Our Track Record
WWF Impact Ventures was launched by WWF Switzerland in 2013 to prototype the use of impact business and investment approaches to advance WWF’s mandate.
We have developed from an experimental undertaking into a mature program with bespoke processes, structures, tools and metrics. The program has both informed and transformed; building capacity for business development and management and changing long-standing approaches to conservation problems.
In 2016, the program expanded to allow the WWF network to participate. WWF NL supported a marine cohort as part of the third venture cohort.
We currently have a pool of 12 investable ventures from almost all the priority regions we operate in.
The ventures are diverse and range from technologies for impact, to smallholder farming and non-timber forest production. In all cases, the ventures provide a new opportunity for communities to generate income or secure livelihoods and reduce pressure on the local environment.
A brief overview of three investment cases
Maasai Lions & Light
In Kenya, 70% of wildlife live outside national parks. Human wildlife conflict is on the increase, due to livestock predation by large carnivores. Around 100 lions are killed annually in defense of cattle and goat herds. Only 2,000 lions remain.
Maasai Lions & Light is a Kenyan social venture that designs solar-powered predator deterrent light systems. The system also provides households with an efficient solar energy solution. The product is distributed by pastoralist women and youth, providing an important source of skills and income. The lights have already had a clear impact, with a 98% reduction in predation. Households are saving money on paraffin and phone charging and children can now study at night and improve their academic performance.
Gorilla Conservation Coffee
The mountain gorilla and its habitat are critically endangered. Only 880 remain. Human population growth, poverty, poor health and education are resulting in intense pressure on gorilla habitat and health.
Gorilla Conservation Coffee is a unique Ugandan venture that aims to improve the lives of 100,000 individuals living in and around the gorilla reserve. By grouping together smallholder farmers and producing a high quality, conservation-branded coffee a premium price can be generated. Local farmers earn more and become stewards of their local environment. A portion of the proceeds are channeled back into gorilla conservation programs.
The Manuripi Sourcing Company
The Manuripi protected area in Bolivia is one of the most biodiverse forest regions in the Amazon. These forests are also home to the Brazil nut tree, the product of which Bolivia, not Brazil, is the world’s largest exporter. WWF Bolivia has for over a decade supported local communities to sustainably collect Brazil nuts. The trees are sensitive and only thrive and bear fruit within a complex ecosystem of natural forest, where they depend on a wide range of flora and fauna.
The Manuripi Sourcing Company is a unique collaboration between WWF and Hylea 1884, one of the largest Brazil nut exporters in Bolivia. The new venture increases the income of local communities who source the nuts, as well as doubling the income of park management. A seal of origin elevates the product to attract premium sustainable and organic buyers. A win-win solution…in a nutshell.