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Natural Capital and Its Role in Investment Risk and Return

Fred Boltz — Former Managing Director

As we approached The Rockefeller Foundation’s Centennial in 2013, we asked the question—what must we do for the next 100 years to fulfill our enduring mission of improving the well-being of humanity?  Our inescapable conclusion was that preserving the planetary conditions—the climate, ecosystem functions and services, and vital natural resources that provide the environment in which humanity has thrived—is fundamental to the success of our human endeavor.

This wealth of nature is also vital to the financial performance and sustainability of our global economy, and of the private sector engines that propel it.

What’s less clear, however, is how to use information about the state of the natural ecosystems, the value of natural capital, and the risks implied by global environmental change to inform and improve financial decision making.

Last year, we had the great pleasure of hosting with the Financial Times a series of roundtable discussions in New York and London focused on the role and material importance of natural capital in financial investment risk and return. Highlights from the series are captured in the short video below. I encourage you to watch, and to join us in working to forge the great transformation our financial system requires for a tumultuous 21st century.

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