Titelbild des Podcasts zeigt eine blonde Frau - Karin Chamberlain - die durch einen pinken BIlderrahmen in die Kamera lächelt

S04-E06 Director of Impact Investment Karin Chamberlain

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Hosted by
Vera Lyko

Vera begleitet als systemische Coach und Business-Strategin Gründer:innen vor und während ihrer Existenzgründung. Sie ist seit 10 Jahren Projektmanagerin in der Automobilbranche - von der Fahrzeugentwicklung bis zum Vertrieb.

In the latest episode of “Mutig und Klug fragt,” we have the pleasure of hosting Karin Chamberlain, the Director of Impact Investments at Clean Yield Asset Management. Karin brings a wealth of experience and passion for sustainable and impactful investing, making her a true inspiration for young women and entrepreneurs dedicated to social and environmental projects.

Karin’s Journey and Background Karin’s journey into sustainable investing began with her education and early career experiences, including her time in the U.S. Peace Corps in Ecuador. With a master’s degree from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, she has made significant contributions to the field of impact investing, including her work with KLD Research & Analytics and her current role at Clean Yield.


Before we start, we have to announce that this interview is not an investment recommendation or a solicitation to become a client of Clean Yield Asset Management. Unless indicated, these views are of the speaker and may differ from those of the firm or others in the firm.

The Interview

Getting to Know Karin We start the conversation with a few light-hearted questions to get to know Karin better. She shares a fun fact about growing up on an organic sheep and cattle farm, and discusses her largest single investment and the most important lessons she’s learned throughout her career.

A Day in the Life of an Impact Investment Director Karin walks us through a typical day in her role, highlighting the rigorous process of identifying and conducting due diligence on potential investments for Clean Yield’s clients. She manages a portfolio of 30 unique investments, ensuring they are correctly valued and reported every quarter.

About Clean Yield Asset Management Karin provides insight into Clean Yield Asset Management, a firm dedicated to supporting a more just and environmentally sustainable economy. She discusses the firm’s size, market reach, and the types of companies they focus on – emphasizing their commitment to high-impact investments in areas such as community development and sustainable agriculture.

Clientele and Investment Strategy Karin elaborates on the firm’s clients, typically high-net-worth individuals who prioritize positive societal and environmental impact. She explains the firm’s unique approach to investment, often involving investments in businesses on Native American reservations and initiatives like the Boston Impact Initiative, aimed at addressing wealth gaps.

Challenges and Successes Reflecting on past investments, Karin shares her biggest mistakes and successes, providing invaluable lessons for budding entrepreneurs and investors. She also discusses the reality of high-risk investments and the importance of a diversified investment strategy.

Social Responsibility and Unique Investments Karin’s commitment to social responsibility is evident as she describes some of the most unique investments Clean Yield has made, including the Sunwealth initiative, which brings solar energy to underserved communities. She addresses the potential downsides, such as greenwashing, and how Clean Yield mitigates these risks.

Start-up Pitch Competitions

Judging Pitch Competitions As a judge for pitch competitions at MIT, Karin offers advice on what makes a great pitch. She highlights the importance of a strong team, clear communication, and the passion behind the projects. She shares memorable stories from pitches she has judged, providing practical tips for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Final Thoughts Karin’s inspiring story and her dedication to making a positive impact through investments offer valuable insights for our audience. Her experience and wisdom are sure to motivate young women and entrepreneurs to pursue impactful and socially responsible projects.

Disclaimer pt 2

Please note this small correction, due to our recording and production process we were not able to exclude this from the audio file:
The newsletter mentioned in the Podcast was about SRI investing generally, and largely around divestment from South Africa/Apartheid, it did not have a fossil fuel or clean energy focus – that came quite a bit later.

Who is Karin?

As the Director of Impact Investments at Clean Yield Asset Management – an advisory firm focused on investments that support a more just and environmentally sustainable economy – Karin oversees the research and implementation of alternative and community investments. Karin conducts initial and ongoing due diligence and risk assessment of more than 30 assets totaling over $30 million. Investments range from the Vermont Community Loan Fund and High Mowing Organic Seeds to Safer Made – a green chemistry venture capital fund  – to Lyme Timber sustainable forest funds and Sunwealth which brings solar to underserved communities.

Karin started her career in sustainable investing in 1997 as a social research intern at Trillium Asset Management while pursuing her masters in economics and environmental policy at The Fletcher School at Tufts University. After graduation she spent 10 years as Index Manager at KLD Research & Analytics, responsible for the maintenance and develop of some of the first ESG screened indexes including the Domini 400 Social Index. During her tenure as Index Manager the number of sustainability indices grew from 2 to more than 30, and the assets under management licensed to those indices increased ten-fold to over $11 billion. Prior to joining Clean Yield in 2013, Karin consulted to businesses, foundations, and NGOs on community investment and impact.

Karin currently serves on the Board of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont – a private insurance company and is the former vice-president of the Vermont Community Loan Fund. She enjoys being a guest lecturer on sustainable business and investing at local business schools and a judge for impact investing and social entrepreneurship contests.

From 1994-1997 Karin served as a livestock production volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps in Ecuador. She holds a Masters of Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts, a B.A. in international relations from Kenyon College and speaks English, Spanish and German.

Karin is a recovering endurance athlete; CrossFit enthusiast; amateur cocktail slinger; shepherdess and gentlewoman farmer on her 50-acre organic sheep farm in Etna, NH.

Das Foto zeigt Karin Chamberlein, eine blonde sportliche Frau, einmal mit einem Schaf, einmal in einer Gruppe von Menschen und einmal mit Schlittschuhen
Karin Chamberlain tells us more about her private life next to being Director of Impact Investment at Clean Yield Investments

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