Investing in sustainability and for sustainable projects: This is one of the big megatrends among business angels and investors. It is about the good feeling of having invested “sensibly”. But it is also about achieving a financial return in addition to a positive ecological and social impact. This is because many want to incorporate their values and life goals into their investments. Generation Y and projects or startups are in the sights of investors.
Yes, the “Millenials” – or better known as Generation Y. They are an important target group for investors. Many investments in startups have been adapted and optimized in recent years to meet the needs of the Generation X and Y target group. It is important to reach the 20+ generation emotionally, because Generation Y people are the meaning seekers per se. “Millennials in particular want to feel self-efficacy and not become the plaything of third parties. They want to leave their mark and be part of something meaningful. And they are constantly asking themselves if what they are doing is meaningful.” So says Anne M. Schüller. She is considered Europe’s leading expert on touchpoint management and edge-focused business transformation. This mindset fosters innovation. This is increasingly being invested in projects and companies that embody and live a culture of sustainability.
Many investors themselves also want to give sustainability projects a boost with their money and earn something in the process. It is therefore hardly surprising that investments boom in an idea or a company whose values also match their own philosophy. In this way, one commits oneself to a meaningful and sustainable idea. For many people who want to invest, this urge for sustainability and a sense of purpose takes precedence. But how do you find such “investment jackpots” without falling prey to so-called “greenwashing”? Which investments are suitable and how can the opportunities and risks be evaluated? Even experienced investors soon reach their limits.
Values and corresponding impact targets
Nils Herold and Serge Mion are nationally and internationally sought-after people with a demand for such investments that is clearly on the rise. The goal: to achieve a positive ecological and social impact in addition to a financial return. Many want to include their value conceptions and life goals into your fortune plants. An asset investment consultation should be focused on impact orientation and a change of an existing situation should be brought about by an action. On the other hand also security is to be ensured, by selecting in the offer variety those investment solutions, with which actually a positive change in the ranges environment, society and economics can be obtained. Impact-oriented investments thus contribute, for example, to reducing pollution from production and consumption, promoting biodiversity, improving healthcare or eliminating social inequality. This is because impact-oriented investments make a valuable contribution to sustainable development in the environment, society and the economy.
Investing in products and companies of the future
A good, current example of an investment aimed at the Generation Y target group is the streaming sector. The music industry owes its growth to streaming. Listening to music via streaming has been established in people’s normal routine media usage behavior for years. The undisputed revenue driver is audio and video streaming. This growth was reinforced because revenues from social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram were included in the statistics for the first time. In youth culture and media usage behavior of young people (but not only…), diligent streaming behavior is commonplace. In terms of music and podcasting, Spotify is the market leader.
But streaming takes energy – lots of energy. That’s not really in the spirit of an ever-widening community that cares about sustainability. Is streaming therefore bad for the ecological footprint? Not necessarily, if you approach it the way the young entrepreneur duo Easnadh Reddington and Timon Spoerndli do. They have founded the non-profit startup Stream by Stream, where meaningfulness is at the heart of all endeavors. It’s about credibility in the now inflationary topic of sustainability and about ensuring that what is communicated is actually lived. And that’s what it’s all about: artists who are interested in donating a part of their streaming revenues to the reforestation of our planet are given the opportunity to be included in the Stream by Stream playlists.¨ The donation goes to OneTreePlanted. The Vermont, USA-based non-profit organization conducts tree planting projects around the world. With the help of botanists and geographers, they are able to plant trees where they are needed most. So when you listen to the playlists, not only are your favorite artist:s being supported, but so is reforestation. In the future, other projects such as drinking water, oceans and humanitarian aid will be included.
Conclusion – Investing in Generation Y
Such projects and start-up business models arouse the interest of investors. 2.3 billion a year have been invested by “millenials” in recent years, and they also work for companies that pursue sustainable strategies. Purchasing decisions are driven by greater social and environmental awareness. In addition, recent studies have concluded that more than 90 percent of sustainable investments are not associated with financial disadvantages. More than half of the studies underline a positive correlation between sustainability and financial results. What’s more, experts say, sustainable investments even show lower risk, especially in the bond market. One such expert is Timo Busch, professor of business administration at the University of Hamburg. He writes in his essays that demand is high and that more and more products and projects are available for such investments. Sustainability is already mainstream, he says.