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Who We Are 
What We Do

About Us

Conservation Innovation Fund (CIF) is a finance firm with deep roots. Across the country, CIF creates water, carbon and biodiversity “climate assets” to address the regulatory and voluntary needs of its municipal and corporate partners while supporting climate-smart commodity products. We currently develop climate assets through three unique initiatives:

The Mid-Atlantic Climate Smart Commodities Program

Partners with farmers on a market-based approach to generating scope three supply chain insets for corporations.

The Revolving Water Fund

Addresses regulatory-driven demand for water quality improvements, and pay-for-performance programs, with a particular focus on the Delaware River and Chesapeake Bay watersheds.

The Biodiversity Fund

Develops habitat conservation insets for emerging voluntary and regulatory markets, as a part of a layered approach to ecosystem health.   

Our History

In 2015, a small group of finance, policy, science and non-profit leaders identified major gaps in conservation financing systems as the primary barrier to efficient, scaled conservation across water, carbon and biodiversity agendas.

Through a series of gatherings under the auspices of the ImpactDEALS Forum, the group began to develop innovative financial models that would integrate approaches from commercial, philanthropic and government funding sources to catalyze sustained funding and expand the circle of engaged capital providers into a unified conservation capital formation agenda.

Under this premise, the group coalesced more than $3mn in development funding from the USDA National Resources Conservation Service Conservation Innovation Grants program, the William Penn Foundation and i2 Capital, to develop models that adapt market-based systems to critical “tragedy of the commons” challenges that persistently burden extraction-based ecosystems.

While the group recognized opportunities to create scaled "commercial” investment models (e.g., private equity, venture capital) in service of technology, clean energy and product-based solutions, it maintained a firm resolve to tackle funding and financing gaps where strictly commercial solutions failed to function due to misalignment of financial risk/reward equations.

The group believes that we need new capital solutions to address the full remit of pervasive, entrenched challenges in an economic system that does not presently assign full value to the cost of clean air, clean water, and biodiversity. Such vexing challenges exist where the economic and political desire for universal access to cheap water, cheap energy, and cheap products smashes up against the growing cost of protecting clean water, clean air, and a biodiverse planet. This conflict is the point of takeoff for Conservation Innovation Fund.

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