Ian Monroe

  • Lecturer - Energy & Climate Solutions
  • Earth Systems - School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences - Stanford University


At Stanford, Ian focuses on developing best practices for scaling localized solutions to global climate change, linking technological and economic innovations with sound science and pragmatic policy. Ian co-created and teaches the courses Social & Environmental Tradeoffs in Climate Decision-Making and Implementing Climate Solutions at Scale, where students evaluate the challenges of getting to a zero pollution future. Ian has also taught Fundamentals of Renewable Power, and guest lectured for many other courses, including Engineering & Climate Change, Life Cycle Assessment for Complex Systems, and Concepts in Environmental Communication. In his research, Ian has a strong interest in improving and standardizing life cycle assessment (LCA) accounting of environmental impacts, as well as applying life cycle science to investor, company, and consumer decision-making.

Ian has worked in over a two dozen countries with a wide range of government, nonprofit, corporate, and citizen partners and clients to implement renewable energy projects and develop sustainability accounting frameworks. A particular focus of past research has been sustainability of global bioenergy utilization, using a triple bottom line approach to ensure that development incorporates sound economics, environmental protection, and livelihood improvement. With work throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, Ian has experience at conducting the fieldwork, laboratory analysis, data mining and modeling needed to generate results upon which policy decisions can be based, as well as expertise presenting results and establishing data-driven consensus with diverse sets of stakeholders.

While receiving Masters and Bachelors of Science degrees from the interdisciplinary Earth Systems Program at Stanford University, Ian was also honored to lecture for the courses Pathogens in the Environment and Biology and Global Change while conducting research through Matson Biogeochemical Cycling, Boehm Environmental Pathogens, and Ackerly Plant Ecology laboratories.

Beyond Stanford, Ian is the founding President of Etho Capital, which was rated one of the world’s ‘Most Innovative Companies’ by Fast Company, for demonstrating the links between efficiency, sustainability, innovation, and financial outperformance for public equity investors. Ian is also the founding CEO of Oroeco, an award-winning technology platform which aims to make personal climate action fun, easy, and rewarding for users in over 170 countries. Ian advises a number of other organizations, including helping UNESCO Netexplo track how new technologies are shaping society, as well as engaging with local and national policymakers through the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

Current & Past Research

Research interests and projects include the following:

  1. Climate finance policy, technology, and sustainability accounting frameworks;
  2. Sustainability decision-making and behavior change for individuals, companies, and investors;
  3. Sustainability gamification for individuals and communities;
  4. Life cycle assessment carbon accounting for financial products and services;
  5. Life cycle assessment carbon accounting for electric vehicles and biofuels in China;
  6. Carbon and water impacts of proposed biofuel crop expansions in East Africa;
  7. Carbon and water cycle impacts of integrated agroforestry and sugarcane ethanol development in the Philippines;
  8. Sustainability criteria in U.S. state and federal bioenergy policies and international industry standards;
  9. Life cycle assessment carbon and water accounting for the global textile industry;
  10. Open-source life cycle assessment databases for individual, company, and investor decision-making.