Environmental Asset Advisory
The concept of environmental asset optimization is new and evolving. Global markets for ecosystem services have surged in recent years with annual transactions valued $36-$42 billion. A host of factors is driving up the value including market, regulatory, social impact, and technical considerations. Before evaluating the technical suitability of any asset, it is important to understand if there is a prospect of market value, which is typically determined by regulatory and financial drivers. Although environmental asset value is primarily driven by regulatory policy, there is an increasing level of voluntary corporate commitments that also may create opportunities for natural resource owners.
The E&W Strategies team is prepared to help navigate this newfound concept through assessing, prioritizing, and identifying actions to unlock the value of natural resources. Our team has decades of experience as environmental market participants, bringing a unique skillset to navigate this world in an efficient and effective manner.
There is an increasing set of national, state, and local environmental policies that underpin mitigation, along with offset and trading opportunities for natural resource owners. State and local laws are increasingly becoming more important drivers.
Corporate sustainability initiatives are also on the rise, creating more demand and opportunities for market-based approaches to managing privately owned and public resources.
E&W Strategies is prepared to help interpret, implement, and support revisions, as necessary, of pertinent environmental market policies. We are leaders in this space and have been active in the development of:
The concept of performance-based solutions as applied to environmental matters is a new approach to delivering environmental outcomes. Governmental agencies decide on the outcomes they want to achieve and the methods to measure the performance standards under a contract. The bidding process, contracts and payments are then based on the delivery of those outcomes. This is distinct from the traditional government contracting approach, which is typically based on paying for the design, construction and monitoring separately, and tying the payments to merely undertaking the work as opposed to the outcomes.
Performance-based solutions enable a platform for governments to obtain contractor financing for the initial phases of the work, as the commitment to pay only occurs when performance obligations are met.
The E&W Strategies team is well-equipped to assist with navigating these issues, as we have been involved with the delivery of these types of solutions around the country and have assisted governmental entities with developing a wide range of effective policies. For example, the following are a selection of our service areas:
Natural resource owners may take advantage of federal, state, and local tax deductions and credits, as well as available funding for conservation practices. This may include donating or selling easements, one-time payments for practices, or long-term leases for conservation objectives.
At the international level, environmental market policy has been adopted at varying levels. Relative to carbon, certain countries have been more progressive in driving regulatory markets while slower to adopt similar policies on biodiversity and water. Nevertheless, market concepts are increasingly being applied, particularly in Europe and Latin America.
With increasing risks associated with climate variation, such as droughts, floods, storm intensity, fires, and sea level rise, asset owners need to become resilient and prepare for these increased risks.
While there are many facets to the ongoing climate risks, our team is focused on helping with evaluating and advising on asset risk management, protection, and restoration.
Our team has highlighted below those federal policies with which we are well-versed and believe are keystone policies in support of certain markets: