When I started my first impact investment company in 1999 to fund cleantech ventures, I found that most people had a difficult time grasping and accepting the idea of putting investment dollars to work in sustainability. After all, the essence of sustainable investment is to create a better world for the future than the world we inherited.
In America, I believe our historical Puritan inheritance creates an additional burden, an unconscious prejudice that goodness is not profitable and that the real profits belong to the people at the edge of the law or morality or both. I am surprised at the enduring strength of this unfortunate legacy. Twenty years later, we still try to breathe in a polluted world, desperately hoping to understand and believe in the profitability of doing the right thing.