100 dollar bill

Tom Soto is an investment fund manager. But he took an unusual path to get there.

Soto: “I was genetically predisposed to being an activist. I was raised by two Latino civil rights leaders. My parents had come from the farm worker and labor rights movement.”

As a young adult, he followed in their footsteps and became an activist focused on urban environmental problems. He advocated for clean air and alternatives to dirty diesel buses.

But he eventually decided to work for clean air and a healthy climate in a different way.

Soto: “I’ve always believed that there are a few areas where one can be effective – one as a community spokesperson or activist, the other would be as a political or an elected official. And then the other area, now, is the activist investor community.”

For about a decade, he’s managed private equity funds that invest in clean energy and green building technologies that help reduce carbon pollution.

Soto says by funding clean tech innovation, investors can promote a climate-friendly economy. They can also make money while doing good.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.

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Daisy Simmons

Daisy Simmons is a freelance writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience in research-driven storytelling. In addition to contributing to Yale Climate Connections since early 2016, she also...