Worldwatch Institute

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Michael Kramer is included in the Worldwatch Institute’s “State of the World 2008: Innovations for a Sustainable Economy” (Norton & Co, 2008). The book, which marks its 25th annual edition, is widely regarded as a landmark annual publication that measures the health of the planet in environmental terms.

In this edition, chapter 13 is entitled, “Investing for Sustainability”, and on page 184, author Bill Baue of CSRwire.com and Corporate Watchdog Radio writes:

“Many in the SRI community – including Michael Kramer, managing partner and director of social research at Natural Investments LLC – consider the mainstream embrace of sustainability a mixed blessing. While Kramer acknowledges that the Goldman Sachs report and others like it are part of the solution due to their influence over the mainstream corporate community, he laments that they advance ‘such broad interpretations of sustainability now that it renders the concept nearly meaningless. When a major oil company invests modestly in renewable energy while its business model still hinges on fossil fuels, is this really sustainable?’

One innovative way of moving toward truly sustainable investing from the bottom up is called “regenerative investing,” a notion pioneered in 2003 by Michael Kramer. He calls the new investment style “regenerative” because it channels financial resources into projects that mimic the way nature operates within closed-loop systems that recycle matter and energy. Regenerative investing gives priority to far-sighted investments in areas such as clean energy, sustainable agriculture and forestry, recycling, and green real estate development. The strategy also looks for local investment that supports formal barter networks and currency systems, small business incubators, property leasing systems, and land trusts. At this early stage, regenerative investing strategies carry significant risk and so are only open to “qualified” investors with enough assets to buffer the risk.”

To read the report, view the pdf (464 Kb) Worldwatch State of the World.

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