The leading banking and financial services firm JPMorgan Chase has teamed up with the Nature Conservancy to launch a new initiative that will help investors understand the need for, and opportunities presented by, investment in nature.
The NatureVest programme will seek to harness the growing buzz around impact investment to promote a mainstream market for investment in ecological conservation and the protection of natural capital.
Its founders say the initiative will “convene investors; develop and execute innovative financial transactions; and continue to build an investment pipeline across multiple sectors, including agriculture, fisheries and environmental markets.”
Mark Tercek, president and chief executive of The Nature Conservancy, explained, “NatureVest is a natural extension of The Nature Conservancy’s work – it will open up entirely new avenues for investments that protect nature.
“By bringing together leaders in natural resource management and investment, we will unlock new sources of capital to deliver important conservation results.”
Tercek and his colleagues point to figures from the Global Canopy Programme that estimate annual investment of $290 billion (£172.4m) is needed to support international conservation efforts.
Currently only $51 billion (£30.3m) is invested each year, mostly by governments, charities and philanthropists. Bridging this gap with the help of private investors will be NatureVest’s primary long-term objective.
Doug Petno, chief executive of commercial banking at JPMorgan Chase, said he is “delighted” to play a part in NatureVest and “demonstrate that profitability and sustainability can work hand in hand”.
“There is an urgent need to step up the scale and creativity of financial resources dedicated to the protection of natural ecosystems,” he added.
JPMorgan Chase has provided an initial $5 million (£2.9m) to the programme, with further support to be made available down the line.
NatureVest will publish its first report, detailing the current state of the natural capital market, later this year.
The rapid rise of impact investment is creating many new opportunities as savvy, responsible investors see the opportunities that sustainability presents.
Speaking to Blue & Green Tomorrow recently, Jennifer Kenning, director of wealth management and spearhead of impact investing at US wealth management firm Aspiriant, argued impact investment could become a trillion dollar industry by the end of the decade.
Photo: Andrey Belenko via Flickr