The Environmental Investment Organisation, generally referred to as the EIO, operates as an independent “out of the box” think tank with a remit to research, propose, and implement effective strategies for improving the ecological and ethical “output” of the Financial System.
It was established in 1996 to work alongside the then newly formed London School of Economics Environmental Initiatives Network (EIN).
The EIN had been set up the previous year by concerned LSE Alumni to mark the LSE’s centenary year and support new environmental thinking at the school, particularly of an economic and financial nature. The LSE network organised a wide ranging programme of lectures and events at the LSE, which over the following 13 years encompassed just about the entire spectrum of environmental thought and organisations.
With the establishment of the new Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment based at the LSE, the initial priority of raising the profile of environmental issues and research at the LSE has been achieved.
The EIO has sought to build on this activity and is now completely focussed on advancing practical and marketable solutions for the existing financial and investment system.
One of the London School of Economics EIN’s founding members, Michael Gill, a graduate of the LSE International Relations Department, published a forward thinking book in 1997, entitled “Environmental Tracking, Can Investment Revolution Prevent Ecological Catastrophe”. The analysis behind the original book has provided a platform for much of the EIO's subsequent work. (The original print run is sold out but second hand copies are usually obtainable from Amazon)
In the book, he proposed a radical adaptation of the “index fund” concept with a view to changing the direction of the world’s investment and financial system. The book’s underlying premise is that the long term interests of investors are ultimately the same as the long-term interests of the planet and its inhabitants.
An updated and shorter version of the book, entitled “A Solution To Global Warming...” outlines the logic behind the Environmental Tracking Index Series, an adaptation of the traditional index fund model which translates these ideals into a working, and investable product. Please click here if you would like to download a free copy.
Both books assert that for an average long-term investor, an investment system that causes serious environmental harm is a bad investment. The question since the establishment of the EIO has been how to organise those investors to recognise and use their influence over the investment system.
This is precisely the question that the forthcoming Carbon Ranking and subsequent Environmental Tracking Index Series® seeks to address. For further information about either please visit ETindex.com
As is often said in the investment world, “timing is everything”. Hopefully the EIO's timing will be “just in time”.