Environmental Markets & Asset Management Practice

  • Environmental Asset Advisory

  • Environmental Marketplace Policy


  • Performance-Based Solutions and Contracting

  • Conservation Strategy and Tools


  • International Environmental Market Policy

  • Resiliency


  • Targeted Federal Policies

“Helping to Navigate and Unlock the Value of Environmental Assets”

Environmental Asset Advisory


The concept of environmental asset optimization is new and evolving. Global markets for ecosystem services has surged in recent years with annual transactions valued between US$36-$42 billion. Value is being driven by a host of factors including market, regulatory, social impact, and technical considerations. Before considering 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 skill set to navigate this world in an efficient and effective manner.


These concepts are being applied to many land types, including:

  • Timber lands
  • Agriculture (working lands)
  • Green Infrastructure Areas
  • Wetlands and Stream Corridors
  • Erosive Shorelines
  • Surface Water and Groundwater Resources
  • Stormwater Resources and Facilities
  • Species Habitat
  • Resilient Landscapes
  • Protected Sanctuaries
  • Flood Reduction Zone
  • Pre and Post Disaster Mitigation Planning
  • Wildfire Reduction Zones
  • Carbon Resource Areas

Environmental Marketplace Policy


There is an increasing set of environmental national, state, and local policies that underpin mitigation, 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 managed resources.


The E&W Strategies team is prepared to help interpret, implement, and support revisions, as necessary, of pertinent environmental market policies. We are leaders in this policy space and have been active in the development of many of the policies referenced below.

  • Mitigation and Offset Policy (Wetlands, Streams, Species, Buffers Nutrients, Forest and Carbon)
  • Nutrient and Water Quality Credit Trading
  • Stormwater Credit Trading
  • Groundwater Banking
  • Water Rights Trading
  • Corporate Sustainability Commitments and Solutions

Performance-Based Solutions and Contracting


The concept of performance-based solutions as applied to environmental matters is a new approach to delivering environmental outcomes. Through performance-based approaches, the risk is transferred to the contractor. Governmental agencies decide on the outcomes it wants 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 approaches, 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 type of solutions around the country and have assisted governmental entities with developing policy. The E&W Strategies team is prepared to support in the following areas:

  • Contracting models
  • Procurement
  • Public-Private Partnership Models
  • Environmental Metrics
  • Milestone Contracting
  • Financing Options
  • Operations & Maintenance
  • Project Lifespan Considerations

Conservation Strategy and Tools


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.


The E&W Strategies team has participated in numerous such conservation programs and are well-versed in counselling on:

  • Conservation Finance
  • Conservation Tax Policy
  • Easements
  • Term Leases

International Environmental Market Policy


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, the market concepts are increasingly being applied, such as in Europe and Latin America.


The E&W Strategies team has participated as an advisory member of the International Business for Biodiversity Offsets for over a decade and is well-versed with the evolving international state of environmental markets and the components that comprise those markets in the international context. We are prepared to assist with:

  • International Biodiversity Offset Policies
  • International Aquatic Resource Policies
  • Environmental Impact Assessments and Mitigation
  • International Carbon Policies
  • International Species Policy

Resiliency


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, the E&W Strategy team is focused on helping with evaluating and advising on Asset Risk Management, Protection and Restoration.

Targeted Federal Policies


While there are many important federal environmental policies, there are certain polices that are the building blocks for environmental markets and are essential to understand. These policies either drive the requirements for environmental solutions, provide funding, or set the ground rules for how such environmental solutions are accomplished.


The E&W Strategy team has highlighted below those federal policies which we are well-versed and believe are keystone policies in support of certain markets:

  • Clean Water Act (Definition of Waters of the United States and Water Quality Trading Policy)
  • Federal Mitigation Rule and Associated Guidance (Dam Removal, Credit Release Schedules, Financial Assurances and Associated Guidance)
  • State Revolving Funds (SRF)
  • Endangered Species Act
  • Farm Bill
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)