The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), a joint center of Columbia Law School and the Earth Institute at Columbia University, is the only university-based applied research center and forum dedicated to the study, practice and discussion of sustainable international investment (SII). Please find our first annual Annual Report here, Center Fact Sheet here and Center Brochure here.
Our mission is to develop practical approaches for governments, investors, communities and other stakeholders to maximize the benefits of international investment for sustainable development.
CCSI integrates legal, economic and policy expertise, and approaches sustainable investment holistically, bridging investment law, natural resource management, human rights, economics, political economy, and environmental management. We conduct rigorous research, provide policy analysis and advisory services, offer educational programs, develop tools and resources, and foster multi-stakeholder dialogue and knowledge sharing among policymakers, development advocates, scholars, business leaders, and community stakeholders. We work to strengthen the sustainable development potential of international investment, and to ensure that international investment is mutually beneficial for investors and the citizens of recipient countries.
CCSI, formerly the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment (VCC), is an independent non-profit academic center established in 2008 thanks to a generous grant from Vale S.A. We maintain academic integrity as a neutral platform for advanced academic and applied research in all engagements with outside entities. As a forum for multi-stakeholder and inter-disciplinary discussion, CCSI preserves an open environment for debate, and supports the freedom of ideas and the public accessibility of research results.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) delivers 65% more goods and services to foreign markets than trade; the percentage is higher when other forms of international investment are considered. FDI is a major global economic force, increasingly adopted by developing countries as well, that can play a crucial role in advancing sustainable development. It not only facilitates the transfer of capital and technology, but creates jobs, builds linkages between local industries, promotes infrastructure development, and builds local capacity. However, the positive effects of FDI for recipient countries are limited by the effectiveness and transparency of the regulatory framework, and the capacity of local institutions available to manage funds for impact. With FDI flowing increasingly towards emerging markets, reaching $1.35 trillion globally in 2012, the importance of the tools, research and support necessary for a holistic approach to sustainable investment is drastically elevated.
CCSI has released its first Annual Report, detailing its research, events, projects, and trainings from July 2013 through June 2014.
The activities of the Center are divided into the three areas of focus: 1) Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development, 2) Sustainable Investment in Land and Agriculture, and 3) International Investment Law and Policy.The Annual Report describes CCSI’s approach to maximizing the impact of international investment for sustainable development, including its five-pillar framework for understanding the holistic and interrelated aspects of sustainable investment.