Boston, MA (PressExposure) May 04, 2012 -- A new form of impact investing could lead to a rise in life expectancy by helping to deal with the causes of health problems, according to analysts and Alternative Asset Analysis (AAA).
A new white paper from researchers at UC Berkeley argues that Health impact Bonds and similar impact investing routes can help save lives in developing countries and at home. The paper, that was also put together with help from Collective Health, suggested that these bonds help to address the underlying social problems that cause people to make unhealthy choices that can affect their long-term health.
The researchers' white paper follows claims that the majority of increase life expectancy in the US has come as a result of lifestyle, social health care, cleanliness and hygiene, rather than from better care once ill.
It is, then, advantageous to try to deal with the root cause of ill health rather than simply ploughing money into more and more care once people have already become ill.
AAA's analysis partner, Anthony Johnson, explained that impact investing can help in some very straightforward ways. "Money invested into socially and environmentally responsible projects can go towards anything from building clean water wells in Africa to providing education on healthy eating seminars in inner-city America.
"Either way, it's a lot more ethical than investing in stocks and shares," added Johnson.
Health Impact bonds can help projects such as the efforts to cut asthma in Fresno, California, through a simple education process, helping people remove mold from their homes and get new air filters and soft furnishings.
AAA claims that impact investing has brought benefits to many areas of the world and that investing in sustainable forestry projects can help communities in developing countries to safeguard their forestry industry for generations to come. "Investing in projects such as the Health Impact Bonds and Greenwood Management's plantation schemes in Brazil can ensure investments make a real difference," added Johnson.