Sustainable Investing

Instructor: Thomas Murtha

Fulfills requirement: Environmental Policy, Management, and Finance (EPMF) OR Tools (T)
Day: Wednesday
Dates: Jan. 17, 24, 31, Feb. 7, 14 (Module 1, 5 sessions)
Time: 6:10 – 8:10 PM
Room location: Schermerhorn Extension 652
Course number: ENVB 0422 N
Call number: 76847

Course Description
New course!

This brief introduction to sustainable investing focuses on addressing environmental and conservation problems. The course develops a more inclusive investment narrative than the old story of business as usual. In contrast, we frame sustainable investing as an approach focusing on the preservation of natural capital and resource development for an enduring and desirable future. Topics covered include risk and return as stewardship metrics, addressing global inequities and environmental justice, and the evolution of sustainable investing as a positive methodology that is outcome-focused, risk-adjusted, opportunity-oriented, and can provide superior returns. Case studies used to illustrate concepts may include the pros and cons of fossil fuel divestment, active engagement of public companies on environmental issues, forest carbon investment in New England, identifying green infrastructure investments, evaluating the returns and impacts of sustainable mutual fund offerings, among others. Participants will apply approaches and tools developed in class to create a sustainable investment portfolio.

About the Instructor

Thomas Murtha has over thirty-five years’ experience as a journalist, investment banker, institutional investment manager, director of corporate engagement at The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and as an environmental/investment activist working on issues related to the systemic and transition risk of climate change. At Preventable Surprises, he works with institutional investors and other non-governmental organizations to engage publicly traded companies in North American, Europe and Asia on the adoption of 2°C transition plans in accordance with the science-based targets of the UN COP21 Agreement. While at TNC, he worked with Royal Dutch Shell on approaches to replacing grey with green living infrastructure for improved coastal resilience and landscape scale mitigation of oil and gas development as well as scenario planning for climate change adaptation and pathways to net zero emissions. Also at TNC, Thomas worked with BHP Billiton to develop the Martu Living Deserts Project in Australia, the Valdivian Coastal Reserve in Southern Chile, and the Sustainable Rivers and Forest Initiative in Texas. At T. Rowe Price Associates in Baltimore, he was a portfolio manager for the International Stock Fund and the Global Technology Fund. Earlier in his career, Thomas was an investment banker in Asia for Jardine Fleming, a joint venture of Hong Kong-based conglomerate Jardine Matheson and London-based bank Robert Fleming. Prior to his career in finance, Tom was journalist for McGraw Hill Publications and Dun and Bradstreet where he covered technology and finance beats in Asia. Tom is an occasional contributor of op-ed articles to Institutional Investor, Pensions and Investments,, and the Huffington Post.