Crowdfunding is still at its infancy, but we know the democratising of our financial system is already happening and this is already driving environmental impact.
Abundance Generation is an online peer-to-peer investment platform that allows people to invest small amounts of money directly into tradeable debentures in solar and wind projects. They are on a mission to democratise finance so that people’s investment can be used to create environmental and social impact. According to their website, 25% of investors are millennials who are investing for longer term returns and this is important in creating a more sustainable future.
Ethex is an online marketplace to help people invest in stocks and bonds while raising finance for a range of ethical and environmental projects from community energy projects to financing of ecovillages.
Fundit.Buzz is the first UK crowdfunding platform for social enterprises. They recently merged with Trillion Fund. They continue to support environmental projects and they are a rewards based crowdfunding platform.
Solar for school is a crowdfunding platform for schools to crowdfund installation of solar panels. Through their website, schools can assess suitability of the Solar PV and estimate the installation cost and savings. Schools who have a solar panels installed will also receive performance data on solar energy generated and CO2 saved compared to other school. Combining installation of solar panels in schools with sustainability education is a powerful way to create long term environmental impact.
Crowdfunding platforms for sustainability and renewable energy projects are becoming more common for example Bettervest and Trine in Germany, Lendosphere and Lumo in France, Joukon Voima in Finland. They all have a different focus in geography, types of financing and types of projects.
Spacehive is an crowdfunding platform to provide local communities, companies, grant makers and investors to fund civic projects. They specialise in regenerating spaces and communities to support development of local projects including greening of our urban landscape.
Crowdjustice is an crowdfunding platform to help gather support to increase public awareness for legal cases and there are a whole range of environmental cases at stake. This include cases to stop planning of new roads and even a case of an academic researching the effects of fracking being stopped by corporate lobbying.
Fintech For Good
We have explored the different forms of crowdfunding for environmental purpose, we have 2 more digital solutions creating massive environmental impact in the financial world by using data and information technology to addressing the need for more transparency.
ET Index is the only financial index that publicly ranks the largest corporation in the world that includes scope 3 (supply chain) CO2 emissions. This is important because it is the first time we have a cost effective way for investors to systematically compare and assess how carbon intensive each companies are performing, thus enabling a mechanism for our financial system to internalise the environmental externalities. This will not just be helpful in our effort to divest from fossil fuel but will be fundamental in this transition period where engagement with investor becomes a key driving force.
Influence Map has developed an open sourced tool to measure and track how corporate influence is used to support climate policy. They are an independent non-profit organisation committed to accurately assess, rank and communicate the extent of cooperation in influencing climate policy and legislation worldwide. Understanding that we can measure influence with clear metrics will help accelerate change for a huge range of stakeholders.
So, what do you think of these new approaches to crowdfunding and using digital tech to influence the financing?
If you have missed the previous post in this series, head back to read here:
Day 1 of XMas — Food Waste Apps
Day 2 of XMas — Air Quality Apps
Day 3 of XMas — Transport Services
Day 4 of XMas — Electric Vehicles
Day 5 of XMas — Crowd Delivery
Day 6 of XMas — Local Food Systems
Day 7 of XMas—Reforestation, Tree Planting and Crowdfarming
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This series is written in collaboration with the 6heads community. 6heads is dedicated to shared learning at the join of sustainability and innovation.