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Making A Socially Responsible Investment

Author : David Greth

Socially responsible investing is basically the integration of personal values and concerns of impact on a society generally with investment decisions. So while an investment must stand strongly with a good story in its own right it must also consider the impact it is having on society. A more solid stance can be that only investments which actually work to have a positive effect on society are considered.

The market is vast and group rapidly as it takes in sub-groups as Green, Alternative Energy and Ethical Investments. In the U.S alone for every $9 invested $1 is specifically into the Socially, Responsible area, and this is predicted to grow substantially as the next generation of investors indicate a different attitude to the balance of returns versus potentially damaging industries or sectors.

It is argued that climate change is a phenomenon accelerated by the attitude of most of us to our energy requirements and our environment. The major force driving the green investment project is the move towards a low carbon future. This then drives the demand for renewable energy alternatives which in turn is driving the requirement for new technologies to be developed to support the development of energy sources.

Some interesting facts are:

a) Global revenues for reliable energy grew from $75.8billion in 2007 to $115.9billion in 2008
b) 15% of global economic stimulus packages are being spent on alternative energy with $470billion of government spending and $3.1 trillion of tax cuts aimed at green solutions to climate change.

There is an ever longer list of sectors which position themselves within the 'Socially Responsible' sector.

The main sub sectors are:
1. Alternative energy sources - solar, wind, tidal, biofuels
2. Waste Management
3. Forest Reservation and Growth
4. Power storage
5. Carbon Credits

Alternative Energy Sources

In the past we have relied on fuel sources to provide the majority of the world's energy and these are no longer meeting the global energy demands. The time has come for limited resource development to give way to a broader range of energy solutions. Investing in primarily one type of energy production no longer feels secure and is prompting investment interests in nearly everything energy technologies.


The sun has produced energy for a long time, it is free and has unlimited supply. In one hour, the amount of energy absorbed by the planets oceans and land masses is more energy than the world consumes in an entire year.

Solar energy is growing technology with great promise. In 2007 the total solar cell production increases by 50% and has doubled in the last 2 years. Added to this is the cost of solar energy which has dropped by 71% since 1980, and alongside this the efficiency of silicon cells has increased from 4% in1982 to 20% for the latest technologies.


Wind power is the conversion of kinetic energy into mechanic energy through the use of wind turbines, a technology that has been in use for centuries. For over 10 years wind has been the world's fastest growing energy source on a percentage basis. The industry has grown at 28% a year for the past 5 years and the trends indicate that it will continue to double every 3 or 4 years. Wind energy is an especially good potential investment in green power as it is one of the cheapest and cleanest renewable sources available and it create no air pollution.


Experts estimate 1l 0.2 % of the oceans untapped energy could power the power the entire world.

Of all the renewable energy technologies, tidal power is the most predictable and reliable. Tides and marine currents are 832 times denser than the air flowing over wind turbines and are predictable up to the minute at 100 years in advance.


Bio-Fuels basically comes in two different forms: Ethical and Bio-diesel. Ethical is derived from plants that are carbohydrate rich, such as sugarcane and corn. Bio-diesel is derived from oil-bearing crops and animal fat. The most common form of animal fat is from waste from the food service industry. Bio-diesel development is still in the infancy but is showing that it can be a significant alternative for powering cars.

Waste Management

The main driver for waste management is, of course, climate change, but concerns an pollution control, .. Of landfill capacity, diminishing resources and rising costs of waste disposal are all helping to drive this market. More stringent legislation in Europe, for instance, is also having a major 'push factors' are industrious to try and find alternatives where the growth of the alternative energy market.

The challenges are creating new opportunities in the recycling and reprocessing of waste, waste-to-energy programmes, industrial scale composting plants and other areas.

In Europe for instance the waste-to-energy industry is forecast to grow exponentially?? With 100 new plants expected to come on line by 2011.In the US 445 waste-to-energy plants are currently in existence with 535 additional landfill sites identified as capable of being transferred into energy producers.

It is safe to say that an investment in the companies perfecting the energy production from waste or those researching how to move this sector forward in the next 20 years are most definitely in a growth curve driven by the demand from consumers and legislation by governments.

Forest Preservation and Growth

Forests cover about 1/3 of the earth's land surface and provide many benefits both socially, commercially and environmentally, yet only 13% of the world's forests are under any kind of management and only 2% are protected. Since the advent of agriculture, about 33% of the world's forests have been cleared mostly for agriculture and human settlement. The World Bank estimate that with a decade that within a decade the number of tropical countries that export wood will drop from 33 to 10. In India forests are shrinking by 3.75 million acres per year and in China it is estimated the total loss of its forests will occur within 10 years at current consumption rates.

Currently for every 10 trees cut down only 1 tree is replanted.

It is well documented that forests help tremendously in the absorption of CO2 gases that are being released into the atmosphere by our dependence on burning fossil fuels. It is believed that by influencing the deforestation and indeed growing and replacing forests will longer term have an effect on the global warming story.

The Kyoto Protocol has sanctioned carbon offsetting as a way for governments and private companies to earn 'carbon credits' which can be traded on a market place. One carbon offset represents the production of one metric ton of carbon dioxide or its equivalent other greenhouse gases.

There is now a market in buying and selling carbon credits to commercial and individual customers who are interested in lowering their carbon credits. There is also a market in purchasing carbon credits as an investment and holding to sell as any other commodity in the belief that the price will increase over time.

Power Storage

One of the less known component investments of alternative energy is the crucial element of power storage when the strategies are creating additional green energy ie how do you get the power into central grids and how to store for future use.

High performance, cost effective power storage will go a long way towards solving this problem - which is president Obama's economic stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009, includes over $2 billion in growth for advanced power solutions.

Another crucial consideration is the fact that efficient batteries are central to the commercialisation of electric vehicles which is obviously seen as cornerstone of reducing Co2 emissions and also this battery development would open up the opportunity for every electrical device from hard tools to laptops.

So while this is very new industry crucial for the development of commercial use of alternative energies, the likelihood is that investment companies devoted to this industry now will show substantial growth in years to come as markets develop.

The project of Los Pandos covers an area of 5000 hectares in the locality of Almansa in the Albacete province.

Part of the larger region of Castilla la Mancha, Los Pandos, is within just one hour's drive of the airports of Alicante, Murcia and Valencia. Each also boasts a sea port with Valencia's being the second largest logistical port in Spain.

There are train links from all three to Madrid and Almansa is also well connected by road with motorway links to all major towns and cities. Although present infrastructure is more than adequate for the development of Los Pandos, a high speed rail network - the AVE - is already underway.

The central hub of the new rail connection, due for completion in the coming months, will be in Almansa. This superior transportation network will make Los Pandos one of the most important strategic and logistic platforms in Southern Europe.

As the vineyard is undoubtedly the focal point of Los Pandos, initial investment and development is being directed into that area. Extensive studies have been undertaken and are ongoing, reformation of the existing farmhouse and other buildings will allow for the state of the art and experimanetal bodegas. Brands are in development and marketing strategies in place for taking Los Pandos vineyard firmly into the 21st century and creating a high quality, yet profitable wine business.

As the project moves forward, plans for the development of eco-villages, leisiure facilities, technical and industrial zones, state of the Art sports facilities - all utilising the latest in sustainable development techniques - will come to fruition.

So come with us on our journey of discovery, in building what we think will be the benchmark for sustainable living for centuries to come.

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Tags:   los pandos, wine, investment, responsible, spain, money, how to, eco,

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Submitted : 2011-03-04    Word Count : 870    Times Viewed: 436