Making Nature Pay: Bankers Work to Finance Conservation at Scale

Restoring forests, wetlands and wildlife habitat is exciting. Leave it to the bankers to make financing such environmental projects downright boring. As climate concerns and other environmental anxieties mount, Wall Street and global bankers are hammering the complexities of conservation into the kind of mature, repeatable financial products bankers sell every day. That the payments

USDA: Investments in Agriculture and Forestry Yield Climate Solutions

Farmland may be even more important than factories when it comes to finding solutions to climate change. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, with public and private partners, last week announced actions to help the agriculture sector mitigate its carbon emissions and adapt to the long-term effects of climate change. The expected impact: a reduction of

Tending the Ocean, Not Just the Seafood: Valuing Ecosystem Services in New Zealand

The Māori are the indigenous people of Aotearoa, the land of the long white cloud, also known as New Zealand. The Māori also are the owners of Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd., one of the country’s largest seafood companies and a major supplier of  pāua, or abalone. That makes Aotearoa Fisheries an excellent candidate for a new

Equilibrium Capital: The Case for Owning and Operating Sustainable Real Assets

Equilibrium Capital isn’t just an investor in sustainable real assets. It’s an operator as well, growing blueberries and citrus, operating agricultural bio-digesters and generating energy efficiency. Dave Chen, Equilibrium’s CEO, has built a $1 billion asset management platform that combines on-the-ground experience with the financial discipline required by institutional investors. A former venture capitalist and tech executive,

Stasch at MacArthur: Watch This Space for Impact

There were some tantalizing nuggets in the press release from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation of Julia M. Stasch as its new president. Stasch, long-time practitioner and champion of the use of innovative financial tools for economic inclusion, effectively pre-announced “a soon-to-be-launched innovative effort to deliver useful capital for the social sector

Foundations Slow to Deploy Program-Related Investments

Philanthropic foundations have an under-utilized source of capital to make loans, loan guarantees and equity investments in social ventures. Since 1969, foundations have had the ability to use “program-related investments,” or PRIs, to invest in organizations that advance their “charitable purpose,” while earning a real financial return. The investments even count toward foundations’ legal requirement

Wind + Solar = 53% of New US Electricity

Solar and wind made up more than half of all new US electricity capacity in 2014. Adding other renewable sources (such as hydro, geothermal, waste heat, and biomass), nearly 56 percent of new energy came from renewables last year, according to new estimates from CleanTechnica. Natural gas was the single largest source of new electricity,