Guggenheim, WWF publish guidelines for sustainable infrastructure investing

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Wind Turbine for Renewable Energy on Field © Andreas Berthold /123RF Stock PhotosGuggenheim Investments and the World Wildlife Fund have commissioned a study to review sustainability standards for multi-stakeholder infrastructure programs, noting the need for further clarity as sustainable infrastructure transitions into an institutional asset class.

“It’s clear that public funds alone are not enough to address the world’s critical infrastructure needs,” said Scott Minerd, chairman of Guggenheim Investments and global chief investment officer, in a news release. “But before sustainable infrastructure investing can successfully transition to an institutional asset class, there must be consistent methodologies for determining sustainability. The fruits of this report will make a significant contribution toward achieving that objective.”

While the sustainability issue within infrastructure has been on the radar for some time, the report noted, multi-stakeholder standards and project rating programs are growing, allowing investors to better monitor and certify their assets. The report provides guidelines for investing in infrastructure sustainably.

Guggenheim had previously established its own sustainability quotient with four criteria an institutional investor should require of sustainable infrastructure: financial return, good governance, environmental soundness and social impact. The report is aiming to make the certification of these four criteria all the more simple for investors.

“Designing infrastructure for sustainability matters now more than ever,” said Carter Roberts, president and chief executive officer of the World Wildlife Fund in the United States. “Science tells us that the infrastructure of the future will need to be compatible with maintaining healthy ecosystems as well as withstanding stronger storms, rising seas and other climate impacts. This report gives investors insight into how to ensure these criteria are met, to create sustainable, resilient communities for decades to come.”

The report, conducted by the Stanford University’s Global Projects Center, is set to be presented at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland this week.

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