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Pensacola, Florida

The Gulf of Mexico on the Pensacola, Florida coast / Capt_tain Tom / CC BY 2.0

Building Demand in US Water Quality Trading Markets

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.
Delaware farm

Farm in Georgetown, Delaware / Michele Dorsey Walfred / CC BY-SA 2.0

Revolving Water Fund Pilots PFS Approach for Water Quality Improvements

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.
Soy farm in Brazil

Soy farm in Brazil / Michael Swan / CC BY-ND 2.0

How Guaranteed Offtake Can Drive Sustainable Agriculture

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.
Wayne National Forest

Wayne National Forest in Ohio / Dan Keck

Pay-for-Success Financing

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.
Lettuce crops in California

Lettuce crops in California / Malcolm Carlaw / CC BY 2.0

New Collaborative Looks to Make Market-Rate Investments with Conservation Impact

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.
Tools for Financing Conservation
USDA-funded water project in Oklahoma

Conservation Partnerships with Water Utilities

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.
Larch trees in forest

Ballot Measures

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.