Goldman Sachs Partners With The Conservation Fund To Save Forest Land From Development

Goldman Sachs commits $150 million in green bonds for The Conservation Fund Goldman Sachs commits to working with The Conservation Fund to protect forests in the U.S. while increasing...

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Goldman Sachs commits $150 million in green bonds for The Conservation Fund

Goldman Sachs commits to working with The Conservation Fund to protect forests in the U.S. while increasing economic opportunity. The Conservation Fund is a national non-profit organization that is chartered for conservation and economic development through a working forest fund model. This fund model is built on the idea of sustainable forestry for commercial timber product harvesting while ensuring that the forest is actually growing more than is being harvested according to the Forest Analyst of The Conservation Fund, Lauren Fety. This model allows an increase in economic opportunities for rural communities through timber harvesting while protecting the forest from development while promoting clean air, water, and habitat for wildlife.

This project is apart of Goldman Sachs commitment to harnessing markets to address critical environmental issues including climate change and conservation according to Kyung-ah Park of Goldman Sachs. Park goes onto explain that one of the biggest opportunities and challenges of conservation in the U.S. is with the fragmentation of working forests.

The President and CEO of The Conservation Fund, Larry Selzer, explains, “Forests are the only truly unique renewable resource we have in this country… over the last 20 years we’ve lost 36 million acres of forest land that’s the size of the state of New York and we continue to lose over a million acres each year to fragmentation and development.” Selzer goes onto explain that every year more than a million acres of forest land go up for sale and this made The Conservation Fund realize they need a different approach by stepping in when said properties are put up for sale.

Ritu Kalra of Goldman Sachs brings to light that at this point in history there are going to be millions of acres of land coming up for sale in the next 10 years which is where The Conservation Fund comes in. The Fund is focusing on less development of the land and accelerates conservation in a smart way. Executive Vice President and CEO of The Conservation Fund, John Gilbert, says that they’re only constraint is the size of their capital base used to acquire and hold forests to prevent the development which is what Goldman Sachs understood about their mission.

The Conservation Fund has largely been funded through philanthropic efforts and grant but they were looking for a bigger source of capital so they can further their mission buying more forest land, which is how they began their partnership with Goldman Sachs. The solution for The Conservation Fund was through a series of green bonds worth $150 million. The Conservation Fund was able to issue the nation’s first green bond for conservation with Goldman Sachs, inventing a new way for going to scale protecting forest land and the wildlife that inhabits it.

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