Enviro Social Capital explored pay-for-success partnership opportunities in the City of Pittsburgh as a new way of funding public projects. Our ultimate goal was to improve community outcomes by connecting funding to impact success. In order to do this, we had to better understand how to manage and measure far-reaching implications of impact.
We explored impact investing mechanisms such as the pay-for-success financial model because it takes an outcome-based approach, with projects becoming an investment opportunity in which the public sector is triggered for repayment once community outcomes have been achieved. The model created a public-private partnership that ensured social and environmental goals were more effectively met and tax dollars were not wasted on unsuccessful projects.
By bringing multiple sectors together on specific challenges, there was the potential to realize multiple economic, environmental, and social goals through a single project. Our Green Infrastructure Pay-For-Success Initiative strived to do this while addressing the challenge of our region’s failing sewer infrastructure. The initiative assessed the use of the pay-for-success model as an alternative to traditional municipal bonds to finance the implementation and maintenance of large-scale green infrastructure projects in and around the Pittsburgh region.
Our goal was to develop a framework to facilitate the collaboration of multiple stakeholders and to use our sewer infrastructure repairs as an opportunity to achieve multiple secondary outcomes, enabling this massive project to have the most meaningful impact possible. Enviro Social Capital developed the necessary methods to evaluate and measure outcomes and actively engaged stakeholders to become part of the process. We wanted to contribute to the growing field of impact investing with our Green Infrastructure Pay-For-Success Initiative and both advance the Pittsburgh region with these valuable resources, as well as establish it at the forefront of pay-for-success exploration.