Guggenheim Partners has become the first financial services firm to formally endorse the Arctic Investment Protocol.
- First Financial Firm to Endorse Landmark Blueprint for Sustainable Development in the Region
- Estimated US$1 Trillion in Arctic Infrastructure Needs Identified Over the Next 15 Years
DAVOS, Switzerland – Guggenheim Partners today announced that it has become the first financial services firm to formally endorse the Arctic Investment Protocol, a World Economic Forum (“WEF”) initiative that sets forth foundational and formative principles for responsible investment in the Arctic region.
With a population of more than 12 million people and an annual economy of more than US$450 billion, the Arctic represents one of the last great economic frontiers. Today, the economies of the Arctic are responsible for a significant share of the world’s food, minerals, and energy. The region is also home to cutting-edge scientific research and leading models for sustainability.
As climate change impacts the Arctic, the region continues to grow in importance to the world — environmentally and economically. In the near future, the Arctic will play a pivotal role in global trade, with more than 25 percent of Asia-Europe container trade expected to travel through the Northern Sea Route by 2030. The Arctic of tomorrow will also be responsible for a much larger portion of the world’s food production and green economy, including bioprospecting and renewable energy. To adapt and thrive, communities need critical and careful investment today, paired with a strong commitment to protect and preserve the environment for future generations.
Developed by the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Arctic, the Arctic Investment Protocol outlines six objectives for investors in the region to follow on a voluntary basis. These objectives — better defined and more rigorous than any now in place — will help guide investment in the region by setting higher standards for sustainable and responsible business practices, governance, and environmental stewardship. Established in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the Arctic Investment Protocol places a heavy emphasis on protecting the environment and respecting and including local and indigenous communities.
“As climate change transforms the Arctic, the Arctic will transform the world,” said Scott Minerd, Global Chief Investment Officer of Guggenheim Partners. “Building a sustainable future for the Arctic region and its people requires long-term capital that carefully weighs environmental and societal impact. The Arctic Investment Protocol represents a new approach to sustainable development that the world needs today.”
The following six principles comprise the foundation of the Arctic Investment Protocol, which sets a new standard for responsible investment in the Arctic:
- Build resilient societies through economic development
- Respect and include local communities and indigenous peoples
- Pursue measures to protect the environment of the Arctic
- Practice responsible and transparent business methods
- Consult and integrate science and traditional ecological knowledge
- Strengthen pan-Arctic collaboration and sharing of best practices
“The Arctic Investment Protocol is an important step forward and a solid foundation upon which to build for the future,” said Mr. Minerd. “It sets a higher standard and allows further advancement of sound practices for sustainable development.”
Guggenheim estimates that over US$1 trillion in infrastructure is needed in the Arctic. The firm and its international partners are working closely to establish the Arctic Infrastructure Inventory to identify and prioritize infrastructure needs across the region. Projects that have the highest priority for investment would be those that are deemed not merely financially sound, but are researched and evaluated to be environmentally and socially sustainable and will have the greatest positive impact on the quality of life of the region’s inhabitants, now and well into the future.
"The Arctic lacks infrastructure," said Dr. Laurence C. Smith, Professor and Chair of Geography and Professor of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles. "The region's small population, long distances, and dangerous climate have previously discouraged investments that northern people need, in telecommunications, transportation, housing, clean energy, medical facilities, search and rescue, and education centers. The Arctic Investment Protocol will now help ensure that as these infrastructure needs are met, they will be met in a responsible manner.”
Given the significant need for responsible investment in the Arctic, Guggenheim sees opportunity for a dedicated sustainable investment vehicle to finance infrastructure projects with meaningful and positive impact in the region. Investments would be guided by the Arctic Investment Protocol to ensure the responsible, accountable, inclusive development that the people of the region deserve.
The World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Arctic membership includes: Protect Sápmi, The Polar Journal, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Center for Strategic and International Studies, University of Oxford, Quaternary Research Pty Ltd, Statoil ASA, Government of Canada, Norwegian Shipowners’ Association, House of Representatives of Japan, New Eurasia Foundation, Guggenheim Partners LLC, Shell Energy Resources Company, Barclays, University of California, Los Angeles, Norwegian Labour Party, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, Pt Capital LLC, Tschudi Shipping Company AS, Sapinda CIS LLC, Norwegian Polar Institute, and China Ocean Shipping Group Co.
About Guggenheim Partners
Guggenheim Partners is a global investment and advisory firm with more than $240 billion* in assets under management. Across our three primary businesses of investment management, investment banking, and insurance services, we have a track record of delivering results through innovative solutions. With 2,500 professionals based in more than 25 offices around the world, our commitment is to advance the strategic interests of our clients and to deliver long-term results with excellence and integrity. We invite you to learn more about our expertise and values by following us on Twitter at twitter.com/guggenheimptnrs.
About The World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.
*Assets under management are as of 9.30.2015 and include consulting services for clients whose assets are valued at approximately $48 billion.
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