Experts predict that, by weight, there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans by 2050. A 2016 report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates that at least 8 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean each year. With the health of ocean ecosystems threatened by marine plastic pollution, what opportunities are there for private capital to become part of the solution?
Environmental credit trading programs have gained traction for pollutants like carbon emissions, at least in concept. Is water quality trading the next frontier? The mechanism offers the possibility of more flexible and cost-effective water quality control, but in contrast to some environmental credits, markets have struggled to gain momentum.
The traditional water fund model, which has been used around the world, pools philanthropic and donor capital to support upstream restorations. The Revolving Water Fund innovates on this model by also aiming to quantify the pollution reductions from these restoration activities, then packaging and selling the reductions to municipalities in the watershed seeking to cost-effectively comply with water quality standards enforced under the Clean Water Act.
As food companies look to lower supply chain risk and reduce their ecological footprint, new strategies are emerging to increase adoption of sustainability practices among farmers. Several companies have begun using long-term contracts — purchase agreements guaranteeing offtake beyond an annual time horizon — to stabilize costs and allow both grower and buyer to plan further into the future.
Traditionally, conservation efforts raise funding for projects and actions in the hope that those activities will result in desired outcomes. This Toolkit explores Pay-for-success financing, an alternative approach. This model ties funding for conservation to project outcomes, incentivizing the achievement of objectives and shifting risk away from public agencies and conservation organizations that implement on-the-ground work.
The city of Atlanta has new funds for green infrastructure. In January 2019, the city — in partnership with impact investing intermediary firm Quantified Ventures — closed a $14 million environmental impact bond (EIB) for stormwater management in the city’s Proctor Creek watershed.
Impact Capital Managers (ICM), a network of impact-focused venture capital and private equity funds, is out to disprove the notion that investing for impact requires sacrificing financial return. On the contrary, ICM members aim to match or exceed the overall performance of the market, and they believe social and environmental objectives contribute to their success.
We are pleased to announce the launch of a new series called the Conservation Finance Network Toolkit. This series of articles focuses on individual tools practitioners can use. Our goal is to span the range of comfort levels our readers have – from simple to challenging.
This article by Eve Boyce and Marcy Lyman is part of the Conservation Finance Network Toolkit, a resource designed for professionals who want to learn or communicate about the industry. In an increasing number of communities across the country, utilities are working with conservation groups to ensure the ecosystem services provided by healthy watersheds are protected and maintained. This strategy doesn’t simply provide cost savings to water companies. It can also create a new source of funding and constituencies for land conservation.
This article by Nathalie Woolworth and Hazel Wong is part of the Conservation Finance Network Toolkit, a resource designed for professionals who want to learn or communicate about the industry. Ballot measures, also known as initiatives or propositions, are instruments of direct democracy that allow voters to directly shape public policy in the voting booth.
This article by Maria Martinez is part of the Conservation Finance Network Toolkit, a resource designed for professionals who want to learn or communicate about the industry. State revolving funds (SRFs) have been used for decades as a source of low-cost financing for a variety of water-infrastructure projects.