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Financial Innovation for Sustainable Solutions


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Financial Innovation for Sustainable Solutions


About Us

 

We are a team of financial and engineering professionals with extensive sustainable infrastructure, public sector, and Wall Street experience. We harness financial innovation and build partnerships with investors, non-profits, progressive companies and the public sector to design sustainable solutions to systemic climate resilience challenges faced by vulnerable communities. 

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Our Focus: Forest Resilience Bond (FRB)


Supported by the Rockefeller and Packard Foundations and in partnership with Encourage Capital and the World Resources Institute, BFC is developing one of the first outcomes-based securities in the environmental space – the Forest Resilience Bond.

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Our Focus: Forest Resilience Bond (FRB)


Supported by the Rockefeller and Packard Foundations and in partnership with Encourage Capital and the World Resources Institute, BFC is developing one of the first outcomes-based securities in the environmental space – the Forest Resilience Bond.

Learn More

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A Roadmap for Collective Action

Can you imagine a world without clean water and fresh air? Neither can we

In one way or another, every single person on this planet relies on forests to survive. But forests, like many other natural resources, often do not receive the investment needed to face society's growing environmental challenges. 

Private capital can and should play a role in building a more sustainable future. We just have to give investors the tools. 

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Similar in purpose and function to an Environmental Impact Bond or sustainable infrastructure financing, the FRB deploys private capital to make our national forests more resilient to a changing climate.  By investing in restoration projects that protect  forest health, we can mitigate both wildfire and drought risk. Contracting with both public and private beneficiaries to monetize the multifaceted benefits of forest restoration, the FRB creates value for a diverse set of stakeholders (including the US Forest Service, water and electric utilities, private water-dependent companies, state governments, and insurance companies).

Specifically, the FRB leverages increasingly scarce public dollars spent on forest restoration through the following mechanisms: (1) sharing of costs (and benefits) reduces aggregate costs to each individual stakeholder; (2) tapping private capital allows for amortization of costs over time, maximizing immediate restoration scale without stressing budgets; and (3) accelerating restoration treatments prevents further overgrowth and future costs to stakeholders. Once successful, the FRB will serve as a new public-private partnership model to enhance climate resilience. 

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Media Engagement


Media Engagement


LA Times profiles Blue Forest Conservation

LA Times profiles Blue Forest Conservation

 

Thought Leadership


Thought Leadership


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Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions


- What is the Forest Resilience Bond?

Developed by Blue Forest Conservation in partnership with Encourage Capital and the World Resources Institute, the Forest Resilience Bond is an investment vehicle that accelerates forest restoration across the Western U.S. The Forest Resilience Bond will deploy private capital to invest in forest health, generating market rate returns by using pay-for-success and cost sharing contracts to monetize the diverse benefits of forest restoration. By raising private capital to pay for the upfront costs of restoration and sharing costs among multiple stakeholders (including the US Forest Service and utilities) to repay investors over time, the Forest Resilience Bond is a scalable platform that can decrease wildfire risk while mitigating the effects of drought, protecting air quality, creating jobs in rural areas, and saving lives and communities.

- What is "forest restoration," and why does it matter?

Forest restoration is simply returning the forest to its natural healthy state. Most people don’t realize that many public and private forest lands in the US are vastly overgrown, creating an unnaturally high risk of severe and catastrophic wildfire and preventing much needed water from reaching nearby reservoirs. The Forest Resilience Bond will provide funds to conduct Forest Service-approved treatments such as the removal of small trees, shrubs and ladder fuels. Forest restoration is supported by decades of scientific research and endorsed by countless leading environmental NGOs and government agencies.

- Isn’t cutting down trees bad for the environment?

Removing extra fuel in overgrown forests reduces the risk of severe wildfires and helps save trees and forest habitat that would be lost from a large fire. By reducing the severity and size of forest fires, forest lands are preserved while the cost of fighting fires is significantly reduced.

- If forest restoration really works, why isn't it already being implemented?

Proactive forest restoration is a widely-supported, proven approach to forest management that is already being done in select areas. The US Forest Service would like to be doing more restoration but lacks the budget to do so. The Forest Resilience Bond addresses this funding crisis by raising private capital to accelerate restoration treatments where they are needed most.

- What is “pay-for-success” and what does it have to do with forest restoration?

Pay-for-success, pay-for-performance, outcomes-based-securities, and social impact bonds all refer to a similar concept: an innovative financing model that allows private investors to pay for a certain intervention and earn a return based on its success. The model allows private capital to fill the gap where the government may lack the ability to invest itself. The first social impact bond in the US was created to address recidivism in NY and investors were repaid if the intervention demonstrably helped formerly incarcerated individuals stay out of prison. We are applying the same concept to ecosystem services – measuring and monetizing the water benefits of forest restoration to provide a return for investors.

- How can the water quality and quantity benefits of proactive forest restoration be verified for pay-for-success contracts?

Integration of the latest survey and satellite technology with model-based measuring techniques can reveal actual versus projected differences in evapotranspiration, snowpack accumulation, and delivery of additional water through existing reservoirs and conveyance infrastructure. We're bringing together hydrologists from academia, government, and industry to develop a scalable verification method through which additional water quantity and quality benefits resulting from proactive forest restoration interventions can be measured prior to deployment of any capital.

- Is Blue Forest Conservation a nonprofit?

Blue Forest Conservation is a Public Benefit Company with a mission to create positive social and environmental impact in a financially sustainable way. Choosing a corporate form is an important decision, and for us, a Public Benefit Company is the best option to pursue our mission while maximizing our potential to scale . More scale = more impact.

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