January 11, 2022

2021-22 Winter Newsletter

Platform and The Conservation Finance Network Partner to Drive Impact

The Platform and the Conservation Finance Network (CFN) launched a new partnership to grow the number of deals that aim to generate environmental improvements and financial returns for investors. The partnership will create a “playbook” to help developers prepare their projects for investment and for investors to bring their approaches to order to increase the number of deals, increase the standardization of investor requirements and expand the resulting environmental impact. This playbook will include lessons learned from projects that have already successfully attracted investment and specific ways that the Platform and CFN can reduce or eliminate barriers to investment and increase deal flow.  

Globally, sustainable investment now tops $35 trillion – up 50 percent since 2016—representing a huge opportunity. However, project developers are often not aware of or able to effectively connect with investors’ requirements for impact and financial returns. At the same time, investors are often not aware of local conditions and incentive programs that can help bring projects to market. By identifying unrealized opportunities, the Platform’s partnership with CFN aims to help unlock the capital required to drive more investment in environmental improvements.


Separately, the Platform has created a new partnership with the BLX Group to help encourage more issuances of “labeled” bonds such as green and climate bonds. Recent analysis by University of Michigan professor and Platform team member Peter Adriaens shows evidence of a green bond “greenium” in the region. The new partnership will seek opportunities to showcase these findings and highlight the other unique benefits of labeled bonds. In coming months, the Platform and BLX intend to publish additional research, host educational programming, provide technical assistance, showcase successful issuances, and build multi-stakeholder collaborations focused on disclosure.

BLX is a Registered Observer of the International Capital Market Association’s Green and Social Bond Principles, a Climate Bonds Initiative Approved Verifier, and a Delivery Partner for the Platform. Nancy Kummer, Chief Business Development Officer and Managing Director for BLX, recently joined the Platform team as an Advisor.

https://greatlakesimpactinvestmentplatform.org/delivery-partners/

New Project Highlight

Michigan Saves recently added its project portfolio to the Platform. Michigan Saves is the nation’s first nonprofit green bank dedicated to making energy improvements easy and affordable for all Michigan energy consumers.

With $350M to be financed through green lending, the green bank enables energy consumers throughout Michigan to access the capital they need to invest in clean energy. The entire portfolio includes programs for residential, commercial, and municipal customers.


Platform Research Series

University of Chicago Harris Policy Labs Study:
Planning for Lead Service Line Replacement in Wisconsin

Students from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy have completed a study to assist with planning for lead service line replacements in the State of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin has between 150,000 and 200,000 lead service lines (LSLs) in its water supply systems, presenting a clear public health risk to residents throughout the State. Unfortunately, existing governmental funding can cover less than half of the total costs of replacing these LSLs. To assist policymakers in developing future programs and identify needed funding, the students analyzed in-depth programmatic and financing options and developed recommendations for the State. 


News & Events

Policy Magazine | November 29, 2021
“Greening the Seaway and Great Lakes: The Power of Impact Investing and Sustainable Finance” Op-Ed by David Naftzger and Mike Piskur

VERGE 21 | October 20, 2021
David Naftzger on The Role of Private Investment in Sustainable Infrastructure

Wisconsin State Journal | October 20, 2021
“New ways to pay for climate, flooding solutions” Op-Ed by Dave Naftzger

Toledo Blade | September 23, 2021
“Big push on for improving the Great Lakes with sustainability investments” by Tom Henry

The Buffalo News | September 16, 2021
Another Voice: Innovative financing can boost the region’s climate resilience by Dave Naftzger


Webinar Series

Stormwater projects that deliver environmental and social outcomes – what do investors think? Where is the money going?

Click here to learn from industry leaders featured on the Platform’s recent stormwater infrastructure and impact investment webinar.

Watch the Webinar!