The Nature Conservancy and JPMorgan Chase have announced the launch of NatureVest, an initiative to advance impact investing in conservation work and transform the way society protects natural capital — soil, clean air, and water, and other valuable resources.
According to the UK-based Global Canopy Programme, only $51 billion of the $290 billion a year needed to support global conservation efforts is currently funded, primarily by the public and philanthropic sectors. With JPMorgan Chase providing an initial $5 million as its founding sponsor, NatureVest will work to close the funding gap by providing an impact investment platform for the private sector — convening investors, developing and executing innovative financial transactions, and building an investment pipeline across multiple sectors. The goal is to raise $1 billion in investments over the next three years, GreenBiz.com reports.
"The number is intentionally big because we think the marketplace is big," Bill Ginn, chief conservation officer at TNC, told GreenBiz.com. "We want investors to say, 'I have an environmental component in my portfolio because that’s a smart place to invest these days'....That means they have to make money in order to be willing to put their capital at risk here. It’s one thing to ask for a contribution....It’s another thing to ask someone to invest with you in the future of the world."
To help investors better identify investment opportunities, NatureVest will begin to publish comprehensive research on the size and characteristics of segments within the natural capital marketplace that has been developed in collaboration with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and EKO Asset Management Partners.
"NatureVest is a natural extension of the Nature Conservancy's work — it will open up entirely new avenues for investments that protect nature," said Nature Conservancy president and CEO Mark Tercek. "By bringing together leaders in natural resource management and investment, we will unlock new sources of capital to deliver important conservation results."