Nature provides the building blocks for civilization, arable soil, air and water filtration, ore and minerals for extraction, and economic and recreational opportunities. In almost any other context, you would expect to pay for these services. But with nature, we are wont to expect these things for nothing. Hence the title for the white paper we released late last year, “We Don’t Value Nature.”
As financiers and economists, we are wont to look at nature and try to derive an ROI. And for that reason, institutions have underrated nature—the returns were not competitive with other asset classes. Part of the reason for that is society had not properly placed a price on all the benefits and pleasure it derives from nature. And by doing so, the thinking goes, nature will find a place in investors’ portfolios. On this episode of RPM, Suzanne Tavill, StepStone’s Head of Responsible Investment, discusses nature-based investing. Among other things we discuss:
- How better pricing can help resolve the nature crisis (9:39);
- The relationship between climate and nature investing (13:40);
- The challenges investors are facing in building a nature-based portfolio (20:32);
- COP15: where it succeeded and how it can improve (23:12); and
- How the digital divide has been a two-way street (28:58).