On the Farm, Investors Get Their Hands Dirty

Jesse Fink was a co-founder and chief operating officer of the internet travel site Priceline when it went public in 1999. The offering made him instantly wealthy, and he retired almost immediately.He and his wife, Betsy, who had met in forestry school, took their bonanza and began investing not in other high-flying tech companies but in the earth: first a vineyard on Long Island, then a peach orchard in Colorado and eventually land in Wilton, Conn., that became Millstone Farm.

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Shifting from quantitative to qualitative economic growth

We have known for a long time that judging an economy’s progress and success in quantitative (financial) terms leads to dangerous distortions and misplaced priorities. In 1972, Limits to Growth warned of the potentially devastating environmental effects of unbridled growth and resource depletion on a finite planet.

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Look out, banks: Sustainability funding gets creative

Nothing beats seeing a great idea turned into a business reality — especially when that dream realizes benefits for communities and the environment. But innovation requires risks that can signal red flags for mainstream banks.

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Scaling-Up investment into Land Restoration: Getting the Biggest Bang for the Buck

Land degradation has long been recognized as a major problem which threatens ecological health, social stability and economic prosperity. For several decades, a series of solutions have been devised and attempted with varying degrees of success. However, efforts to combat land degradation have been hampered by a lack of resources and the sheer scale of the problem.

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Landscape Green Bonds: An emerging new asset class?

Today, ‘Landscape Green Bonds’ are rare and make up just 3% of green bonds issued. In the next decade, this market could expand, offering exposure to a US$200bn a year business opportunity in climate-smart tropical agriculture, which is essential for meeting targets on emission reductions; two thirds of tropical deforestation is driven by the production of agricultural commodities.

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A New Kind of Impact Investment Spectrum: The Holistic Spectrum for Impact

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the term “Impact Investment”. The Impact Investing sector has evolved in size and depth; in terminology and storytelling, the successes and the thought leadership. But fundamental debates are still on-going regarding the evolution of impact metrics & management, common values, definitions and more importantly if we are winning battles but losing the war.

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Aiming to Do Good, Not Just Well

If you want to invest in companies that are not just making a profit but are also doing good in the world (or, at least, doing no harm), you may find yourself overwhelmed by confusing choices. It’s like searching for new headphones or a restaurant in a strange city — too many options, too much information — but more stressful because the stakes are so much higher. The vocabulary of this kind of investing is arcane. It is known as environmental, social and governance (or E.S.G.) investing, or sometimes simply as “socially responsible investing.”

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Growing Trees and Growing Profit: Is Your Business a “Restoration Enterprise?”

One hundred and fourteen governments have made commitments to restoration as part of their overall plans to tackle a changing climate, pledging to restore 162 million hectares (400 million acres), an area six times the size of the United Kingdom. But transforming land use at a large scale means that we cannot rely on public or philanthropic resources alone. To reach the $26 billion needed each year to meet countries’ pledges under the Paris Agreement, the private and commercial sectors need to be involved.

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How Can Restoring Degraded Landscapes Deliver Financial Returns?

As the economy surrounding landscape restoration – the New Restoration Economy – continues to develop, prospective investors are intrigued by the financial returns restoration projects can deliver.Investing in landscape restoration may seem different from buying a bond or trading stocks online, but the fundamental structure is the same. Restoration projects, like conventional investments, also generate both income and capital gains.

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Finance that can save the forest

Agriculture is currently the main driver of forest loss in the tropics. If current farming patterns continue, the future looks increasingly bleak for tropical forests.

Incentives to save the forest: Financial instruments to drive sustainable land use is a new briefing from Global Canopy Programme.

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