Center Stage Podcast

How JPMorgan Chase commits to 'clean financing'

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Sustainable finance might seem an oxymoron — economic investors do not necessarily have a vested input in protecting the environment. As the effects of climate change become more apparent, however, institutional investors are drastically growing their stake in a sustainable vision of the future.

Erin Robert is head of capital strategies of sustainable finance at JPMorgan Chase, one of the largest asset management companies in the world. She talked at GreenBiz 18 in Phoenix with Joel Makower about JPMorgan’s position in "the financial arms race" that green financing is quickly becoming.

According to Robert, the green bond market surpassed $300 billion in investments last year, and has grown 25 percent in the last three years. She believes that both "business and the private sector have a role to play." This involves advising clients towards sustainable investments, underwriting green bonds, and making the commitment as internal as it is external — hiring more and better people for sustainability roles, and driving their physical facilities to be less wasteful and carbon-dependent.

Still, JPMorgan’s conventional investment portfolio isn’t without significant investments that depend on fossil fuel-based sources of energy. Robert noted increasing "talk across the table," and the importance of traditional business partners who use JPMorgan to manage their risk recognizing the massive disastrous potential of climate change. "We can assist in the development and standardization in this market," she said.

Watch a video of the entire discussion from GreenBiz 18 here.

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Technical direction for GreenBiz 350 by Stephanie May Joyce.