Will Ecosystem Services Attract Investors?

Charles Sims, Ben Blachly and Travis Warziniack


An unanswered question in conservation economics is how to leverage impact investing for the provision of ecosystem services. We develop and apply a general conceptual model of a diversified ecosystem service portfolio to highlight two key insights about which ecosystem services will attract impact investing. First, generating a positive expected return via markets or payments for ecosystem services is a necessary but not sufficient condition to elicit impact investment in ecosystem services. Second, ecosystem services can exhibit a novel diversification value that increases the value of the ecosystem service asset to an institutional investor.