Economies of Nature – Guest Speaker

On Friday, April 9, guest alumni presenter Jay Truty ’96 will present his talk about finding a “green career”. Jay is the founder of Ecosystem Capital, LLC, which specializes in assisting landowners, corporations, financial institutions, conservation organizations and government entities with the development of innovative conservation finance strategies. The presentation will take place in the Hansen Student Center at noon.

I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Truty for the October issue of “Career Connections” and am thoroughly convinced he is capable of, and already enacting, some cutting-edge green business models. Click through to read an excerpt of my interview with Mr. Truty:

As the founder of environmental consulting firm Ecosystem Capital, LLC, IWU alum Jay Truty (‘96) might have a better grasp on the potential of environmentally friendly fields than most. Said Truty, “Business and environment can not only coexist, but if you manage both well you have a strategic advantage.” This premise forms the foundation of Ecosystem Capital’s aim to make it profitable for companies to integrate environmental considerations into their corporate decision-making process. In other words, Truty is “redefining the relationship between business and nature.”

Truty said his motivation for starting Ecosystem Capital stems from his time at IWU. “I realized in a business ethics class at IWU that you can’t instill conservation ethics in everyone. You just can’t. The only way to keep environmental value in tact is to give it a dollar value.” Although Truty admits it sounds “unromantic to put a dollar value on nature,” he argues that the more valuable you can make a habitat, such as a wetland or forest, the better chance you have of viewing the habitat as an asset.

“It can create a new economy of nature,” said Truty. Of course, this creation takes “a mindset change to viewing trees as an asset” and Truty realizes he’s at the forefront of shaping his industry. “We’re not there yet,” Truty said of the paradigm shift, “but that’s where I hope to go.”

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