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Landscape Standard Finance Consultant

About the Rainforest Alliance:

We are building an alliance to create a better future for people and nature by making responsible business the new normal.

The Rainforest Alliance works at the intersection of business, agriculture and forests. By bringing diverse allies together we are making deep-rooted change on some of our most pressing social and environmental issues. Together, we amplify the voices of farmers and forest communities, improve livelihoods, protect biodiversity, and help people mitigate and adapt to climate change in bold and effective ways.

Our alliance needs you, whoever you are and wherever you stand. By joining forces with producers, businesses and consumers, we can transform our relationship with the land and forests we rely on. We can make that relationship work better for all.

Together, we can achieve our vision of a world where people and nature thrive in harmony.

Position summary:

The Landscape Standard and the Financial Sector: Refining the value proposition and identifying partnership opportunities

Overview of the Landscape Standard

Business-as-usual models of agriculture and natural resource extraction continue to degrade water, soils, and ecosystems while poverty persists and the effects of climate change intensify. Efforts to reverse these trends within individual production areas or supply chains will not be effective if unsustainable use of natural resources continues within the wider landscape. Coordinated action on landscape-scale sustainability is imperative to achieve shared goals of sustainable livelihoods, ecosystems and supply chains.

To respond to this need, the Landscape Standard (LS) will provide a scientifically rigorous yet practical framework to assess the state and trajectory of sustainability within a landscape – which could be a jurisdiction, watershed or eco-region. The standardized framework and quality assurance will enable benchmarking and comparison across different regions. Producers, governments, businesses and investors will use the LS to track and demonstrate progress towards landscape-scale sustainability commitments. The LS will also help businesses to understand the sustainability risks and opportunities associated with sourcing from or investing in a particular landscape. By providing credible performance data to inform sourcing and investment decisions, LS will link market incentives to ongoing improvements in sustainability performance at the landscape level, motivating stakeholders to work together towards improved landscape sustainability.

The LS is a collaborative initiative led by Rainforest Alliance (RA), Verra and the Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Nature Conservation Research Centre (NCRC), Proforest, and Solidaridad, with input from a broad range of stakeholders. Further background information on the LS is available here.

Objective of the consultancy

The objective of this consultancy is to determine how to create enabling conditions for the LS to be widely used by the financial sector. This will include; researching, refining and validating LS’s value proposition for this sector, providing recommendations on features and functionality that would help to maximise the value of LS for this sector, and identifying key influencers and strategic partners that would help to drive uptake of LS.

Responsibilities:

  • Review the existing work that has been done by the LS consortium to research and articulate the LS’ value proposition for the financial sector
  • Provide guidance to LS partners leading pilots to help them identify organisations investing in the pilot landscapes
  • Develop the materials needed to conduct and analyse the findings from structured interviews with a representative sample of potential users within the financial sector, to get feedback on the proposed functionality and value proposition for LS
  • Compile a list of stakeholders, including contact details wherever possible, that provides a representative sample of the full range of relevant actors within the finance and investment space, including organisations linked to the LS pilots through investment. Propose a subset covering each type of actor to request structured interviews with
  • Respond to questions and comments on the proposed interview materials and target participants from the LS consortium and revise as necessary
  • Organise and conduct structured interviews with at least 15 - 20 organisations, covering a representative sample of each category of relevant actor, and record the findings in a systematic manner
  • Analyse the results of the interviews and prepare a report which articulates refined value proposition(s) for LS for the financial sector, provides recommendations regarding the design and functionality of LS, identifies the highest potential user groups and proposes a mechanism by which to track use of LS by this sector
  • Identify organisations which have the greatest potential to drive uptake of LS within the financial sector, such as industry initiatives, reporting initiatives, NGOs and other influencers. Provide recommendations of the organisations which would provide greatest value as strategic partners to LS
  • Present the results of the research and recommendations to the LS Secretariat and Global Partners in a call and answer questions
  • Participate in 30 minute calls with representatives of the LS consortium to provide updates on progress as needed (no more than weekly)

Deliverables and indicative timeline (assuming 1st July start date)

  • 1 July 2019 - Participate in kick-off meeting
  • 15 July 2019 - Provide guidance to LS partners leading pilots to identify organisations investing in a particular landscape
  • 15 August 2019 - Structured interview guide and supporting slide deck
  • 15 August 2019 - A list of stakeholders, including contact details wherever possible, that provides a representative sample of the full range of relevant actors within the finance and investment space. Propose a subset covering each type of actor to request structured interviews with.
  • 31 October 2019 - Notes from structured interviews with 15-20 relevant and representative organisations in the finance and investment space
  • 30 November 2019 - Final report
  • 30 November 2019 - Recommendations of the organisations which would provide greatest value as strategic partners to LS

Qualifications:

The consultant or organisation should have:

  • Experience of working in or closely with different types of organisations within the finance sector, including commercial banks, development finance institutions, wealth management funds, bond issuers and impact investors
  • An understanding of certification standards and impact assessment frameworks
  • A comprehensive understanding of trends and initiatives in sustainable finance
  • A good network of contacts in sustainable finance

Notes:

Due Diligence - RA will conduct a due diligence of the selected consultant to ensure there is no breach of any Anti-corruption & Trade Law.

Donor Requirements - The selected consultant must comply with anti-corruption laws worldwide, and other donor expectations such as “Zero Tolerance Requirements”.

Application:

Applicants are requested to submit the following documents to Sophie Persey, Senior Manager, Landscape Standard by email (Spersey@ra.org) by no later than 31 May 2019.

  • A covering letter, of no more than 2 pages, which provides a summary of the consultant or organisations relevant experience, expertise and contacts
  • A work plan, which includes clear timelines and the person responsible
  • CVs for each member of the project team
  • A fixed price budget, which details daily rates and expenses