Investing in a Sustainable World: Why Green Is the New Color of Money on Wall Street

By Matthew J. Kiernan | Go to book overview

Chapter 9
The Game-Changers
Part II: The Individual Owners of Capital

Increasingly, our organization assesses Investment opportunities
not only in terms of expected financial return, but also from a
social and environmental perspective…. Businesses that
acknowledge their responsibilities in relation to human rights,
the environment and social policy are generally managed by
people who are quick to recognize and respond to changes
in society…. Evidence indicates that the best-performing
businesses are those that promote sustainable development
.

—PGGM, NETHERLANDS

The Collective initiatives that we examined in Chapter 8 [UNEP-FI (United Nations Environment Program’s Finance Initiative), Carbon Disclosure Project, Enhanced Analytics Initiative, and UN PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment)] have been enormously useful as awareness builders and accountability enhancers. Any real investment action, however, almost always takes place at the level of an individual institution. And, inevitably, some of the organizations involved in those collective efforts have taken the messages from those efforts more closely to heart than others. In this chapter we profile a number of exceptional institutions, each of which has “pushed the envelope” and blazed a trail that other, similarly situated organizations can and should now follow.

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