Pennsylvania Backs Cleantech with New Investment Strategy


Talk about putting your money where your mouth is! Pennsylvania State Treasurer Robert P. Casey, Jr. announced yesterday that the state will be adopting a new approach to investing public funds with its Keystone Green Investment Strategy. Pennsylvania will put $90 million behind this plan to spur growth in clean and sustainable business development, and to promote these opportunities to other investors. The strategy consists of four elements:

  1. The Keystone Green Fund - a new investment fund Casey is establishing to attract and leverage private sector investments in clean technology products and firms that will benefit Pennsylvania's economy. The Fund will include up to $40 million in Treasury assets and several million more from Pennsylvania-based energy funds.

  2. Active Equity Management - Casey will reallocate up to $50 million in Treasury assets from existing investment managers to those who can demonstrate a track record of providing superior returns on their investments in clean technology stocks.

  3. Environmental Equity Screens - Treasury will develop new investment screens for its investment managers and outside consultants to use when evaluating a company's potential exposure to environmental liabilities.

  4. Investor Network on Climate Risk - Pennsylvania will formally join the INCR, a network of institutional investors and financial institutions that promotes better understanding of the financial risks and investment opportunities posed by climate change.
With venture capitalists backing clean tech strongly -- $1.6 billion in 2005, according to Cleantech Capital Group -- we concur with Pennsylvania Environmental Council president Brian Hill's characterization of the new plan as "progressive and prudent." We hope that this move signals a trend among institutional investors, who tend to be a bit more conservative in their strategy, but who also manage huge pools of money. ::Keystone Green via Yahoo! Finance
Update: Just to clarify: Casey announced this initative, but it was a product of action by the Pennsylvania legislature. Also (as a commenter has already noted), Casey is the Democratic candidate for the US Senate seat currently held by Rick Santorum.