The scale of private forest land ownership indicates that its managers have significant influence on both the environmental and economic services forests provide. However, the timber investment industry is facing a new set of challenges — challenges that may dictate a turn to a new set of business strategies.
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.
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.
Financial modeling is an emerging application for land trusts. It could make a great difference in their ability to forecast and plan for various future financial scenarios. At this year’s Land Trust Alliance Rally conference during the “Your Future: Financial Modeling for Long-Term Stability” workshop, the Dutchess Land Conservancy of Dutchess County, N.Y., presented a financial model it developed.
Accelerators provide a formal way for startups to access expertise. They can also help provide capital for organizations and companies in the early phases of their growth. This is a growing approach that allows organizations to take the tools from traditional startup systems and apply them toward the growth of conservation entrepreneurship.