Research Handbook of Investing in the Triple Bottom Line
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Research Handbook of Investing in the Triple Bottom Line

Finance, Society and the Environment

Edited by Sabri Boubaker, Douglas Cumming and Duc K. Nguyen

The triple bottom line is an accounting framework with social, environmental and financial factors. This Handbook examines the nexus between these areas by scrutinising aspects of socially responsible investment, finance and sustainable development, corporate socially responsible banking firms, the stock returns of sustainable firms, green bonds and sustainable financial instruments.
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chapter 3: Fostering green investment decisions: the real option approach

Jessica Fouilloux and Jean-Laurent Viviani


The chapter tries to clarify the contribution of the real option approach to green investment decisions and to show that the traditional positive relationship between uncertainty and the value of the option to wait has been questioned by recent developments in real option theory. Based on an investigation of recent developments in real option theory, the ‘wait and see’ attitude appears to be inadequate for the characteristics of green investment decisions. More realistic assumptions lead to sped-up green investments compared to the recommendation of the traditional real option models currently used in the green investment literature. If the arguments presented in this chapter convince companies to adapt their investment decision models, it could foster green investment decisions. It could also help the government to define appropriate incentives that can induce green investments. The originality of the chapter is in showing that financial theory is not necessarily an obstacle to green investment decisions.

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