CIPA Fellow Danielle Mearis on Environmental Finance and Impact Investing certification program

At CIPA, Fellows have the chance to further streamline their research and academic focus by participating in ventures such as the Environmental Finance and Impact Investing (EFII) certificate program. In this post, second year CIPA fellow Danielle Mearis speaks to us more about her experience in the EFII program.

This year I have taken additional coursework in finance, environmental economics, and corporate responsibility to complete the Environmental Finance and Impact Investing (EFII) certificate program. Being an EFII Fellow has been instrumental in shaping my understanding of the evolving impact investing industry and the challenges of attracting private investment in social good activities. My career focus is broadly nonprofit management, but I now have specific interest in promoting innovation in the nonprofit sector through organizational design and sustainable finance.

My EFII cohort has been immersed in a project on investment in sustainable fisheries, an emerging space in environmental finance. We are looking at lessons learned from the development of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards and certifications in comparable industries to form recommendations on how ESG standards and certifications can be used to attract investment in sustainable fisheries.

In March, we traveled to New York City for a day. We started the morning with a presentation on making financial institutions more resilient to environmental risks at Bloomberg’s corporate headquarters. We then trekked across the city to meet with investment professionals and thought leaders in the sustainable investing space. Our agenda took us to Encourage Capital, Nature Vest, Rockefeller Foundation, and Credit Suisse. With each meeting, we learned more about the motivations of investors – and the challenges and opportunities of investing in fisheries. Though it was a long day, the EFII trek was an incredibly energizing group bonding experience.

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