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In brief: Impact Investor Conference – 24 November, Amsterdam

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Published: 16 September 2022

Save the date for our upcoming Impact Investor Conference. Plus, new study on pension funds and impact investing, and UN report highlights gender equality goals are not on track.

Over half of the pension funds surveyed by DWS and CREATE-Research expect SDGs to provide new investment opportunities | Image by metamorworks, iStock

We are excited to invite the impact investing community to join us at our Impact Investor Conference, taking place in Amsterdam on 24 November 2022.

Under the ‘Impact Investment in a Disrupted World’, this half-day event will serve as a platform for experts across the industry to discuss and debate the role of impact investment in providing solutions to the most pressing social and environmental challenges.

The conference will showcase presentations and panel discussions on key topics affecting impact investors – from addressing the energy crisis, to mobilising private capital to tackle Europe’s growing social challenges, and development finance.

For more information and to register visit the event website. The agenda will be updated regularly as we confirm more speakers.

Growing interest in impact investing among pension funds, study

A recent study by DWS and CREATE-Research has revealed a growing interest from pension funds in impact investing, with 22% of the pension funds surveyed having already implemented, or in the process of implementing, impact investing as part of their passive investments. 

The authors of Impact Investing 2.0 – Advancing into public markets, which surveyed 50 of the largest pension funds in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, said their findings highlighted the important role of publicly traded instruments such as funds and ETFs in raising the capital needed to reach net zero by 2050 and implement the UN SDGs by 2030. They said that private markets would not be able to raise the capital needed on their own due to their limited scalability. 

The study also found that 58% of respondents believe the growing interest in thematic funds will evolve into impact investing over time, 64% think that the net zero target will favour impact investing, while 54% expect the SDGs to provide new opportunities. A further 28% of pension funds expect to use SDG and EU Paris-aligned and EU climate transition indices over the next three years. 

Commenting on the report’s findings, Simon Klein, global head of passive sales at DWS said: “CREATE-Research’s important study shows that ETFs and passive mandates can make all the difference in helping impact investing break through on a broad scale. We are already seeing high demand from private and institutional investors for index concepts that formulate concrete goals, and we will be further expanding our efforts in this area.”   

UN report shows the world is not on track to achieve gender equality by 2030

Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG): The Gender Snapshot 2022, points to global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, escalating conflicts around the globe and climate change, as well as the backlash against women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights as having set progress back in achieving gender equality by almost 300 years. 

The report, which was commissioned by UN Women and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), warned that at today’s rate of progress SDG 5 – achieving gender equality – would not be met by 2030. The report estimate that it could take up to 286 years to close gaps in legal protection and remove discriminatory laws, 140 years for women to be represented equally in positions of power and leadership in the workplace, and at least 40 years to achieve equal representation in national parliaments.  

The report also highlighted the reverse trend in poverty reduction, with around 383 million women and girls estimated to be living in extreme poverty (on less than USD 1.90 a day) by the end of 2022, compared to 368 million men and boys.  

The report’s authors have called for greater cooperation, partnerships, and investments in the gender equality agenda, including through increased global and national funding, which they say are essential to correct the course and place gender equality back on track. 

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