Private capital can indeed deliver public goods. We need much, much more capital from individual, institutional and other commercial investors to fill the estimated $2.5 trillion annual gap in financing for sustainable development. The good news: We increasingly know the blends that can attract it.
The good news for 2017 is that we are seeing client demand increase with individual investors voicing their preferences to their financial advisors. Some of this demand is resulting in thoughtful product development. However, we are also going to see quite a bit of green washing from various stakeholders. We are already seeing the big banks with large marketing budgets positioning themselves as impact investors, asserting that they are now the go-to place for banking with values, or investing with impact, when actually in many cases their marketing budgets are much larger than their meaningful product offerings.