Sustainable Investing: What Would Nature Do? What Would Nature Have Me Do?

A look at the Next Thirty Years
Jul 20, 2022 10:10 AM ET

Sustainable Investing: What Would Nature Do? What Would Nature Have Me Do?

by Katherine Collins, head of Sustainable Investing at Putnam Investments

During these times, I see a great reconnection in business and investing taking root – a joining-up of finance and the wisdom of our natural world especially in Sustainable Investing. I don’t mean a focus on investing in nature, though in many ways that is vital. I mean a focus on investing as nature, a shift in how our decisions are considered and made and monitored. This shift goes beyond the changing jargon and labels and frameworks of our profession, important though they can be. It reflects a deeper level of reunion, a reconnection of investing with the world it is meant to serve. I acknowledge that this trend is not so visible on certain days. 

In some ways an investment practice or business operation aligned with natural systems might still seem a faraway dream. But I see the green shoots sprouting up everywhere I look. When a CEO reports on the benefits of their products to customers before talking about operating margins, that’s a sprout. When a CFO tells me with eyebrows raised that increasing wages is an investment and not just a cost, that’s a sprout. When my own team shares stories of the best things in our weeks before diving into our spreadsheets, that’s a sprout. When analyst and CIO commentary recognizes that all of these activities contribute to financial returns, that it’s not a zero sum, fixed pie world, that is more than a sprout; it is a sapling.

More great insights on Biomimicry and business as well as Katherine's thoughts on the Next 30 Years all here -