Dec 9, 2014 • 24M

#164: Impact Investing Innovation: Conservation Finance

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Devin Thorpe
Some of the world's great changemakers join host Devin Thorpe to share leadership lessons you can use to increase your impact.
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November 20, 2014 - Read the full Forbes article and watch the interview here: Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes by clicking here: or on Stitcher by clicking here: Conservation finance is a relatively new concept in impact investing circles that looks to create financial returns from conservation activities. The Freshwater Trust is a key player in this promising financial arena. Traditionally, most money spent on conservation comes from governments. Some additional philanthropic dollars are also invested in the space. About 75 to 80 percent of the annual $300 to $400 million required to preserve biodiversity and ecosystems globally is unmet. Folks like Joe Whitworth, President of the Freshwater Trust, believe that tapping in to investment dollars is the only way to cover the huge shortfall. In a statement, the Trust provided an example: The Trust has developed a natural system for cooling Pacific Northwest river water (important for salmon) that places great value in the quantifiable properties and benefits of each project. It works like this: Waste water from facilities that treat wastewater is often heated to kill bacteria, but the water is too warm to be discharged directly into the river and must first be cooled to protect fish. Local LOCM -7.52% companies and governments often build expensive cooling systems, but it is easier—and cheaper—to cool the river with shade planted by local landowners. For half the price, The Freshwater Trust can cool twice the amount of water, while protecting riverbanks from erosion and developing new habitats for animals.