“Don’t look for media-approved ideologically sound Right Causes where there are none. Look out of the window instead, and do something about what you see there.”
- Spider Jerusalem
On Friday, September 20, 2019, Etho Capital closed its offices in solidarity with the Global Climate Strike. An estimated 4 million people participated around the world. By all accounts, the Climate Strike was a success, catalyzing positive action in 163 countries.
As an investment firm committed to sustainable capitalism and ESG investing, Etho Capital felt compelled to participate in the global climate strike for a few reasons:
Science. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. The Panel includes the world’s leading climate scientists. In 2018, they issued a report warning that the rate and pace with which we are working to abate climate risk is not big enough or fast enough. The IPCC says we only have a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5°C. Even half a degree beyond that will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat, and poverty for hundreds of millions of people. “Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate,” the report states. 
We can still turn this around, but it will require swift action.
The financial markets have a part to play. Our goal at Etho is to leverage the financial markets for the benefit of our clients and the broader society to shape a more prosperous and healthy future for all stakeholders into perpetuity. That is why we do our part to help investors move their capital away from fossil fuels and into renewable energy. Individuals and institutions have the power to make a significant impact on the economy by directing investments into companies committed to sustainable business practices. As investors, we can act more quickly in the financial markets than government policy can change.
“The environment and our society are assets. Sustaining, and protecting our resources to be available for the benefit of all shareholders now and into the future is the essence of asset management,” said Amberjae Freeman, Chief Operating Officer, at Etho Capital. “We are all stakeholders in the fate of our society and the environment upon which we depend for our survival, so we ask - why not be shareholders too?”
Fellow Certified B Corps, Ben & Jerry’s and Patagonia also participated in Friday’s strike. Both companies have been leading the charge on sustainable business practices for many years. They provide a blueprint for other companies to emulate.
We hope to see this same dedication in the financial services industry.
The UN PRI supported the efforts of those who participated in the strike, though many of its signatories did not. For more than 13 years the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) has been the world’s leading proponent of responsible investment. The organization has 2,000+ signatories with US$80 trillion in assets under management, across 50+ countries.
The organization’s Director of Climate Change, Sagarika Chatterjee writes:
“The activities investors fund materially contribute to climate change. So rather than responding to climate change, or even managing climate change, some investors are asking how they can actively finance climate action.”
That is why Etho has always been committed to identifying key areas where targeted capital allocation can make a measurable impact to advance sustainable companies and industries. We do this work in an effort to ameliorate resource constraints and climate change concerns all while providing investors a chance at robust returns.
We celebrate all participants who raised awareness about the risks of inaction on this issue during the Global Climate Strike. We think the strike is important. After all, when it comes to the planet, we can’t pick up a spare.
[*] Warren Ellis wrote & Darick Robertson penciled (et. al.) “Transmetropolitan” (1997) the quote is from Issue #26, “21 Days in the City,” page 10.
 K. Trammell, S. Andrew and N. Meyersohn “These are the companies supporting the global climate strike”, CNN, September 20, 2019 Two publications published lists of private companies participating in the climate strike. Both lists included 187 companies. Fast Company and CNN
 Amberjae Freeman. “Investing for a Sustainable Future,” August 1, 2019. https://ethocapital.com/posts/2019/9/25/investing-for-a-sustainable-future-the-etho-philosophy
 Sagarika Chatterjee, “Climate change takers to climate action makers,” UN PRI, September 20, 2019