A proposal to create an investment vehicle to remediate brownfields using poplar trees has taken first place in the 2014 Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge. A team of students from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University presented the investment strategy behind the proposed Fresh Coast Forest Fund last week at Morgan Stanley’s New York City headquarters. The team proposed leasing contaminated land from municipalities to plant poplar tree farms that have remediation properties and can be harvested for use as biomass or wood product.
The Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge is the preeminent global competition for students to develop investment vehicles aiming to deliver positive social and environmental impact and competitive financial returns. As a collaboration among the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University , INSEAD Business School and the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing, the Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge seeks to identify the next generation of sustainable investing practitioners, connect emerging leaders with industry professionals, and foster even greater emphasis on sustainability at graduate schools around the world.
At last week’s final event, ten finalist teams from ten graduate school programs proposed investment vehicles addressing issues including agriculture, solar energy and sanitation. In February, more than 220 students from 39 schools in 10 different countries submitted prospectuses for the competition.
“We congratulate all the students on their dedication to creating innovative ideas that apply core financial and investment principles to address some of the most pressing issues of our time,” said Audrey Choi, CEO of the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing. “The Sustainable Investing Challenge will continue to cultivate emerging innovators and finance professionals as they take a holistic approach to advance investing and sustainability.”The winning team consisted of Nicole Chavas, Nathen Holub, Laura Kimes and April Mendez.