Author: Hilary Waterman

Work-play-live: Future-proofing the built environment through impact investing

[Hilary Waterman specialises in communications and is an avid traveller who enjoys exploring new cities. She was a student on the City, University of London Writing for Business short course in January-March 2020. Hilary wrote this blog as part of a homework/in-class exercise on that course.]

Author’s note: The views expressed in this piece reflect those of the author, not Savills Investment Management.

In a letter to investors in 2018, Laurence D. Fink, CEO of BlackRock – the world’s largest asset manager – wrote:

Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose. … To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.

Laurence D Fink, BlackRock CEO, January 2018

We are in the midst of a sea change in how companies conduct business and plan for long-term growth. ‘Doing good’ may have been an activity conventionally pursued by nonprofits looking to better the world. But due to a confluence of factors including globalisation, socially conscious Millennials and the ever-increasing gulf between the haves and have-nots, impact-driven investment has landed squarely on the agenda of profit-driven businesses too. As much as personal values are fuelling this behaviour, society and the environment are demanding it.