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Natural Capital

Which other innovative instruments are available to financial institutions?

Other innovative instruments and concepts are Green Bonds, crowdfunding and hybrid banking. Many variations exist for different institutions and the sector is still in the exploratory stage.

Green Bonds

Green Bonds or Sustainability Bonds raise capital that support lending or investment for projects with environmental benefits. Issuing guidelines for Green Bonds are laid down in the Green Bond Principles. Recent activity indicates that the market for Green Bonds is developing rapidly. For example, in 2014 Unilever issued a green bond as the first company ever in the FMCG sector. The bond was intended to raise funds for CO2, water and waste reduction in its operations.

More information on the websites of ICMA and Unilever.


There are more than 450 crowdfunding platforms; some well-known examples are Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. An important platform in the Netherlands is OnePlanetCrowd, an initiative of StartGreen Capital, an investment form focusing on sustainable ventures. Companies of different sizes can use the platforms to raise the money for their start-ups and innovative projects.

World Economic Forum (2014), p. 54.

Hybrid banking

A system of hybrid banking surpasses money as the exclusive means of transaction or the single unit to measure ‘value’. People also ‘pay’ with other means, such as time, waste or energy. Ideally, this is not a fringe movement, but a fully developed part of the system. The aim of hybrid banking is to offer a participation model to citizens on the basis of a wider range of transaction means.

Jonker (ed.) (2015), p. 8 en 9. (in Dutch)