October 1, 2014

While the federal government may have finally succeeded in abolishing the country’s carbon tax, Corporate Knights reported yesterday that not all Australian investors remain so blithe about climate change. According to a report from the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia, the value of responsible assets under management grew by 51 per cent in 2013 to more than $25 billion. These include all ethical, socially responsible, community finance and other sustainability themed investments. The study also found that core responsible investments (RI) have outperformed benchmark indices recently.

Financial Planning, a media organization geared toward independent financial advisors, is betting on socially aware young adults to increase demand for RI. The organization published an update today saying it forecasts continued growth in values-based investing over the next decade due to “millennials [who] will increasingly demand a social dimension to their investment portfolios.” The piece also pushed back against the notion that RI generally leads to lower returns.

California became the first state in the United States to ban single-use plastic bags yesterday, which will be phased out over the next several years. “This bill is a step in the right direction – it reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks and even the vast ocean itself,” Governor Brown said in a statement after signing the bill. Major California cities, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, already have similar bans in place, making the transition easier for businesses and consumers alike.

A new ranking released today has found that Norway is the best place to grow old. The Global AgeWatch index looked at 96 countries, considering factors, such as income security, health status, capability and the enabling environment. Rounding out the top five were Sweden, Switzerland, Canada and Germany. The ranking was compiled by HelpAge International, a UK-based charity.

As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers federal regulation of fracking fluid, the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates is warning that this could undermine research and development into new proprietary chemicals. It is urging the EPA to instead expand the use of existing voluntary disclosure databases, such as FracFocus. CK’s managing editor Jeremy Runnalls covered the debate on fracking fluid disclosure throughout the United States back in March.

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