Financial intermediaries can make new markets come alive, according to a key discussion from CFN's 6th Conservation Finance Practitioner Roundtable. From April 25-26, conservation, agribusiness, and impact investing experts gathered at the McKnight Foundation offices in Minneapolis, to share how they are building financing for conservation practices into mainstream agricultural systems.
Greenprint Partners is field-testing a green infrastructure-financing approach that could help make communities healthier and safer in a small group of Rust Belt cities. In an interview, Nicole Chavas, the company’s CEO and cofounder, and Rose Jordan, its marketing director, said the models have expansion potential. If adopted on a larger scale, they could improve the quality of life in many low-to-moderate-income urban neighborhoods.
In a few Rust Belt cities that are seeking economic and social benefits, Greenprint Partners – formerly known as Fresh Coast Capital – is breaking new ground by financing fresh solutions for green stormwater infrastructure. It is using a combination of municipal, private and government resources. Its goals are to create a replicable model and expand the market.
The National Philanthropic Trust’s 2017 Donor-Advised Fund Report found that the capital housed in donor-advised funds across the United States exceeded $85 billion in 2016. This represents an almost 10-percent increase since 2015 and a 28-percent increase since 2012.
Sustainable forestry represents a major portion of conservation finance’s investable landscape. According to a 2016 Forest Trends report, “State of Private Investment in Conservation 2016,” sustainable timberland investments accounted for approximately 34 percent of all private conservation investments from 2004 to 2015.
There is a growing gap between available impact capital and conservation investments. This has become a major focal point for investment professionals in the field. One reason for this trend may be that conservation investments are not meeting investor expectations due to a lack of quality opportunities.
Among the piping plovers and marsh grasses of New Jersey’s scenic coast, environmentalists and communities are busy creating green infrastructure to shield the shorelines from storm damage while supporting local economies. The Coastal Resilience Collaborative, the New Jersey Resilient Coastlines Initiative, and the NJ Climate Adaptation Alliance are bringing financial and tactical resources to bear on restoring reefs, wetlands, marshes and dunes.
Simply put, business in its current form is a disaster for the environment. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Imagine businesses that make money by improving the land and communities around them. Imagine an economy that rewards those who nourish and restore the environment, instead of those who plunder and degrade it. What would those businesses look like?
As severe wildfires leave their charred mark on the western United States this season, Conservation Finance Network interviewed Blue Forest Conservation staff about the Forest Resilience Bond project. This massive collaboration is bringing private finance to bear on ecological restoration to reduce the risk of these catastrophes.
How might the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) better leverage private capital to support its mission? Could certain conservation practices generate financial returns and attract investment? In this interview, Ricardo Bayon and Alex Eidson, a partner and an analyst at Encourage Capital, share insight and ideas from their new report, “NRCS and Investment Capital: Investing in America Together.” This is the second article of a two-part series.