Weekend Briefing No. 12

Eradicating malaria with genetically engineered mosquitoes. Oxitec, An Oxford-based biotech firm is hacking the genetic code of male mosquitoes to make them sterile, ensuring that the material they pass onto the female mosquitoes will not result in offspring. This pioneering approach does not require bed nets or pesticides, it simply uses the natural mating urges to drastically lower mosquito populations – and diseases they carry such as malaria and dengue fever – in a given geography. Listen to this Radio Lab podcast or watch this TED Talk to get the whole story.
 
 
Americans want to do good with their purchases, not with charity. The results of a new survey, that for the second year in a row, 30% of American consumers planned to increase their purchases from socially responsible companies in the coming year. Meanwhile, only 18% plan to increase charitable giving in 2014, a decline from 21% in 2013. Check out this Fast Company article to read more.

Can we share our coffee cups? This week I was walking to the subway in DUMBO and spotted this great new project that’s aiming to bring the sharing economy to our coffee addiction by sharing ceramic coffee cups, which will keep tons of cups out of the landfills. I love this for so many reasons, but primarily because the first coffee shop to participate is my local Brooklyn Roasting Company (best coffee in NYC).

Millenials will take impact investing mainstream. Accenture has estimated that over the next several decades, baby boomers will pass $30 trillion in assets to their heirs—that’s in North America alone. Millenials are skeptical of stock market investments – 51% of high-net-worth Millennials fear that they will lose money by investing in traditional equity securities. In another study, Spectrem Group found that 45% of wealthy Millennials consider social responsibility a factor when making investment decisions. Read more here.

The EU ruled companies must report social and environmental performance. Management reports for around 6,000 public companies will soon include how the company deals with issues such as the environment, society, and human rights. This will make it easier for investors to choose companies that manage by the Triple Bottom Line.