Impact Investment Profile


The David and Lucile Packard Foundation


The Nature Conservancy

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation makes grants and program-related investments according to its mission, which includes conserving and restoring the earth's natural systems. The Nature Conservancy is a conservation organization that protects ecosystems, often through strategic land acquisition. The foundation's low-cost loan enabled The Nature Conservancy to purchase and conserve 2,325 acres of land surrounding Independence Lake, protecting its native fishery resources and watershed.

Investor Targeted Impact

Preserve ecosystems, including land, watershed, and species


Name The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Investor description The David and Lucile Packard Foundation (Packard Foundation) works on the issues its founders cared about most: conserving and restoring the earth's natural systems, advancing reproductive health, improving the lives of children, and enabling the creative pursuit of science. Through its program-related investments (PRIs), it provides investees with project finance and growth capital, primarily in the form of low-interest loans. These investments support creative opportunities that expand the impact of the foundation's programs and allow investee organizations to seize time-sensitive opportunities, improve their fiscal strength, and expand solutions to social and environmental problems.


Name The Nature Conservancy
Sector Environment; Water & Sanitation
Geography North America - United States
Investee business model The Nature Conservancy's (TNC) mission is to preserve plants, animals, and natural communities by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. In the United States, TNC acquires land in support of its mission, helping to protect approximately 15 million acres to date. Outside the U.S., TNC works primarily with local communities and national governments to encourage the protection of ecologically-sensitive land.
Motivations for investment The investment offered attractive opportunities to realize environmental impact in line with Packard Foundation's goals. Independence Lake was identified by the Northern Sierra Partnership, a regional science-based collaborative, as one of its highest priorities. The collaborative prioritized preservation of the lake's unique assemblage of native fish, including the only wild population of Lahontan cutthroat trout. The investment also protects the region's water quality, as the property covers a significant portion of the Independence Lake watershed, a key source of municipal water supply for Northern Nevada. TNC expected to receive USD 6.5 million in grants from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) and the California Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB), but the grants were conditional upon future California state bond sales. However, the bond sales were put on hold due to California's 2010 budget crisis, so bond funding was not available by the scheduled closing date of the land purchase. Packard Foundation's PRI loan provided timely capital that bridged the financing gap and enabled the land purchase to move forward so that the opportunity would not be lost.


Instrument Debt
Investment size USD 5 million
Source of deal The deal was identified through a partnership with Resources Law Group, a leading land conservation intermediary organization located in California.
Stage of company at time of investment Mature
Purpose of investment Packard Foundation's investment in TNC supported the acquisition and preservation of 2,325 acres of land surrounding Independence Lake in California. Packard Foundation's loan provided bridge financing to TNC for the land purchase at a total cost of USD 15 million.The foundation's PRI loan was repaid with SNC and WCB grants, which were funded through the proceeds of California state bond sales.
Investment impact objectives The acquisition protects Independence Lake's watershed, native fishery resources, shoreline, and Independence Creek, which flows into the lake. The purchase is part of Packard Foundation's larger effort to protect and restore the Truckee River watershed, of which Independence Creek is a tributary.
Social and environmental metrics tracked on investment Packard Foundation typically uses reporting metrics that incorporate both IRIS metrics (IRIS alignment noted in parentheses) and a range of other conservation metrics. However, since the debt investment was short term, environmental performance metrics tracked were abbreviated. The following tracked environmental performance metrics are aligned with IRIS: Acres of land preserved (IRIS aligned - PI2012)Water resources preserved (IRIS aligned - PI8005)

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