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Investing in sustainable innovation

Lauren Nolen
(Photo courtesy of Lauren Nolen)

Lauren Nolen

BS '21
Earth Systems Program

“Understanding how companies make decisions is critical to understanding how we ‘solve’ the issue of climate change,” said Lauren Nolen, BS ’21. “Emissions don’t just appear out of a vacuum – they’re the result of millions of individual decisions by businesses, cities, and countries.”

Following graduation, Nolen is excited to take a look under the hood at how these decisions are made while working as an investment banking analyst for J.P. Morgan. She’ll be working on a team that helps companies raise capital for strategic decisions.

“It’s such an incredible opportunity as a young graduate to work on these deals and learn from experts,” Nolen said. “Long term, I hope to bridge my Earth systems and finance knowledge to catalyze investment in innovative ideas that get us to a carbon-neutral future. This position is a great step in that direction.”

Stanford has long been an incubator for Nolen, who grew up in the neighborhood and went to high school across the street from campus. While at Stanford, she worked at the Precourt Institute for Energy’s Sustainable Finance Initiative, where she researched emissions disclosure practices. In the Earth systems program, she spent much of her time thinking about how societies and businesses are going to adapt to pressing global issues like climate change and natural resource allocation.

“I was a bit hesitant to go to college so close to home but Stanford has allowed me to grow enormously,” she said. “Stanford has so many resources that have allowed me to explore the intersection between business and the environment. I’ve realized that a full sustainable transition is going to require buy-in and innovation from both the public and private sectors.”

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