Center for Environmental Markets
As a leading global financial institution, it is our responsibility to help foster progress by using our resources to convene thought leaders and decision makers from the corporate, academic, government and NGO sectors to raise awareness of critical issues and further solutions where capital markets can play a meaningful role in addressing important environmental issues.
Through the Center for Environmental Markets, we collaborate with corporations, academic institutions, and non-governmental organizations to research and develop pilot projects that inform public policy and help further market-based solutions to environmental challenges. We share our findings though publications, research papers, conferences, and targeted outreach. Since its inception in 2006, the Center has focused on global partnerships to address clean energy, energy efficiency, and market solutions surrounding greenhouse gas emissions, forest carbon and ecosystems, and water. Examples of our partnerships include:
In 2014, we launched a new partnership with The Climate Group focused on providing access to energy in rural India. The Project titled – Bijli- Clean Energy for All aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance the lives of rural inhabitants in India by deploying renewable energy technologies and improving infrastructure quality over two years’ time. We continued this partnership in 2015 to explore innovative business models in the off-grid energy sector in India that have the greatest potential to achieve scale and attract private sector investment.
In 2015, alongside The Nature Conservancy we are partnering to launch the Center for Sustainable Hydropower, which will focus on identifying innovative financing structures and implementing hydropower opportunities to promote sustainable development globally. We will work with The Nature Conservancy to develop the Financial Solutions arm of the Center for Sustainable Hydropower.
In 2014, we also launched a partnership with GRID Alternatives, the largest US nonprofit solar installer, with over 5,000 solar projects completed to-date. The company installs solar electric systems exclusively for low-income families, while providing hands-on training in the growing field of solar installation. Our partnership with GRID Alternatives, aims to develop and pilot scalable models for the deployment of solar energy for the affordable multi-family housing stock, including federally-assisted housing complexes.
ENERGY AND RESOURCE EFFICIENCY
In major urban areas such as New York, buildings can account for as much as 80 percent of the city’s total energy consumption. Through a partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Center is collaborating on a project that addresses the energy consumption in commercial buildings by focusing on tenant demand for high performing energy efficient space. In 2014, we expanded this partnership to explore the opportunities to increase energy efficiency in affordable multi-family residential buildings. Please find additional details here.
The Closed Loop Fund is an innovative investment vehicle that seeks to increase recycling rates across the US. Our partnership hopes to demonstrate that with added infrastructure, increased awareness and communications and community incentive programs, there can be a measureable increase in recycling rates and job creation opportunities, which can be funded through innovative financing mechanisms such as pay-for-performance benefits.
The Center has worked closely with the World Resources Institute (WRI) as a founding member of the WRI Aqueduct Alliance, a partnership which brings together a number of leading companies to address water risk through a global water risk mapping tool. The primary sponsors of the tool are Goldman Sachs, GE, Skoll Global Threats Fund, and Shell. In March 2015, WRI released the latest version of the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas which includes a Global Flood web-based interactive platform which measures river flood impacts by urban damage, affected GDP, and affected population at the country, state, and river basin scale across the globe. It aims to raise the awareness about flood risks and climate change impacts by providing open access to global flood risk data free of charge. In 2014, we extended our partnership with WRI to a new project focused on the scale up renewable energy by aggregating corporate demand in urban areas of India.
In July 2013, through our partnership with Resources for the Future, a D.C. based non-profit and non-partisan think tank, we convened an expert session to explore the critical questions needed to further research on shale energy expansion and its implications on both the domestic and global markets, particularly in the transition towards a low carbon energy future.
We are also a member of The Climate Group and the US Partnership for Renewable Energy, a coalition of senior level financiers brought together by the American Council on Renewable Energy.