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Costing the Earth: How to Fix Finance to Save the Planet

ISBN: 9781915036483
Binding: Paperback
Author: Eric Archambeau
Pages: 224
Trim: 6 x 9 inches
Published: 08/01/2022

Time is running out in the race to slash carbon emissions and repair biodiversity, with the goal of reaching net-zero by 2050 remaining as elusive as ever.

In Costing the Earth, leading impact investor Eric Archambeau argues that rather than making media-friendly pledges and grasping low-hanging fruit (such as aviation taxes), world leaders must radically overhaul finance instead.

Only by aligning investment decisions with the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and ensuring that industrial and services companies measure and incorporate in their P&L statements the full environmental and social costs of their operations - costs that are currently passed on to taxpayers or absorbed by Nature - will we stand a chance of achieving the breakthroughs we need.

Zeroing in on the agri-food sector, one of the largest contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and biodiversity loss, Archambeau dissects the many hidden problems caused by our current financial system.

As the stakes continue to rise and the window for action narrows, Costing the Earth makes the case that the only viable and sustainable way to achieve net-zero is to adopt the model pioneered by impact investors, which takes the three Ps - profit, people and the planet - into account when valuing a company or tracking its performance. Only then will business leaders all over the world be incentivized to place sustainability and the regeneration of the planet's resources at the heart of their operations and decision-making.

 

Eric Archambeau is an engineer, former Silicon Valley entrepreneur, venture capitalist and the co-founder of Astanor Ventures, an impact-led venture capital firm focusing on technology-enabled start-up companies in the regenerative agriculture and sustainable food sectors, with investments in companies such as Apeel Sciences, Empirical Spirit, Infarm, Modern Meadow, Monarch Tractors, Plantible, Smallhold and Ÿnsect.

Before Astanor, Eric was a business angel, venture capital investor, member of the board of directors and mentor to many founders of disruptive technology companies across the US, the UK and the EU, including, among others, eGroups (Yahoo groups), Flutter Entertainment PLC, PriceMinister (now Rakuten), XING, Spotify, Threads Styling, Freenow, Onfido, Peakon and Pirate Studios.

Over the past two decades, he has also worked as investor and mentor with social entrepreneurs, addressing key social and environmental challenges, including Maven Clinic, a digital health clinic for women, in New York, and DASRA-Social Impact, a social impact accelerator in Mumbai. Eric was an early supporter of social entrepreneurship network Ashoka in Europe, and a founding member of the Ashoka Support Network. Eric has also lectured at INSEAD, where he founded the social entrepreneurship programme, and served as Global Chairman of the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, providing food education for children across the world.

 

"Eric Archambeau has created a well-written and insightful book based upon his personal experiences as a venture capitalist in the agri-food sector. Through an illuminating series of biographical details, real-world case studies and recent academic research, the author makes a strong case for the central role of impact investing in greening what is currently one of the planet's most harmful industries. The book sets out practical steps towards realising his vision, including suggestions for how to better account for environmental and social costs on corporate balance sheets. Highly recommended to all those interested in social entrepreneurship and impact investing." - Sandra Robertson, Chief Executive and Chief Investment Officer of Oxford University Endowment Management

"This intriguing book by Eric Archambeau is thought-provoking and inspiring [...] The solutions described show that there is a path [...] to adjusting our agri-food sector via innovations and changes to a sustainable business." - Feike Sijbesma, former CEO Royal DSM, co-chair Global Climate Centers

"Eric Archambeau has created a well-written and insightful book based upon his personal experiences as a venture capitalist in the agri-food sector. Through an illuminating series of biographical details, real-world case studies and recent academic research, the author makes a strong case for the central role of impact investing in greening what is currently one of the planet's most harmful industries. The book sets out practical steps towards realising his vision, including suggestions for how to better account for environmental and social costs on corporate balance sheets. Highly recommended to all those interested in social entrepreneurship and impact investing." - Sandra Robertson, Chief Executive and Chief Investment Officer of Oxford University Endowment Management

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