Landscape Scale Restoration has the Power to Create a 36:1 Social Return on Investment
WASHINGTON, DC, January 4, 2018 – A newly released report forecasts a 36:1 Social Return on Investment (SROI) in landscape-scale restoration. Nonprofit Restore the Earth Foundation, in collaboration with Social Value International (SVI), today released two social impact reports based on eco-restoration projects in Louisiana’s Tensas National Wildlife Refuge and the Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area. These first-of-a-kind reports assess, quantify and monetize the environmental, social, and economic impacts of investments in landscape-scale restoration on local communities, economies and stakeholders. Report findings support the business case for funding a holistic climate-smart solution to degraded and destroyed ecosystems.
Restore the Earth Foundation commissioned The Water Institute of the Gulf to serve as an independent third party to research and complete these SROI assessments using Restore the Earth’s proprietary EcoMetrics™. The EcoMetrics Model is aligned with the guiding principles of Social Value International’s SROI methodology and International Integrated Reporting Council’s Reporting Framework.
Both of these reports have been awarded SVI Assured Report status, meaning they conform to SVI’s strict reporting standards.
“We are thrilled to partner with Restore the Earth Foundation, among SVI’s newest members,” said Ben Carpenter, Operations Manager, Social Value International. “Restore the Earth’s EcoMetrics provides a unique perspective on the investment in restoration projects. This in-depth analysis gives funders the ability to understand and communicate returns through the use of quantifiable indicators, verified metrics and monetized value.”
“We began measuring the social impact of restoration in an effort to develop a strong business case for major investment in natural capital and green infrastructure and to demonstrate the superior financial and social returns they offer as opposed to ‘grey’ infrastructure projects,” explained PJ Marshall, co-founder and executive director, Restore the Earth Foundation. “These returns are experienced more directly by the stakeholders on whom the financial health of business depends: customers, employees, and members of the communities they serve.”
Continued Marshall, “Natural capital and green infrastructure investments like those made in the Tensas National Wildlife Refuge and the Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area offer demonstrable benefits to corporate investors including major, cost-effective reductions in their environmental footprint, alongside significant increases in brand perception and employee recruitment and retention—both major drivers of corporate value.”
10.27.16 — Restore the Earth kicked off of their project to restore 4,000 acres of freshwater-forested wetland at the Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area in southeast Louisiana.
Key Findings – Tensas National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Report
In 2005, Entergy Corporation, a leader in electric power production and retail distribution operation, funded the reforestation of 1,943 acres of bottomland hardwood forest in the Tensas National Wildlife Refuge. As a result of Entergy’s $1,546,000 capital investment:
For every $1 Entergy invested, $36.20 of integrated environmental, social and economic value is created and accounted for. Of the $36.20:
- $32.99 of non-market social value is returned to the community based on cleaner air and water, job creation, enhanced recreational opportunities, soil stabilization, storm protection and flood control, and contributions to local culture.
- $3.21 in market value is created by the carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus offsets and social license to operate.
Both of these values can be accounted for on Entergy’s integrated reporting balance sheet.
- Communities and multiple stakeholders will benefit from $119,611,947 in environmental, social and economic value creation.
“The Mississippi River Basin is a rich resource for Louisiana,” noted Phillip May, President and CEO of Entergy Louisiana, LLC. “That’s why Entergy is supporting this restoration initiative through our environmental grant program and employee volunteer activities. Protecting wetlands is vital to the local economy and environment and is one of the many ways ‘We Power Life’ for our customers and communities.”
Key Findings – Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area
In 2016, Restore the Earth launched the reforestation of 4,000 acres of a historic native bald cypress forest on the Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area as part of its future goal of restoring one million acres of the Mississippi River Basin, “North America’s Amazon.” As a result of a $15,462,760 capital investment:
For every $1 invested, $15.76 of integrated environmental, social and economic value is created and accounted for. Of the $15.76:
- $14.10 of non-market social value is returned to the community based on cleaner air and water, job creation, enhanced recreational opportunities, soil stabilization, storm protection and flood control, and contributions to local culture.
- $1.65 in market value is created by the carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus offsets and social license to operate.
Both of these values can be accounted for on corporate sponsors’ integrated reporting balance sheet.
- Communities and multiple stakeholders will benefit from $243,741,361.78 in environmental, social and economic value creation.
“Nearly all U.S. business organizations have one or more components of their value chains that rely on the ecosystem services and natural capital of North America’s Amazon – the Mississippi River,” explained Edwin Pinero, Director, Water Projects, United States Business Council for Sustainable Development. “This region is fundamental to the national economy and ecosystem integrity and warrants care and investment. All businesses benefit from investing in restoring the lower Mississippi River basin.”
To learn more about Restore the Earth Foundation, visit www.restoretheearth.org. To download a copy of the reports click here. To learn more about Social Value International, visit www.socialvalueint.org.
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