Blog: Bridging benefits and economics with Invest4Nature

February 27, 2024 | Blogs

On July 1st, 2022, JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH – LIFE, the Institute for Climate, Energy and Society (JR) and 14 Partners and Living Labs from 8 different European countries started into the Horizon Europe Project “Invest4Nature – the economics of Nature-based Solutions”.

The motivation for this project was that it was evident from other projects from the last couple of years that the full range of economic and societal benefits for Nature-based Solutions (NbS) are not systematically understood and mapped and are not sufficiently used to back the business and investment-case for NbS.

The Invest4Nature consortium at JR’s rooftop greenhouse at the LIFE Institute headquarters

The numerous benefits of NbS may include mitigation and adaptation to climate change (e.g. the reduction of urban heat island effect and flood mitigation), reduction of pollution, improved biodiversity and ecosystem services, but also social factors like increased well-being for citizens, including physical and mental health or recreation, social cohesion, and community building. While effort for climate change mitigation and adaptation are increasing, the role of NbS in this context is not well understood.

There is currently no standard method to calculate the economic and financial benefits that can be used to back their investment case. The financial valuation in the various areas of environment, society, or economy is an important indicator for financial stakeholders such as investors and insurances in building support for nature-based solutions. For us, there are two main motivators in

Invest4Nature. Firstly, the content and expected impact: as the only selected project of this HEU call, we will set the benchmark for research in this area. We believe for establishing new sustainable economic structures, preserving biodiversity but also for adapting to the increasingly visible Climate Change NbS will be important solutions. Secondly, the project team bundles key actors and platforms  in this area and the team members are not only highly knowledgeable but also very motivated.  

JR as the coordinator, together with our partner Steinbeis (S2i), not only takes care of all the administrative tasks but also deals with the economics and financing of NbS in Invest4Nature. This includes new evidence of costs and benefits, advance evaluation methods and new financing approaches and value chains. Also new demand and supply channels triggered by an emerging circular economy will be investigated. As academic institution we will engage in high quality publications.

The consortium in the project’s exploitation workshop on the toolbox to be developed in the project

Coordinating an EU project makes it possible to work together with different researchers across (cultural) borders and to contribute your own ideas. You gain international leadership experience and strengthen your intercultural competence. You make new colleagues and friends, expand your network and gain visibility both personally and as an organization. It requires openness to new concepts, different ways of thinking and working and taking cultural differences into account, but it is also very enriching.

Author: Dr. Ingrid Kaltenegger, JOANNEUM RESEARCH – LIFE


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Blog: Bridging benefits and economics with Invest4Nature

On July 1st, 2022, JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH – LIFE, the Institute for Climate, Energy and Society (JR) and 14 Partners and Living Labs from 8 different European countries started into the Horizon Europe Project “Invest4Nature – the economics of Nature-based Solutions”. The motivation for this project was that it was evident from other projects…

read more

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