Investing To Fight Climate Change Topic Of Westport Forum

Dec 9, 2019

A recent forum in Westport, Connecticut, explored how concern over climate change can be addressed by changing how people invest their money.

“Investing for a Sustainable Future during the Climate Crisis Era” was held at TecKnow in Westport. TecKnow Founder and CEO Phil Levieff called the surroundings “a smart living ecosystem.”

“And so here in our pod, our design showroom we probably have 50 interoperable connected devices. Whether it’s a light switch, a lock, a thermostat, an air quality sensor, a speaker, solar, right? Solar storage, a battery that stores the energy of the sun.

Levieff says they help people lead simpler, smarter and more sustainable lives by leveraging smart devices. He demonstrated how the Pod, running on Apple’s HomeKit with Tesla battery technology, works.

“Miss Evans, if you will, it’s, ‘Hey, so and so, good morning.’ Got it?”

“Hey, Siri, good morning.”

“Shades up, lights on, thermostat turns on, and some more Beatles, ‘Here Comes the Sun,’” Levieff says.

The forum also explored sustainable investing. James Osborn with Envest Asset Management says people should find out about the environmental policies of companies before they invest.

“Not everybody’s perfect, and not every company’s perfect. But the more that we consume from them, that are better stewards of sustainability, and the more we invest in those companies, then it promotes higher sustainability and not only within that company, but it also keeps us away from companies that have a lot of inaction.”

Osborn told investors there are choices to be made.  

“When I talk about sustainable corporations, it’s companies like IBM and Microsoft. It’s not all about clean or water or you know, renewable energy. It’s about corporations that institute these practices, these environmental and social practices within their governance.”

“When you own stock in companies, you’re a part owner,” says Analiese Paik, founder of Sustainne in Fairfield, an organization dedicated to sustainable living.    

“I don’t know, I can’t sleep at night knowing that I am investing in companies that are destroying the earth.”

She says consumers have the power to transform companies by aligning their investments with their ethics and values.  

“Nothing moves companies like consumers deciding they don’t want their products or services anymore.”

Paik says it’s vital to engage your local and federal lawmakers. She says you can’t address the problem, unless everyone agrees the problem exists.