Author page for Christi Electris


Christi Electris
Christi Electris joined Tellus as an Associate in 2007. She is the co-author of "The Century Ahead: Searching for Sustainability" (2010), a quantitative analysis of the Institute's global sustainability PoleStar scenarios. She was also a contributor to the Institute’s recent reports Educational Endowments and the Financial Crisis (2010) and Academic Excess (2011) and a member of the Institute’s team that conducted research and analysis for the US SIF Foundation’s 2010 Report on Socially Responsible Investing Trends in the United States and 2011 report on Sustainability Trends in US Alternative Investments. She has done consulting and research work on a variety of projects in energy, climate, agriculture, well-being, sustainability indicators, and corporate redesign.

A computer scientist and quantitative policy analyst by training, she has worked as a researcher at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, where she designed and built data-driven and knowledge-based probabilistic models, and a research assistant at MIT’s Global System for Sustainable Development group, the Laboratory for Energy and the Environment, and the Sloan School of Management.

She holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania, an MS in Technology and Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an MA in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.


Tellus Publications (Selected)


Institutional Pathways to Fossil-Free Investing: Endowment Management in a Warming World

Joshua Humphreys, Christi Electris, Jaime Silverstein

This report provides an analysis of climate-related portfolio risk faced by educational and philanthropic endowments and presents three pathways toward reallocating an endowment portfolio into fossil-free investment opportunities, across asset classes. It includes numerous case studies of institutional asset managers and endowments that have competitively managed portfolios without exposure to fossil fuel company securities.

Total Portfolio Activation: A Framework for Creating Social and Environmental Impact Across Asset Classes

Joshua Humphreys, Christi Electris, Ann Solomon

Interest in investment that pursues social and environmental impact has exploded in recent years. Although opportunities for impact investing have emerged across asset classes, most impact-investment activity has remained largely confined to a limited array of private investments. To help fill this gap, this paper introduces a simple conceptual framework for organizations and individuals seeking greater impact and better alignment between their investment activities and their mission or values: Total Portfolio Activation. The basic insight that drives Total Portfolio Activation is that every investment across every asset class has social and environmental impacts—positive and negative. This report further offers concrete steps to help any institutional investor begin working toward a fuller activation of their portfolio in support of their mission.

Environmental, Social and Governance Investing by College and University Endowments in the United States: Social Responsibility, Sustainability, and Stakeholder Relations

Joshua Humphreys, Christi Electris, Catie Ferrera, Ann Solomon

With more than $400 billion in combined assets under management, US college and university endowments constitute an important segment of institutional investors involved in sustainable and responsible investing—defined here as the explicit incorporation of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into investment decision-making and active-ownership activities. This study provides one of the most comprehensive analyses to date of the state of ESG investing by educational endowments.

Worker Equity in Food and Agriculture: Practices at the 100 Largest and Most Influential U.S. Companies

Marjorie Kelly, Christi Electris, Heather Lang, Gurneesh Bhandal

An understanding of the social impact of the food and agriculture industry requires insight into worker equity, a concept that embraces many issues: fair wages, safe working conditions, the right to organize, job security, professional development opportunities, and employee engagement. This report sets out to review the landscape of company practices and policies in worker equity at the 100 largest companies in the food and agriculture industry in the U.S. market. While harmful practices are widespread—and in some ways the industry norm—there are also promising examples of emerging best practices. This report attempts to address both trouble spots and best practices. The latter are highlighted here as precedents that other companies might follow, and as an indication of potential avenues for impact and influence.

More Jobs, Less Pollution: Growing the Recycling Economy in the U.S.

James Goldstein, Christi Electris

This study provides strong evidence that an enhanced national recycling and composting strategy in the United States can significantly and sustainably address critical national priorities including climate change, lasting job creation, and improved health. Achieving a 75 percent diversion rate for municipal solid waste (MSW) and construction and demolition debris (C&D) by 2030 would result in a total of 2.3 million jobs, lower greenhouse gas emissions, less pollution overall, and unquantified benefits of reducing ecological pressures associated with the use of non-renewable resources.

The Century Ahead: Searching for Sustainability

Paul Raskin, Christi Electris, Rich Rosen

This study explores possible pathways to sustainability by considering, in quantitative form, four contrasting scenarios for the twenty-first century. The analysis reveals vividly the risks of conventional development approaches and the real danger of socio-ecological descent into a future of diminished human and ecological well-being. Nonetheless, the paper underscores that a Great Transition scenario—turning toward a civilization of enhanced human well-being and environmental resilience—remains an option, and it identifies a suite of changes in strategic policies and human values for getting there.

Preliminary report available here.

Technical documentation available here.

Originally published in Sustainability 2, no. 8 (2010): 2626-2651.