J.P. Morgan’s ESG program with The Nature Conservancy breaks new ground
J.P. Morgan is scaling its innovative Action Bond program, which sees the firm donate funds to Nonprofit The Nature Conservancy (TNC) for tree planting.
The Corporate and Investment Bank launched the program last October with structured notes through J.P. Morgan’s Private Bank and has since agreed to commit $700,000 in donations, in aggregate. TNC will be the recipient of these fixed donations and, according to them, these donations will help plant an estimated 650,000 trees across the United States. A portion of these fixed donations could be offset by some of the projected profits from the sale of structured notes by J.P. Morgan.
“We’re delighted by the response to this program, which underlines the power of collective action,” said Nkonye Okoh, who led the effort for the Global Equity Derivatives and Structured Products Sales team.
The newly created ESG Solutions team partnered with the structured products team and TNC to create the Action Bond program in response to an upsurge of interest in ESG products. They selected the firm’s structured notes for this initiative. These are not green or social bonds that comply with the ICMA’s principles. The firm carried out a due diligence process on TNC and developed a separate process to monitor its donations and their potential impact on TNC’s tree planting.
“In the past, ESG-conscious clients have made money from investment portfolios and subsequently, donated a part of that to philanthropic causes. This program can help bring these two ‘pockets’ closer together,” said Global Head of ESG Solutions Neha Coulon. “The program creates positive impact through J.P. Morgan’s donations to TNC - planting forests with their associated benefits for climate change mitigation and preservation of biodiversity and natural capital.”
TNC has been delighted to partner with J.P. Morgan on this program, which helps scale the solutions we so urgently need to reverse biodiversity loss and tackle the climate emergency.
TNC is in the process of planting trees in various states including Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia and around the upper Great Lakes. J.P. Morgan made a minimum fixed commitment, meaning these donations and the amount of these donations are not contingent on the sale of any notes.
“I’m proud of what we have achieved so far and it just demonstrates sustainability doesn’t have to be driven solely from the firm’s Corporate Social Responsibility teams. We can all think about new ways of integrating ESG into our daily work,” said Okoh.
Commercial Banking CEO Doug Petno is a board member of TNC and said:
“It’s exciting to see this program grow and connect with more impact-minded clients. Initiatives like this demonstrate how innovative and powerful our firm can be when we work together—and in this case, with partners like TNC.”