It’s easy to think of big business as constantly being at odds with environmental preservation. But more and more businesses are actually finding it profitable to care for the land around them. Whether it’s a utility firm implementing carbon offsets, a transportation company restoring wetlands, or a private equity firm investing in the ecological solutions market, business and environment are increasingly finding common ground and building a better future.
Here are just a few examples of productive teams combining business development and environmental protection for great results.
RES and KKR
Resource Environmental Solutions, LLC (RES) has been a leader in the ecological solutions market since it was founded in 2007. Their quest to provide more options for environmental solutions is about to get a boost from private equity firm KKR, which is making a significant investment in RES to encourage its growth.
“This investment builds on our efforts to create value by improving environmental impacts at KKR portfolio companies,” said Ken Mehlman, a member of KKR who will be joining the Board of Directors at RES. Mehlman also noted that KKR has invested more than $5 billion in companies whose missions include a dedication to environmentally positive practices.
When companies like these team up, it means economies grow in ways that are good for both business and the environment.
Tierra Resources and Entergy
Wetlands are an important part of Louisiana’s ecological structure, but the economy needs to thrive as well. What to do? If you’re ecological expert Tierra Resources or local utility company Entergy, the answer is carbon offsets.
Entergy is working to restore wetlands on its company-owned properties, while Tierra Resources focuses on getting companies like Entergy the information they need to most effectively give back. Tierra’s science and Entergy’s efforts (to the tune of $150,000 invested in a pilot program) have done wonders for wetlands in the area, not to mention encouraging more carbon offset activity in the area.
And the practice is catching on. Energy giant ConocoPhillips is also considering investing in wetlands restoration in the area. If the project goes through, it would mean the protection of 640,000 acres of wetlands, the largest amount owned by any company in the US.
Lowcounty Land Trust and Norfolk Southern
Transportation companies can be huge pollution creators—which is why it’s important that many, such as Norfolk Southern in South Carolina, are working hard to change their ways.
Norfolk Southern has partnered with the Lowcounty Land Trust to restore 290 acres of historic wetlands near Dorchester, South Carolina. This restored area will become an opportunity for other companies to provide support and offset their own carbon output, restoring natural drainage patterns.
“Norfolk Southern is committed to the wise use of resources, and this latest conservation easement demonstrates our continued commitment to land conservation and protection,” said LLT Business Leadership Council member Josh Raglin. “It also reflects our long term vision of how conservationists and businesses can work together to benefit our communities, the environment, and the bottom line.”
With new partnerships between businesses and environmental organizations forming all the time, the future is looking greener than ever.