On cavalries over the horizon, blue economies and other green knights

5 April 2012 – You get invited to the JP Morgan media briefing and think, it must be a mistake, but let’s go along anyway and see what the big end of town is thinking.

Turns out that through the Trojan horse of social media and the amazingly powerful apps under development these advisers to superannuation funds and other major institutional clients are cooking up ways to directly “engage” with the retail market in order to keep their business. And we know what the retail market is starting to think, more and more.

The IT team in JP Morgan has been holding high level forums with the likes of Microsoft and other rarefied developers of technology to create easy to access information on everything from regular financial performance to sustainability initiatives and sustainable investment strategies.

So while the asset managers and fund managers say, “please talk to the hand, I’m busy with high octane finance at a microscopic level and there’s a danger I just may eject from my seat into the planetary solar system if you distract me,” the power of one times many – social media – is working where the whiz kids refuse to tread.

Call it the big-end-of-town spring.

Specifically, one of the executives explained, super funds may soon be sending out info on apps that say what they are doing about green property, ethical governance, investment in public transport infrastructure and other issues that the ultimate owner of the super fund, just may see have a big impact on their lives.

After all, super is a powerful investment tool that is meant to have a very long term view. It’s a mystery why it needs to succumb to the attention deficit disorder of asset managers and the like in thrall to the madness of stock exchange roulette.

The superannuation pie is only getting bigger, the property industry’s bite will only get bigger, in absolute terms, if not proportionally,  and ordinary “mums and dads” will want to know if the buildings they own through their funds won’t ultimately poison the air they breathe and destroy the resources they need for a reasonable quality of life.

And if governments aren’t thinking in more than three or four year spans, you can bet the investors with their apps will absolutely be thinking of the next 20 years, let alone the 40 or 50 they hope to enjoy.

This is exactly where we can segue to some of the amazing people who are laying at the feet of the fund managers and asset managers and investment advisers a beautiful array of new blue economy investment options that can not only make potentially squillions of dollars but create carbon sinks and help save the planet for something fit to live on.

Some of these green knights include:

  • Nils Kok who announced on Wednesday that the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark, which he co-founded, has teamed with the Global Reporting Initiative, supported by 30 of the world’s biggest pension funds and property investors to bring better disclosure on sustainable, ethical and financial performance. Blend that with the move to integrate sustainability reporting with financial reporting and the green knights of this industry can see the cavalry could soon start galloping over the horizon

Gunter Pauli, an economist/entrepreneur and enthusiastic proponent of the blue economy. See our story on the inspiring Pauli, or catch an ABC video, of a speech he delivered in Sydney last year.

Jerry Yudelson, who says enough already, on benchmarking of sustainable building performance and other nonsense ways to protect our investment egos. Let’s talk about absolute performance and minimum standards in energy. “Nature doesn’t care about relative improvements; it only cares about absolute carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. And Nature is the ultimate arbiter of human activity,” he says. Ping!

Yudelson is another breath of fresh (clean) air. And a speaker at the upcoming ARBS conference.

Clover Moore and friends, including Allan Jones on her energy team, Origin Energy and its Cogent business, Kinesis for coming up with the original strategy and the network owners AusGrid and Jemena who are all helping to get a trigeneration low carbon energy network in Sydney

It’s Easter so don’t forget the most sustainable thing you can do is to recharge your own renewable batteries. Have a great break.