2020 Fall Newsletter



The Platform showcases projects and investments aimed to improve our region’s waters while seeking to generate positive market-based financial returns.

It is actively helping accelerate mainstreaming of innovative finance tools within the Great Lakes region. With thirteen projects participating so far, the Platform already represents over $1.6 billion in total project value. These projects address eight of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and are working to deliver environmental and social impacts across four themes ‒ forestry, smart water systems, agriculture and energy.

Benefits to participating projects and organizations include:

  •  Reputational
  •  Exposure to more – and more diversified – potential investors
  • Track and collect data on project performance
  •  Potentially lower the cost of capital in the long run
  • Technical assistance
  • Capacity building grants

Do you know of projects that would benefit from participation?

Who are we?

The Platform recently welcomed six Advisors to help provide strategic direction. The Advisors include leading experts in conservation finance, environmental sustainability, impact investing and water. 
Meet our new Advisors:

  • 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
  • Tapan V. Gandhi, CFA, Senior Investment Director, Cambridge Associates
  • Lon Johnson, CEO & Founder, Waterworks Fund
  • Kevin Shafer, PE, Executive Director, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District
  • Leigh Whelpton, Program Director, The Conservation Finance Network

Project Spotlight - DTE Energy

Announcing one of the Platform’s newest partners! DTE Energy Green Bonds help fund the development of solar and wind farms, including infrastructure to support renewable energy facilities and improve energy efficiency programs. To date, DTE Electric has issued approximately $1.2 billion of green bonds to support work toward its goals to reduce carbon emissions 50% by 2030, 80% by 2040 and net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

What is a Delivery Partner?

Delivery Partners are organizations whose mission and activities align with the Platform, and who have committed to a longer-term collaboration toward shared goals beyond the participation of a single project on the Platform.  Examples of eligible organizations include:

  • Green Banks
  • Land Conservancies
  • Timber Management Organizations
  • Conservation & Environmental NGOs
  • Real Estate Investment Trusts
  • Project Developers
  • Great Lakes states’ & provinces’ stakeholders
  • Private sector companies that enable impact investments

The Platform recently welcomed its first two Delivery Partners—Michigan SAVES and Quantified Ventures. 

Email deliverypartner@gsgp.org to learn more.

Financial Tool Spotlight: Green Lending

Green lending is a rapidly growing feature of global capital markets. It includes loans and other forms of lending from banks, community development financial institutions, government agencies and other lenders. Borrowers use loaned monies for green purposes with clear, verifiable environmental benefits. The City of Euclid’s waterfront public access and shoreline stabilization improvements plan in Ohio illustrates green lending at work in our region.
Learn more about this exciting project on the Platform!

Platform Webinar - Nov. 13th

Join us for our next quarterly webinar on November 13 at 2:00 p.m. EST. We will hear from two Platform Delivery Partners, Quantified Ventures and Michigan SAVES, as they talk about how they are putting impact investing to work in our region.   

Seth Brown of Quantified Ventures will explain how a $5 million environmental impact bond will provide upfront capital to build the Bailey’s Mountain Biking Trail System.  The project is restoring an abandoned mine, creating an 88-mile trail across 9,000 acres in Athens, Ohio. Mary Templeton of Michigan SAVES will talk about how the nation’s first nonprofit green bank is making energy improvements easy and affordable for all Michigan energy consumers.

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