March 2020 Social Value Insider
Canadians to Engage in International Social Value Movement
Social Value Canada (SVC) is proud to announce the re-launch of the Canadian social value network – an essential resource in the advancement (on the role) of social value thinking among leading corporations, government bodies, non-profits and charities.
As the Canadian link to the Social Value International Network (www.socialvalueint.org), Social Value Canada offers a cross-sector forum to access tools, methods and knowledge to combine social, environmental and financial value – toward the goal of creating more sustainable value as resources are invested.
“The social value movement is engaging leading companies, governments and the social profit sector,” says Stephanie Robertson, Chair of Social Value Canada Board. “We are seeing a convergence, in the way corporations are seeking to value social and environmental impact, in how governments make more consistent decisions and how the social profit seeks to report on the value of its work. It is time for some home grown social value conversations in Canada.”
Across the globe, the social value movement seeks to change the way we account for value. This change is essential to the goal of meeting climate objectives, as social value thinking demonstrates the need to address inequality as essential to the goal of meeting climate change objectives.
Membership in SVC is designed to encourage maximum involvement across a range of practice, experience and organizational structures. All individuals and organizations have a role to play in the rapidly emerging social value agenda. Get involved today!
To Save The Planet We Must Address Inequality
In advance of the 50th Davos conference this past January, Forum founder and executive chairman, Klaus Schwab and the heads of Bank of America and Royal DSM sent an extraordinary letter to company leaders heading to Switzerland. He asked them for a significant commitment – to do everything in their power to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 or earlier.
This call-to-action came on the heels of other newsworthy steps taken by the corporate community, including a letter signed by Apple CEO Tim Cook and other CEOs in December 2019 urging the Trump administration to keep the United States a member of the Paris Agreement.
All efforts to address climate change are welcome and necessary. The situation is urgent. But the reality is we won’t meet our goals if we think about climate change in exclusion of inequality. After all, anyone earning a wage that allows for choice has a myriad of opportunities to adapt their behaviour toward the goal of overcoming the climate crisis. But what about everyone else?
People on the base of the pyramid have fewer resources. They are more likely to live in poorly insulated rental accommodation, have significantly fewer food options and less resource to invest in their overall health. When one is living so close to the margin, what resource do they have to become environmentally sustainable?
That paradox guides the work of Social Value International https://socialvalueint.org/ . It is the reason that networks of people, practitioners and organizations around the world are working to change the way the world accounts for value. Together, we are working to raise recognition of how resourcing decisions need to change in order to reduce inequality, address environmental degradation and promote the wellbeing of community. Because, unless we’re prepared to deal with inequality in step with climate change, we’re simply fooling ourselves.
If corporate leaders really want to move the climate change needle, here’s my suggestion: make a commitment to be carbon neutral as you ensure that everyone in your supply chain is paid a living wage. And then invest some of your profits into addressing inequality among people who can’t tackle inequality on their own. Innovation is required on all three fronts. It is a three-pronged strategy that will save the planet. Its time to change the way we account for value.
Do You Work for a Social Value Organization?
The Social Value Certificate enables your organization to send an important signal to stakeholders that your organization aligns with an international standard for managing social impact. As you move from Level 1 to Level 3, your access a clear pathway for improving the way you manage social impact, use impact information in decision-making and share impact information with others.
This is not only about reporting social value, it is about gathering data, analysing it, and making better informed decisions to improve your stakeholders lives through creating the most social value you can with your resources.
You’ll gain a competitive advantage, improve your practice, maximize the value you are creating, and improve social risk management.
To learn more, and to apply, please click here.
The Investor Perspective: How Social Impact Organizations Can Prepare for New Funding Opportunities
The increasing popularity of impact investing and large-scale philanthropy presents new opportunities for those who are doing good (and are looking for the funds to achieve that good). We chatted with Srin Sridharan, Managing Partner at new Toronto-based Thought, who shared his insights on trends in impact-based capital allocation.
To start, can you briefly tell us more about your background and what Thought is all about?
I come from a management consulting and private equity background, and am passionate about bridging the gap between investors/donors and impact-driven organizations. Thought is composed of a group of people who want to solve systemic social problems by bringing together our experience and capabilities in strategy, investing, branding, technology, and social impact. We work with both a range of investor portfolios (ranging from returns-first to philanthropic investors) and organizational portfolios (inclusive of for-profit and not-for-profits) to connect impact-focused capital allocators with impact-focused organizations.
What do opportunities look like for impact-focused organizations looking for new ways to raise capital?
Opportunities to raise capital from these emerging and increasingly active types of capital allocators will continue to grow. For one, the rapid growth in North American assets under management (AUM) using at least some form of responsible or impact investment strategy has been far faster than traditional investment demand. These types of investment products are now an integral part of the investment industry. Globally, the Impact Investing market achieves legitimate scale with US$502B in AUM, with North America seeing the most market penetration for “social investing”. We expect this upward trend to continue as it’s driven by the largest intergenerational wealth transfer in North American history, as baby boomers pass on assets to millennial heirs who are 2x as likely to factor social investment criterion. It’s clear there are and will be more ways for organizations to raise funds, but that also means impact-focused organizations need to be prepared to take into consideration the expectations of these capital allocators.
What can organizations do to leverage these capital-raising opportunities, particularly not-for-profits who would be competing with impact investments and for-profit companies in this changing environment?
As fundraising shifts away from traditional methods, not-for-profits need to demonstrate their impact. This means communicating and quantifying impact in a way capital allocators can understand and measure (such as using SROI methods). Secondly, capital allocators will want to see sustainability and viability in your operating model (see Figure 1). It should be as well thought-out and rigorous as a for-profit business model that demonstrates, for example, structures in place to hire and retain great talent so as not to continuously need to pull on new capital.
Thank you so much for your time, Srin! How can our members get in touch with you to learn more?
My pleasure! They can contact me at email@example.com or take a look at our website for more information.
In 2015, The LEAP presented us with The Leap Manifesto to provide a roadmap for Canada to transition beyond fossil fuels while addressing social challenges in the country. A win-win for people and the planet. Now, we’re highlighting their work with A Green New Deal for Housing.
There’s no shortage of problems with housing. Public housing in ruins, predatory lending, soaring rent, and homeowners teetering on mountains of debt to name a few. And there’s a bigger home we all share – planet Earth itself. A Green New Deal for Housing proposes we tackle inequality and climate pollution at the same time – where new infrastructure and investments in, for example, renewable energy, can also address challenges we face with housing. You can learn more here.
Dates For Your Diary
April 16th – Virtual Coffee with New SVC Members – Register here.
Learn About the Social Value Practitioners Pathway – Register for webinar here.
Do You Work For a Social Value Organization? – Register for webinar here.
Social Value International is offering a new range of weekly discussions in light of COVID-19.
Open for all, we encourage you to join in on these conversations during the coming weeks! Click here to learn more.
Now Hear This
An expert panel at the 2019 Data on Purpose Conference emphasizes the importance of building a data culture around deeper strategic goals in the latest Stanford Social Innovation Review podcast.
At the recent ChangeNOW Summit 2020 in Paris, actors of environmental and social innovation from around the globe came together to showcase solutions for the planet. Watch footage online on the ChangeNow Summit page.