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Sustainability

What Does It Take to Create Financial Products That Can Save the Planet?

Investors are increasingly eager to contribute to solutions for climate change and other environmental problems. Charlotte Kaiser ’07 of The Nature Conservancy’s NatureVest, explains how the company builds financial products that attract mainstream capital while delivering conservation impacts.

An overhead image of Ille Pierre Island in Seychelles.
  • What Will Climate Change Do to the Economy?

    Modeling the economic consequences of climate change is difficult, uncertain work. In addition, any result is sure to be subjected to political attack. For decades, Yale's William Nordhaus has been developing models that can inform policy decisions.

    Nordhaus image
  • What’s the Potential of Disruptive Green Technology?

    Green tech investors want to put their money behind firms with the potential to disrupt their industries and bring both positive environmental impacts and financial success. But what’s disruptive is by its nature unprecedented and unpredictable. How do investors assess the potential of a green technology company?

    offshore wind
  • How Do Leaders Advance Sustainability in Complex Organizations?

    Sustainability leaders often have to interact with a wide range of stakeholders with varied interests and incentives. They need to figure out the best way to engage, communicate, prioritize, and implement—in other words, to persuade. According to a panel of sustainability executives, that can mean sidestepping the language and baggage of sustainability entirely.

  • What’s the CFO’s Take on Sustainability?

    Does sustainability clear the fiscal hurdle? Yale Insights talked with Kurt Kuehn, chief financial officer for UPS, about how he evaluates sustainability initiatives in the face of a fast-changing and complex global market.

  • Buying Insurance Against Climate Change

    In a New York Times op-ed, Professor Robert Shiller writes that efforts to prepare for climate change should include the use of private institutions of risk management, such as insurance and securitization, to share risk and smooth the unpredictable effects of future disasters.

  • Can Green Banks Revolutionize the Clean Energy Industry?

    The idea of “green banks”—public lending institutions designed to help finance private clean energy projects—has been around for a while, but states have recently begun establishing their own versions. With the federal government slow to innovate in the sector, state officials are hoping to provide crucial support for clean energy and spur economic growth. But to work, green banks require a rethinking of the nature of the private-public relationship.

  • How Can Businesses Lead On Sustainability?

    Problems like climate change, resource depletion, and pollution can seem so large as to be beyond the capacity of any individual person, or even corporation, to address. Peter Bakker, president of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, argues that business leaders can take a first step by incorporating sustainability concerns into how they think about risk management.

    Sustainability
  • Is Sustainability Essential to the Mission?

    Perhaps the strongest argument for environmental sustainability within an organization is that it is critical to the mission. Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army Richard Kidd ’93 explains why strategic thinking about sustainability is essential for the military.

    Is Sustainability Essential to the Mission?
  • How Can Social Entrepreneurs Respond to the Growing Freshwater Shortage?

    Anupam Bhargava, CEO of Clearwater Systems, discusses the role of cleantech in ensuring a sustainable water supply.

    Water economics
  • How does China drive the mining and metals business?

    The $1.5 trillion mining and metals sector supplies the feedstock for a large part of everyday life—from coal for power, to iron ore for steel girders, to the minerals and metals that are processed into the components of your iPhone. John Lichtenstein '83, a consultant and 30-year veteran of the sector, describes the state of this global industry and how one country—China—has an outsize influence on commodity prices everywhere.