Sustainable Alpha: Let global trends lead

Scott Barrington is managing director and CEO at North Sky Capital.

Scott Barrington is managing director and CEO at North Sky Capital.

Sustainable Alpha features shared conversations with the best minds, portfolio managers and industry leaders working to maximize returns while prioritizing the environment, social and governance factors — what’s become short-handed in the industry as ESG. Sustainable Alpha highlights portfolio approaches and investment trends against the backdrop of broader themes such as resource constraints, policy changes and demographic shifts — all while shedding light on how ESG can impact your investments.

Sustainable Alpha conversations are led by John Wrenn, Senior VP, Investments for UBS. The Wrenn Ferguson Group has a combined experience of 200 years managing over 1.6 billion in assets, offering customized wealth management strategies for individuals, endowments and foundations. View the rest of his conversations with leaders in the sustainable investment community.


Here he's talking with Scott Barrington, managing director and CEO at North Sky Capital in Minneapolis.


John Wrenn: How long has North Sky Capital been pointing the way in sustainable investing?

Scott Barrington: We have been investing broadly in venture capital and buyouts since 2000. In 2003, we began an intensive study into global trends surrounding sustainability and met with every private equity manager that was investing in the major cleantech sectors (energy, water, transportation, construction, agriculture) at that time. We went on to launch the first CleanTech fund of funds in North America and have now followed that up with three other funds. This fall we are launching another fund that will focus on a new set of emerging opportunities in the resource efficiency and industrial innovation sectors. Essentially, we are seeking companies that provide cheaper, cleaner and smarter solutions to what are often times Industrial Revolution-era problems.

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