On July 19-20, 2017, Big Path Capital hosted its 9th annual  Impact Capitalism Summit in Nantucket. Mintz Levin is has been proud to serve as a sponsor of the event for the past three years. The Impact Capitalism Summit is the largest convening of investors focused on maximizing impact and maximizing return. This year’s Summit focused on the future of impact investing as the new mainstream. Our own Tom Burton moderated a panel on the power of impact investing as it relates to climate change, highlighting its potential to engage broader, bipartisan engagement of actors across industries.

The Summit featured an impressive set of keynote speakers from a wide diversity of sectors. At the pre-event, discussion groups explored the future of the energy sector and targeted issues such as how to mobilize capital around renewable energy, finding decarbonization strategies for foundations, improving risk-return profiles for families investing in climate solutions, and transitioning to clean energy through policy and investing. The main agenda was comprised of rountables interspersed with “TED Talk”-style presentations from thought leaders in impact investing, and pushed attendees to consider specific strategies for engaging key demographics in making impact investment decisions with long-term benefits for clean energy and climate change.

Tom Burton served as the moderator of a panel discussion on “Building a Larger Tent to Mobilize Capital & Exert Influence” with Emma Howard Boyd and Andrea Strimling Yodsampa. Emma currently serves as the Chair of United Kingdom’s Environment Agency, and previously spent her 25-year career working in financial services: initially in corporate finance, and then in fund management, specializing in sustainable investment and corporate governance. Andrea is the Founder and CEO of DEPLOY/US: a community of influential leaders and concerned citizens who share a commitment to pragmatic climate and energy solutions, sustainability, and economic growth. The panel’s discussion probed the question of how the energy investment sector can generate reliable returns, even at a time when the development of policy that could encourage capital deployment towards renewable energy is being drastically scaled back.

Other presentations offered insight into specifically how investors can take meaningful action through impact investing. In his TED Talk titled “Reflections on the Clean Energy Sector: Moving On from the Past & Collectively Shaping a Successful Future,” managing director Liqian Ma introduced the Impact Investing Benchmark, a joint report by Cambridge Associates and the Global Impact Investing Network offering the first comprehensive analysis of the financial performance of market rate private equity and venture capital impact investing funds. Jonathan Godsall of McKinsey explained “How Impact Investing Can Reach Mainstream Investors,” encouraging attendees to take advantage of investors’ current expertise and aligning it with the goals and practices of investing in positive long-term change. John Dennison from SharedX offered a compelling anecdote about his company’s increased crop yield technology, which impact investing has permitted to expand globally to support areas of the world with historically low crop yields.

This year’s Summit also highlighted new factors that are reshaping the future of impact investing, primarily the growing transfer of wealth to women and millennials. Elana Yonah and Alexander McCobin of Conscious Capitalism analyzed this trend in their TED Talk “A Woman and a Millennial Walk Into a Bar: Conscious Movement of Money & Meaning.” Statistically, these two demographics – which will control two thirds of wealth in the United States by 2030 – place much more emphasis on companies’ social and environmental impact when making investment decisions. Whether companies are prepared to meet these standards will determine their investing future.

One company already working to enable meaningful engagement is our client WeSpire. The WeSpire investing platform provides employees with opportunities to connect with co-workers, take action around causes they care about, and measure employee impact on company initiatives.

We thank Big Path Capital for hosting another exciting and productive conversation on impact investing, and we look forward to putting our takeaways into action.

If you are a year-end U.S. public company, your second fiscal quarter has recently come to an end, which means that it’s time to calculate your public float to see if your reporting status has changed. Here are a few things to remember. Continue Reading U.S. Public Companies: Calculating Your Public Float – What You Need to Know

On June 22, 2017 the Baker-Polito Administration announced $960,000 in grants for STEM and clean energy learning programs for six Massachusetts high schools to help direct students towards STEM higher education majors and careers. The Lean and Earn program grants were awarded by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), and amount to $160,000 per school. Following the announcement, Governor Charlie Baker affirmed that his administration “is committed to providing new pathways for Massachusetts’ students to explore opportunities in STEM-related fields. Encouraging students to pursue studying clean energy and STEM subjects will strengthen our future workforce and further improve our nation-leading innovation economy.” Continue Reading Baker-Polito Administration Supports Clean Energy Education with $960,000 in STEM Learning Grants

This month’s Washington Update offers an extensive overview of the major legislation that has recently been introduced on Capitol Hill, as well as the big takeaways from this month’s congressional hearings related to energy policy. We also examine the ramifications of President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, and highlight the Department of Energy’s latest funding announcements for three research and development projects.

Continue Reading June Washington Update

Mintz Levin is thrilled to serve as the exclusive legal mentor for Hult Prize finalists and host of the annual Hult Prize Welcome Reception for the third consecutive year.

The Hult Prize Foundation is a start-up accelerator and enabler for budding young social entrepreneurs emerging from the world’s universities. Named as one of the top five ideas changing the world by President Bill Clinton and TIME Magazine, the annual competition for the Hult Prize aims to identify and launch the most compelling social business ideas—start-up enterprises that tackle grave issues faced by billions of people.

Continue Reading Mintz Levin to Serve as Hult Prize Legal Mentor

On June 20, Mintz Levin and ML Strategies were thrilled to host Gina McCarthy, former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator under President Obama. McCarthy was the featured speaker at the Alliance for Business Leadership “Progressive Power Hour” held in our Boston office. During the course of the hour, McCarthy shared her optimism for the environmental progress state and local governments can make and emphasized the role businesses can play in serving the public good. To learn more about the event, read on!

Continue Reading Event Recap: Mintz Levin Hosts Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy

On June 2nd, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) issued record requests for proposals from qualified developers to build renewable energy projects that will generate 2.5 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity a year. The two requests combined total the largest renewable RFP issued in any state. Alliance for Clean Energy New York estimates that the solicitation “will drive between 600 and 1,600 megawatts of new capacity depending on the mix of technologies ultimately developed.”

Continue Reading NYSERDA and NY Power Authority Seek to Fund Proposals for New Clean Energy Projects: First Round Submissions Due July 13th

Upcoming Event: Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Speaks at Mintz Levin

Mintz Levin and ML Strategies are thrilled to be hosting Gina McCarthy, former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator under President Obama, in our Boston office on June 20. McCarthy will be the featured speaker at the Alliance for Business Leadership “Progressive Power Hour” from 6:00 – 7:00 pm.

With the U.S. pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, questions are swirling about what this means for the environment, the economy, and our standing in the world. Alongside her four years as EPA Administrator, McCarthy has held lead environmental roles as a public official in Massachusetts and Connecticut. The Boston native has served as an environmental advisor to five Massachusetts governors. Her unique perspective will bring valuable insight into what can and should be done at the state level over the next few years.

We look forward to hosting McCarthy and our guests for what is sure to be an engaging conversation!

On June 1st, 2017, President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the landmark Paris climate accord, sparking serious concern about the future of global efforts to mitigate climate change. In response, cities, states, and corporations across the United States are collaborating to submit a plan to the United Nations ensuring that the U.S. fulfills its emissions targets under the Paris accord – with or without support from the United States federal government.

Continue Reading U.S. States, Cities, & Corporations Unite to Uphold Paris Climate Accord

The Massachusetts Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change is hosting hearings across the Commonwealth to gather input on clean energy and climate change. Launched by Senate President Pro Tempore Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton), the “MA Clean Energy Future Tour” began its nine-stop tour on May 8 and will end on June 26 in Boston. To learn more about this tour, read on!

Continue Reading Senate “MA Clean Energy Future Tour” Continues Across the Commonwealth