Tuesday, December 28, 2004

$25 Billion: Idea #5: Sustainable resource endowments

To read the full blog, click Philanthropy 2225

OK, here's another idea - Sustainable endowments. Foundations - most of them - are here in perpetuity. Their endowments are all about the future. Why don't foundations and their CFOs take the lead in creating financial vehicles that also are about the future - sustainable resource-backed financial products. How about funds based on the future, non-extractive value of old growth redwood trees? Or the 100 or 200 year value of pristine watersheds? Intact ecosystems? Renewable energy funds? Shouldn't there be a way to match the long-term existence of endowments with long-term sustainable investment strategies? And if any entity is well-positioned to imagine, pilot, and create such products, permanent endowments would seem to fit the bill.

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