies that can have as much impact as this one”


Marcus Exall – Board Director at Monese

“Making it easier for people to invest in companies that support sustainable planet will make life better for everybody in the future. I’m challenged all the time by my kids, who are teenagers, saying: ‘This is important to us. What are you doing?'”. And the fact that I see that belief and passion in the team, and the reasons why they’re all here, I find that very inspiring” 


Andrew Griffiths – Director of Digital & Community at The Planet Mark

“This is the decade for change. We either make a change now or we don’t. And solutions like Clim8 are very much needed because money is a big part of the equation”


Mike Barry – Former Head of Sustainability at M&S 

“Clim8 makes an impact by linking two things. Thousands of individuals that care passionately about a better future and hundreds of good business ideas that are looking for investments so they can go to scale and make the low carbon difference that we need”


Adrienne Everett – Enterprise Account at LinkedIn, Ex Morgan Stanley 

“What I like the most about Clim8 is that it’s the perfect blend of strong investment experience from the leadership team matched with passion for sustainability”.


Carolina Connor – Ex Business Development Director at Q Partners

“Sustainability can be quite daunting for people, and the fact that you have sectors in the industry where you can choose to invest in clean manner through Clim8 is a key factor”

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£1,500,000 raised in Clim8’s crowdfunding campaign: here’s what’s next

Avatar Clim8 Team

22 May 2020 Inside Clim8

Clim8’s first crowdfunding campaign has officially ended. It’s been a busy month for our team, but this was an important step of the journey of our company towards building a more sustainable future. 

We are thrilled by the response we received!

We raised £1,500,000.  Some 1,420 investors from 55 different countries decided to back our mission, together with the venture capital fund 7percent Ventures. 

This exciting result also suggests that many people believe that we need to build a better and more resilient world.

We continue to build the Clim8 app which will be released this summer. If you haven’t already, you can still register for exclusive access at launch.
We want our community to feel part of this journey and we welcome your knowledge and enthusiasm. We have enjoyed speaking with many of you, hearing your suggestions on what needs to be improved in the investment space.

And finally, I would like to share some thoughts from our senior team. We hope this gives you a better understanding of how Clim8 is aiming to fill the gap in sustainable investing. And how each of us is working to bring our mission to life, to have an impact on climate change.

Transparency is a key value for the team at Clim8. If you have any questions, or if there are topics you would like us to explore in the blog, please email us your suggestions at: hello[at]clim8invest.com!

Warm regards,

Duncan

Founder & CEO 

Adriana, Chief Product Officer: “For several years now, I’ve been on a mission to increase accessibility to investment through technology. Together with the experienced team of technologists at Clim8, we are committed to delivering a simple and beautiful investment platform with the highest standards of usability and security”

Alice, Chief Commercial Officer: “Trust is core to Clim8. A lot of people want to fight climate change but investing can be opaque. I love that Clim8 is all about transparency, especially for friends and relatives who are not professional investors!”

Vincent, Chief Investment Officer: “Powering our economy with clean energy was just a dream 20 years ago, but technological changes have been spectacular, cutting costs by over 70% for wind and solar. A growing realisation in the population that environment and wealth are not mutually exclusive gives us a tremendous opportunity to use the post-Covid 19 world to change the way things are done.”

Tatiana, Director of Engineering: “Our core pillars in the engineering team are (1) to be Customer-Centric, allowing our users to make the best choice for their investments in an easy and user-friendly manner and (2) to be a business enabler, leveraging innovation and technology.”

Pablo, Head of Growth: “The crowdfunding campaign was an important part of the Clim8 roadmap. It was not just to raise funds, it is about engaging with a great community of tech and finance savvy investors. We are listening to our investors and want them to be an active part of the Clim8 journey.”

Arlinda, Marketing Manager: “Having been involved with dozens of startups across Europe from my days at Google and elsewhere, I was confident that the Clim8 proposition was strong. Still, I have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback received from our growing community of thousands of people and from the user research we conducted.”

Gina, UX Designer: “Recent events have shown us that life is unpredictable and often there is not much we can do, but we do have the power of choosing where we spend our time and selecting smoother user experiences! At Clim8 we’re building the product around the customer experience and not the other way around.”

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Fragile Earth: an astronaut’s view from space

Avatar Clim8 Team

27 December 2019 Sustainability

Have you heard of the “Overview Effect“?

It’s a cognitive shift in awareness reported by many astronauts while viewing the Earth from outer space.

This is how NASA astronaut Rusty Schweickart described his sense of wonder the first time he saw planet Earth from space:

“You realize that on that little blue and white thing there is everything that means anything to you, all history and music and poetry and art and death and birth and love, all of it, on that little spot out there you can cover with your thumb.”

Michael Collins, the astronaut who flew the Apollo 11 around the Moon while Neil Armstrong made the first landing on its surface, used these words to describe the Earth:

“The thing that really surprised me was that it projected an air of fragility. And why, I don’t know. I don’t know to this day. I had a feeling it’s tiny, it’s shiny, it’s beautiful, it’s home, and it’s fragile“.

We feel the same way: we have to do our best to protect our fragile Earth, for ourselves and for future generations.

At Clim8, we believe that the most efficient way to have an impact is to make sure that our savings are invested in the right companies and technologies that will have a positive impact on the environment.

Help us preserve this beautiful home that we’ve been given – sign up to our waiting list from the link below.

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