Why TNC and JPMorgan Chase are investing $1 billion in nature

Why TNC and JPMorgan Chase are investing $1 billion in nature

Published April 29, 2014
Why TNC and JPMorgan Chase are investing $1 billion in nature

The Nature Conservancy and JPMorgan Chase have a bold goal: Raise $1 billion over the next three years toward projects that protect agriculture, fisheries, water and land. These power brokers in conservation and finance seek nothing less than to create a mainstream market for investment in ecological conservation.

The Nature Conservancy’s effort, NatureVest, aims to help institutional investors and wealthy individuals understand and harness market opportunities for investing in nature. It plans to build a long-term, mature market, one conservation project at a time. Further down the road, such investment opportunities could even reach mainstream, middle-class investors. The market may not understand it yet, but that’s kind of the point.

“The number is intentionally big because we think the marketplace is big,” said Bill Ginn, chief conservation officer at The Nature Conservancy. “We want investors to say, ‘I have an environmental component in my portfolio because that’s a smart place to invest these days.’ … That means they have to make money in order to be willing to put their capital at risk here. It’s one thing to ask for a contribution. … It’s another thing to ask someone to invest with you in the future of the world.”

As the founding sponsor of NatureVest, JPMorgan Chase is providing an initial $5 million, with ongoing support in building up the financial infrastructure. With the effort announced Tuesday in Washington, D.C., the full website is set to launch May 15.

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