In September, The Conservation Fund announced the closing of its $150 million green bond. The environmental nonprofit offered the 10-year notes in order to expand its Working Forest Fund. CFN spoke to Conservation Fund CEO Larry Selzer about how the organization will use bond funds, the experience of offering a bond as a nonprofit, and the significance of the project for the conservation finance field.
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.
The rise of aquaculture may hold promise to mitigate the environmental pressures of overfishing wild populations, and the food scarcity issues resulting from the rising global consumption of fish. However, to achieve these benefits, the aquaculture industry’s growth must be coupled with an increase in sustainable practices.
Less than one percent of United States farms had an organic certification in 2017, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Due to its environmental and health benefits, organic agriculture is one of the sustainable agriculture methods many farmers are hoping to adopt.
Conservation managers and entrepreneurs who are looking to make their projects stand out as investment opportunities should be sure to supply the information that investors want. Impact investing experts interviewed by Conservation Finance Network expressed a surprising lack of interest in most impact metrics and measurements aside from carbon sequestration. They instead indicated that they prioritize honest assessments of risk. They also value an understanding of how an investment opportunity can fit into a larger portfolio.
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.
A total of 31.4 percent of global fisheries are being fished at biologically unsustainable levels, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. However, a 2016 study by Costello and others said the application of sound management reforms to global fisheries will increase biomass by 619 million metric tons relative to a business-as-usual scenario. One way to enable sustainable fisheries management is to target the activities of small-scale coastal fishing businesses.
What does it take to make a forest collapse ecologically? How can the corporate sector prevent this collapse of its natural capital? According to Kerry Cesareo, vice president of the Forests Program at World Wildlife Fund, there are threats to the natural capital of the private sector that lie outside its current practices and need to be addressed. Along with traditional conservation programs and partnerships, the private sector is seeking to play a larger role in investing in programs that keep forests from reaching their ecological tipping points.
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?
In this interview, Todd Gartner, senior associate and natural infrastructure for water manager at World Resources Institute, provided a high-level perspective on how green bonds can support natural infrastructure for water security.