Environmental pressures affecting the world today require imminent responses in order to minimise the long term impact on our planet. There is also an increasing body of evidence supporting the connection between social and environmental outcomes.
However there remains a disconnect between socially and environmentally motivated investors. Big Society Capital’s preferred focus on the environment therefore is in investments that deliver social impact alongside positive outcomes for the environment.
Studies have shown a strong correlation between the level of deprivation in an area and its exposure to unfavourable environmental conditions such air pollution, sea flooding and proximity to industrial and waste management sites. There is also evidence to show how access to a healthy natural environment can have a positive impact on community cohesion, physical health and mental health. Consequently there appears to be many opportunities to simultaneously address both social and environmental issues.
There are four main ways Big Society Capital is likely to support the environment.
The first two are underway and operating well
- Through secured and unsecured lenders we back as a wholesaler, who provide investment funds for environmental organisations seeking to achieve social and environmental impacts
- Supporting community share issues for community renewable energy projects
The next two ways are currently less proven and we would welcome ideas and suggestions for how to help make these happen
- Backing innovative approaches that link the environment directly to social issues, such as ecotherapy to improve mental health and well-being
- Supporting investments at greater scale such as land purchase agreements and larger scale woodland restoration.