Bradford S. Gentry

Senior Associate Dean of Professional Practice; Professor in the Practice; Co-Director of the Center for Business & the Environment at Yale; Director of the Research Program on Private Investment and the Environment

Teaching Statement

My teaching is on methods for strengthening the links between increased investment and improved environmental performance, particularly the tools that can be used to attract – or drive – more investment into better performance.  The legal concepts and tools that investors use to put their money to work are the starting points for my teaching.  In my introductory class on Private Investment and the Environment (FES 85030) these include: 

  • Who owns what (property rights in things, land, water, organizations, ideas)?
  • How trade property (contracts to exchange ownership or usage)?
  • How address market failures (regulation of monopolies, information, externalized costs and benefits)?
  Since law is a tool that people use to pursue their values, one also needs to understand the basic goals of investors (i.e., their appetites for fear and greed over time) in order to understand the key points of leverage for environmental concerns.  Investments in cleaner energy, ecosystem services and the provision of water services are used to illustrate the key concepts covered.  In my more advanced courses, I both dig more deeply into individual types of tools and link more broadly with other disciplines to explore integrated responses to environmental problems.  For example:
  • Strategies for Land Conservation (FES 80027) examines the legal, financial and managerial aspects of private land conservation in the US through presentations by conservation professionals and clinical projects with local conservation organizations; and
  • Emerging Markets for Ecosystems Services (FES 80116) considers (a) as a matter of science, how can a manager provide carbon sequestration, watershed conservation and/or biodiversity protection services from their land, (b) as a matter of business, does it make economic sense to do so, and (c) as a matter of policy, what steps could governments take to help it make it more attractive.