Investing In a Green Economy

It is rewarding to know that our invested capital, not just the return we receive on it, can energize a new economy. JEM encourages the moving of invested money from the paradigm that is focused only on profit maximization, to the paradigm of the common good and the economics in which all species can thrive. A San Diego investment advisor shares here his own experience of moving into this “sustainable practice.” Meet Jan Schalkwijk.

Investment returns are not generated in a vacuum. A company had to apply human and other precious capital to create a profit. To be able to sustain these profits into the future, companies must be good stewards of their resources, nurturing their human, natural, and community capital so that they may be relied upon time and again.

As we invest for the future, let us take a moment to envision what we want that future to look like. It is this positive vision of a future worth reaching, which motivates us to invest in those companies that are part of the solution to today’s problems, rather than the cause thereof. Let us build a community of like-minded investors who believe that competitive investment returns don’t have to come at the expense of the environment and who recognize the opportunities inherent in the challenges of climate change and natural resource depletion. Let us invest our assets with the goal of wealth creation, which has a monetary component, yet is greater than that, in that it encompasses a greener planet and a stronger society.

In the fall of 2005, I departed on a trip around the world. My career had reached a point where financial rewards had been achieved, yet a void had opened in my search for more meaning in my professional life. Though resigning from a company and a team that had treated me well, I felt blessed to have the opportunity to go travel. My experiences over the following year shaped my view on the importance of sustainable development and the acute challenges that we are facing in that regard. I returned home, inspired by the world’s rich yet fragile cultural and natural heritage and with the desire to protect these riches. Having decided that I wanted to play a part in moving the economy to a more sustainable footing, I founded JPS Global Investments, an investment advisory firm specializing in green investing.

Jan is the featured guest in episode 11 and episode 23 of our podcast, The Common Good.