Opinion - July 6, 2021

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If one gives you $100.000 or $500.000 where would you invest it? What is your long-term investment strategy?

- Photo by Science in HD - Unsplash

Written by Bertrand Piccard 3 min read

I believe changing the way we invest our money is crucial to fight climate change and build a more sustainable economic system. I believe we need to be much more vigilant about where our investments go, and we must put our money where our mouth is. 

We can’t be serious about the environmental crisis without tackling the investment challenge. Therefore, if I was given a large sum of money, whether it be 100,000 $ or 500,000 $, I would invest it in companies whose strategies and activities are in line with the Paris Agreement. This means looking closely into the climate warming potential of each company, its environmental footprint, and its exposure to future megatrends.

This, of course, is easier said than done. However, as part of my project to find 1000 solutions that protect the environment in a profitable way, I came across a company which does precisely that: Globalance Bank. Globalance supports investors to successfully invest in future-oriented companies and investments that solve global challenges and shape a positive future. They have recently launched an innovative tool, Globalance World, which is a digital world map for investments where interested parties can see their returns and impacts in detail and in real time - think of it as a “TripAdvisor” for investments.

My own portfolio is entirely public. This means that anyone can see how my investments are performing and what their environmental impacts are. These are exciting case studies of innovation and positive change at scale such as Azure Power, a leading producer of solar power in India or Autodesk, whose software applications enable sustainable design in architecture or manufacturing.

Currently, the warming potential of my portfolio is 1.7°C, which aligns it with the Paris Agreement. Its performance since inception from 4th November 2020 has been a 15.68 % return (as per 29.06.2021) and I have even launched a challenge with all investors, to achieve more climate protection and returns with their own strategy than I do with my portfolio.

Recently, a Dutch court has ruled that Shell must speed-up its emission reductions. Simultaneously, a shareholder-revolt forced Exxon Mobile to elect board-members who advocate a radical climate-strategy-overhaul. Luckily, my priority as an investor has been for a while to make sure that I do not invest in such firm’s stranded assets. Fossil fuels and similar assets are at risk because of the toll of climate change due to the increasing number of fires, droughts, flooding or hurricanes. Rather, I have focused on the sectors and companies that will rise thanks to the economic opportunity that the ecological transition will create. And believe me, there are a lot. Imagine companies that invent new ways to produce food, to move around with zero-emission, to heat and cool buildings with no impact on the environment, etc. These are the places where I would put my money.

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