The Platform

About the Platform

In collaboration with a multidisciplinary project team, the Conference of Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers has developed the Great Lakes Impact Investment Platform (the Platform) in order to promote environmentally sustainable economic growth in the Great Lakes States and Provinces.

This geographically-specific, impact-focused investment platform is innovative and among the first of its kind. Our cross-border platform represents an unprecedented model that can be applied to natural resources across the globe.

Working to create benefits for participants, investors and residents of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence region

The Platform features various investment products intended to deliver demonstrable impact and revitalize the region’s waters, while also aimed to generate competitive, market-based financial returns.

Environmental and Social Goals Include:

20% Reduction

of nutrient inputs to sensitive watersheds

10% Improvement

in energy efficiency for water utilities

10-15% Reduction

in emissions resulting from less energy use, sustainable forestry, and nutrient management


Three Themes of the Platform:


Our platform offers an innovative opportunity across the forestry value chain, which is tied towards specific, watershed-based environmental goals. These focus areas include land conservation, sustainable timber production, carbon sequestration, water resources management, and recreation.

Smart Water Systems

The region’s diversified industry, along with its population of over 100 million people, depend on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence for water supply and wastewater discharge. Within different investment strategies, smart water systems offer attractive benefits that moderate risk and generate long-term cash flows while improving efficiency and reducing waste.


Improving on-farm management of water represents a currently under-realized opportunity in the region and the Platform offers opportunities for sustainable agriculture production and agtech. “Smart Drains” satellite-based irrigation and, in some instances, conversion to regenerative production can reduce water withdrawals, energy use, and capital costs while improving crop yields or returns.

Diverse investment opportunities exist in each theme and will be integrated into investment strategies that focus on the
Great Lakes St. Lawrence region.

Performance Metrics:

Gallons of Water Saved

Kilowatts of Energy Saved

Tons of Carbon Reduced and Stored

Tons of Nutrients Reduced

Forest and Farm Land – Certified Acres

Our Team

Development Supporters


Advisory Committee

Jon Allan
Sr. Advisor, Sr. Academic, and Research Officer
Univ. of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability
John Steven Bianucci
Director of Impact
Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT
Lon Johnson
CEO & Founder
Waterworks Fund
Kevin Shafer
PE, Executive Director
Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District
Tapan V. Gandhi
CFA, Senior Investment Director
Cambridge Associates
Leigh Whelpton
Program Director
The Conservation Finance Network