A Comment on “Riding the Waves of the Blue Economy: Implications for Impact Investors”

John Hoeppner, Head of U.S. Stewardship and Sustainable Investments, Legal & General Investment Management America

The authors make a compelling case to carefully consider the social context before jumping into the deep end of ocean investing.

While there are mature timber, farmland, and real estate funds and strategies, the ocean economy is a nascent area for investing. The authors thoughtfully point out that as this field of investing emerges (Blue Economy matures), it is paramount that investors and other market participants balance economic interests with complex societal issues. As frameworks are established, it is uniquely necessary that local people be brought in to participate in the creation of goals and measurement approaches. The mainstream institutional investment community largely lacks these skills in-house, so governments, development banks, NGOs, and others will likely need to lay the groundwork. In future pieces, it would be great to further explore the social benefits, expand on the social key performance indicators (KPIs), and highlight the financial prospects and characteristics of a thriving ocean economy.

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