The SDG Impact Standards' role in shaping sustainable futures
Impact Investing in Europe with Robert Rubinstein
In a recent blog post, Robert Rubinstein, one of the most veteran impact investing professionals in Europe, where he is based, and the world, bemoans a lack of authentic commitment among institutional investors that inhabit the impact investing space.
Rubinstein writes, “One only needs to engage with the private banks, wealth managers, or mega banks to understand the issue here. These institutions are spending nothing on ESG and impact investing capacity building…. With this lack of commitment financially, psychologically and emotionally, ESG and impact are just new products to add to the list of offerings to clients. It is not an important strategy!”
Is impact investing in Europe and elsewhere lacking authentic commitment and seriousness as well as true sustainability context? Are professional investors failing to keep up with the values-driven interests of wealth-holding clients? Is the infrastructure to support impact investing and impact entrepreneurs in Europe lagging behind that which is in place in the United States? What about other areas of the world? Where are the greatest opportunities for impact investors currently?
In this live fireside chat and audience Q&A, Robert Rubinstein and Impact Entrepreneur’s Laurie Lane-Zucker discuss these and other questions related to the state of impact in Europe and in other regions where Rubinstein’s company, TBLI Group Holdings, is active.
Robert Rubinstein is the Chairman and Founding Partner of TBLI Group Holdings B.V. with headquarters in The Netherlands. The Company was founded in 1998 with the mission of integrating ESG and the triple bottom line into the culture and strategy of international corporate business and investment companies. Robert has been instrumental in championing sustainable and impact investment dedicated to solving social issues.
Prior to TBLI, Robert had an extensive career in publishing. He founded the first bicycle magazine in The Netherlands, FIETS in 1981, and Source magazine in 1995, a publication focused on integrating “profits and principles” as a message to the business community. FIETS and Source were based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. FIETS was sold to VNU Magazines and it is still in circulation today.
Robert taught courses in Sustainable Finance at the Rotterdam School of Management from 2003–2006 and in his career has delivered many lectures at international business schools and universities. He has served on various profit and nonprofit boards, and advises various organizations; i.e. International Center for Corporate Accountability, WE- TV editorial advisory board, IMSA (International Sustainability Consultancy), Chairman Swift Prize of the King Boudewijn Foundation, 3IG-International Interfaith Investment Group, Fortis Investments SRI fund., ICCA Advisory Board, and the Developments Alternatives Advisory Council. He was also a board member of the ASN Foundation, for nearly 10 years. At present, he is on the Advisory Board of Project X Global and Wealth & Society and Lifestyles Magazine.
Robert is a tenacious public speaker on both the triple bottom line and ESG at global conferences and has been asked to speak at numerous engagements including the Global Reporting Initiative, the inaugural Impact Investing Israel Summit and World Pension Council in Singapore. TBLI was asked to organize a session at COP21, Paris in December 2015 and more recently, Robert was invited at the request of Natural Step, a leading advisor on Sustainability for the Swedish corporate sector attended by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.
Laurie Lane-Zucker is Founder and CEO of Impact Entrepreneur, PBC, an impact economy business that hosts the Impact Entrepreneur Network — a large, global network of “systems-minded” entrepreneurs, investors, and scholars of social and environmental innovation — and editor and publisher of Impact Entrepreneur, a digital magazine covering the emerging Impact Economy. For over 30 years, Laurie has been a “pioneer” (Forbes) and recognized leader in sustainability, social enterprise, and impact investing. Laurie was the founding Executive Director of the international environmental organization, Orion Society, which publishes the celebrated Orion Magazine, as well as the founder of a global sustainability think-tank, the Triad Institute, and Hotfrog, a Founding B Corporation, GIIRS Pioneer Company, and the first company ever to complete an equity transaction on an impact investment exchange. Laurie is the bestselling and multiple award-winning publisher and editor of books and magazines on sustainability and social impact — having worked with such acclaimed authors as Wendell Berry, Barry Lopez, Terry Tempest Williams, and David James Duncan — and the author of numerous articles on entrepreneurship and impact investing. Laurie is contributing author of the recently published academic textbook from World Scientific, Sustainability: Business and Investment Implications (2023).