In this podcast episode of ‘A Time to Act’, Lisa Kurbiel, Head of Joint SDG Fund Secretariat, hosts a discussion between Marisa Drew, Chief Sustainability Officer and Global Head of Sustainability, Strategy, Advisory and Finance Services at Credit Suisse, and Casey Clark, Managing Director, Global Head of Environmental, Social and Governance, Investments Portfolio Manager and Member of the Rockefeller Capital Asset Management Committee. This podcast focuses on the launch of the joint impact fund between Credit Suisse and Rockefeller Asset Management, The Ocean Engagement Fund. In this conversation about “Oceans Health & Wealth,'' our panelists emphasize the need for practical, profitable, and creative solutions towards improving the health of our oceans.
The Ocean Engagement Fund has already committed 598m to projects directly related to SDG-14, Life Below the Water; the fund is the first of it’s kind that is solely dedicated to SDG-14. Marisa Drew highlights that the fund was created because investors are passionate about our oceans but they were seeking a link where they could see a direct impact with their investment dollars.
“Could we not create an investment opportunity that would make that direct link and deliver that deep impact?” says Marisa Drew when reminiscing about the cultivation of the fund.
The fund focuses to remedy overfishing and marine pollution, to boost conservation and restoration, and to invest in ocean energy while also promoting the health and wealth of our oceans in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), as they represent an over reliance on certain economic sectors, such as eco-tourism which can cause more damage to oceans. Casey Clark then speaks to the role of the fund, which is to deliver returns and positive ocean health outcomes through heavy and active shareholder engagement.
Our panelists shift the conversation to distinguish the differences between “Green Economy” and “Blue Economy”. Whereas “Green Economy” typically focuses on the reduction of greenhouse gas and Co2 emissions, the “Blue Economy” focuses on the conservation and restoration of our oceans. Marisa Drew draws attention to the fact that last year the Green Economy had raised capital over 750b USD and that it is possible to take a page out of the “Green Economy” ‘Playbook’ to create a set of principles about investing in the blue economy and conducting ocean business.
Casey Clark outlines the three main transformations that are advancing the ocean agenda; changing public policy, changing consumer buying preferences and technological advancements. With all of these transformations becoming aligned, Casey says that we can see “the foundational elements being built across almost all agencies in the United States”. By embracing these transformations, funds like The Ocean Engagement Fund and The Joint SDG Fund are able to de-risk investments, allowing for increased and sustainable capital flow, which is what these joint funds aim to achieve.
Casey Clark concludes by reminding listeners that “we remain at the very early stages of long term structural transformations needed for the world to reduce and adapt to both the climate and ocean crisis…”.
Listen to the podcast, Oceans Health and Wealth to learn more!