This Week in Sustainability: Natural Asset Stock Exchange and a New Sustainable Investing Institute

| Josh Henretig

wallstThis week Greentech Media offered insight into a new exchange that will enable trading of environmental services—think of it as Wall Street for forests. The system is being developed by the Intrinsic Value Exchange (IVE), an online natural asset stock exchange whose goal is to value natural and societal assets such as ecosystems and wildlife. Take a tree, for example. Our economy values it as a material for lumber and paper but doesn’t look at the benefits of allowing it to continue absorbing carbon. Instead, IVE hopes that “finding the intrinsic value of that environmental service can influence decision-making about how to better manage resources”. The end-game? Raising funds through the exchange to protect wildlife and reduce pollution.

IVE isn’t the only one trying to bring Wall Street to the sustainable world this week, as an article in Guardian Sustainable Business reported that Morgan Stanley is creating an Institute for Sustainable Investing. The institute will aim to give investors an opportunity for large-scale investment in renewable energy and more livable communities, while simultaneously letting go of assets that are highly carbon-based. While Morgan Stanley has outlined a variety of goals that are environmentally friendly, its main goal is to have $10 billion of its client funds invested in sustainability assets over the next few years. But why would a Wall Street firm be interested in such sustainable measures? According to the article, the demand for sustainable assets is coming from clients themselves who have expressed high interest and curiosity in the sustainable investing field. As a company that’s used a carbon fee to make our own investments in renewable energy, we can certainly relate.

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