ECCE releases its first study on Impact Investing

ECCE fellow Prof. Dr. Harry Hummels and Alexander Röntgen, on 20 June released their first impact study as part of ECCE’s PROOF Impact project: an impact scan in collaboration with the DOEN Foundation in the Netherlands. The study describes the evolution of Ecovative Design LLC, a materials science company that has the ultimate dream of replacing petroleum-based Styrofoam by 100 percent biodegradable Mycelium.

The study demonstrates that DOEN performs a ‘bridging’ function: it intentionally provided capital to Ecovative in an attempt to create impactful business solutions and drive out conventional, environmentally damaging packaging and isolation materials. Ecovative embodies DOEN’s ambition to support pioneers who generate positive outcomes in the fight against climate change. The research documents how DOEN’s involvement has contributed to considerable progress in the implementation of Ecovative’s platform technology in the protective packaging industry and beyond.

This publication is the first in line of a series of PROOF Impact studies, all aiming to shed light on the creation of impact by private and public investors. Earlier this month PROOF has teamed up with the Dutch Noaber Foundation and Vital Health Inc. – a software company in the health care sector that assists patients with chronic diseases in managing and monitoring their conditions, such as improving contact with health professionals and exploring ways to interact with fellow patients. Results are due in Q4 of 2013.

PROOF Impact is an abbreviation of Presenting Results Outside Of Financial Impact. Its goal is to provide evidence for the business case of impact investing – that is, investments that simultaneously realize a financial return and create measurable value for society. PROOF impact aims to engage in case research to study the various mechanisms at play in the stages between intervention and outcomes. Subsequently, PROOF intends to draw lessons from these cases and build a framework that helps investors to assess and communicate the added value of their investments.

The publication was produced in a digital format, specially designed to make reading easy on a portable device, like a tablet or notebook computer. So, now there is no need anymore to print the publication – something that is aligned with the core message of this study and of its key stakeholders.

The European Centre for Corporate Engagement (ECCE) at Maastricht University’s School of Business and Economics is the world’s leading research institute on sustainable finance and responsible investing. The Centre offers high-quality research on the impact of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards on financial markets.

The case study can be downloaded on the ECC website:

Source: UM Press release, 20 June 2013

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