How the Partnership Started
In 2017, we started a conversation with leading scientists at Columbia University’s Earth Institute to help our investment teams better integrate climate change into our investment process, ultimately improving outcomes for clients.
Our dialogue produced a pilot climate-risk training program in February 2019 for select AB investment professionals across asset classes. The program, later formalized as the Climate Science and Portfolio Risk curriculum, addresses: the science of climate change; its policy, legal and regulatory aspects; solutions; and tools for translating climate science into financial impact.
Based on the pilot’s resounding success and complementary opportunities for joint research, we began a deeper collaboration with the Earth Institute, announced in September 2019 and managed by our Director of Environmental Research and Engagement.
Founding the Corporate Affiliate Program at the Columbia Climate School
In the first half of 2021, AB launched another phase in the collaboration between climate science and investment science. We became the founding member of the Corporate Affiliate Program at the newly launched Columbia Climate School. It’s the world’s first school built to focus exclusively on climate change and its challenges—with an emphasis on solutions.
AB’s commitment to the Climate School marks a new paradigm in the approach of financial-services firms to addressing climate change. For Columbia, partnering with a commercial business is recognition that the size, scope and challenge of climate change require a new approach in academia, leveraging the role of businesses and capital markets.
As the program’s founding member, AB will bring together commercial enterprises and Columbia’s pioneering climate and sustainability research. By integrating the unique perspectives and skills of investors and scientists, AB and Columbia seek to shape the next generation of professionals striving to manage climate risk and develop solutions.