Atlanta Environmental Impact Bond Breaks Into Public Market
The city of Atlanta has new funds for green infrastructure. In January 2019, the city — in partnership with impact investing intermediary firm Quantified Ventures — closed a $14 million environmental impact bond (EIB) for stormwater management in the city’s Proctor Creek watershed. The city plans to use the funds for green infrastructure projects that aim to control stormwater flow and improve water quality.
“Proctor Creek is an area that has repeatedly flooded, and as a result has caused a lot of problems with poor housing stock in that community,” said Stephanie Stuckey, Atlanta’s former chief resilience officer and current director of sustainability services at the Southface Institute. According to Stuckey, these issues have caused damage to housing as well as health problems, including a case of West Nile virus.
Atlanta’s EIB follows in the path of the bond set up by DC Water in 2016, but carries an important distinction. The DC deal was privately placed and sold to Goldman Sachs and the Calvert Foundation; Atlanta’s bond was offered publicly, an innovation its architects hope will help pave the way for EIBs to become a mainstream investment and financing tool.