NEW YORK, April 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Credit Suisse, the Climate Bonds Initiative and Clarmondial today released a white paper entitled "Levering Ecosystems: A Business-focused Perspective on How Debt Supports Investments in Ecosystem Services," which explores how businesses can use debt – bonds, loans and other securities – as a tool to restore, rehabilitate and conserve the environment while creating financial value. Properly structured, bonds, loans and other securities can provide a market-driven alternative to philanthropic grants or debt with below-market rate returns.
"This report strives to plot a course for executives in the private sector as well as to inform investors, financial institutions, and conservation-oriented organizations (including NGO's, government and development agencies) that wish to maintain and/or increase the value of ecosystem services," Credit Suisse Vice Chairmen Wilson Ervin and Paul Tregidgo note in the foreword. "We hope that these explanations and case studies impel companies, investors, policy makers, and NGOs to capitalize on the opportunities to scale-up conservation finance."
Climate Bonds Initiative CEO Sean Kidney adds: "Scaling up investments that incorporate positive environmental, sustainability and climate actions is the global challenge facing debt market participants on both the buy and sell side. For both issuers and investors, this report demonstrates that ecosystem factors and fundamental assessments of value can no longer be separated. Green Bonds and other debt investment products are uniquely placed to reflect this critical relationship."
Clarmondial Director Tanja Havemann notes that: "Debt helps companies grow and debt capital markets provide investment opportunities, so finding ways to harness the power of debt instruments to create positive environmental and social outcomes is critical to shifting the global economy towards a sustainable path." Furthermore, "this report demonstrates, with clear examples, how smart partnerships combined with tailored financial structuring can utilize debt to create financing that simultaneously benefits investors, borrowers and the environment."
For businesses and investors who want to take advantage of opportunities to invest in conservation finance, the report specifically recommends:
Developing and prioritizing projects that optimize ecosystem services.
Investing in ecosystem services, particularly in resource-intensive industries such as forestry, agriculture, energy, and water
Implementing production processes that restore degraded areas and avoiding those that have a detrimental impact on the environment.
Focusing on collaborations that produce standardized methods for assigning value and impact to ecosystem services.
Employing new planning and measurement tools that estimate the value and impact of strategic investments in ecosystem services.
Converting opportunities presented by increased demand from consumers and investors to further develop environmentally sound practices.
Leveraging government incentive programs such as tax credits, guarantees, and market-based trading systems whenever possible.
About Credit Suisse AG Credit Suisse AG is one of the world's leading financial services providers and is part of the Credit Suisse group of companies (referred to here as 'Credit Suisse'). As an integrated bank, Credit Suisse offers clients its combined expertise in the areas of private banking, investment banking and asset management. Credit Suisse provides advisory services, comprehensive solutions and innovative products to companies, institutional clients and high-net-worth private clients globally, as well as to retail clients in Switzerland. Credit Suisse is headquartered in Zurich and operates in over 50 countries worldwide. The group employs approximately 48'200 people. The registered shares (CSGN) of Credit Suisse's parent company, Credit Suisse Group AG, are listed in Switzerland and, in the form of American Depositary Shares (CS), in New York. Further information about Credit Suisse can be found at www.credit-suisse.com.
About Climate Bonds Initiative The Climate Bonds Initiative is an investor-focused not-for-profit, promoting large-scale investment in the low-carbon economy. For more information, please visit www.climatebonds.net.
About Clarmondial: Clarmondial works with investors, companies, governments and not-for-profits to design and deliver innovative sustainable natural resource management solutions. For more information, please visit http://www.clarmondial.com.
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This report is not investment research and is not a product of Credit Suisse's investment research department. The contributions of the authors do not constitute investment research.