For the past 20 years, Palladium has committed 1.5% of its profit before tax to the company’s global giving platform. Through this platform and in partnership with the Kyeema Foundation, Palladium funds humanitarian relief efforts, supports community projects nominated by employees, and runs an annual Challenge Fund to tackle a major global problem.
The future demands new thinking, new approaches, and new solutions, and every year, Palladium brings in ideas from across its global network to source innovative responses to global challenges through the Palladium Challenge Fund. Until this year, the Challenge Fund has focused on one key theme or problem, but 2022 will have two themes, both opening for proposals on 15th June 2022.
This year’s themes are Measuring the Value of Nature, and Jobs for Refugees.
“It’s critical that we address the timely needs of refugees, while at the same time, staying focused on the ever-present climate crisis,” explains Palladium Managing Partner, Sinéad Magill. Palladium is calling for proposals for up to AU$75,000 from organisations that have innovative approaches to valuing nature, or sustainable solutions to getting refugees into jobs.
What is the Value of Nature?
In 2021, Palladium put out a call for innovative and scalable solutions to the climate crisis that place real value on nature and natural assets. Three organisations were awarded Challenge Fund grants, each with the potential to make an impact in the fight against climate change.
This year, the Palladium Challenge Fund aims to take the same issue one step further with the theme “Measuring the Value of Nature”, and is calling for proposals from innovative companies to answer the question “How do you ensure that nature-based solutions are benefiting people and planet?”
As adoption of nature-based solutions hits the mainstream, large scale financial institutions will require organisations to quantify the value of nature. Understanding the value and limits of nature-based solutions by tracking their impact against common indicators and intended outcomes is key to scaling effective solutions and demonstrating impact to potential investors.
But the lack of cost-effective and accessible tools for quantifying the value of natural ecosystems is increasingly one of the biggest impediments to the sector.
Palladium is looking for solutions that pilot new technologies or innovative approaches to valuing nature, offer tools for measuring the effectiveness of nature-based solutions, or creates frameworks for businesses to measure their environmental impact and match them to potential solutions.
According to Magill, these solutions fall squarely in line with much of the work the organisation is already doing. “Around the world, our teams are implementing nature-based solutions and experimenting with different means of measurement, and the solutions that could emerge from the Challenge Fund have the opportunity to significantly impact the sector as a whole,” she says.
“The right conditions are aligning for new nature-based investment opportunities and interesting cross-sector partnerships for investing in and valuing nature, but they can only go so far if we can’t measure them. The time is now to invest further in solutions to address this problem.”
How Can We Sustainably Employ Refugees?
In addition to “Measuring the Value of Nature”, Palladium is extending the Challenge Fund for proposals under the theme of “Jobs for Refugees: Offering dignity and employment to people fleeing from conflict.”
“It’s become abundantly clear that far from being the beneficiaries of their host countries, refugees can provide much needed labour, a skilled and educated workforce, and a source of innovation,” Magill describes.
Refugee resettlement has become a bigger and more politically prominent question in recent years, and it’s only been further brought into the spotlight by the conflict in Ukraine, which has precipitated the fastest growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War Two. Beyond addressing their immediate needs, refugees seek meaningful employment that offers them dignity, independence, and an opportunity to integrate into their host country for however long they reside there.
But it’s not just host countries that benefit – businesses do as well. Reports have shown that not only do refugees tend to stay with the same employer for longer than other hires, but that once a positive relationship is established, it can open the door to recruitment of other refugees.
“We partner with governments, education providers, and the private sector to create jobs and provide skills and employability support to help people into work,” says Magill. “We’re passionate about the economic dividend provided by refugees but recognise that many employers will require support to take that first step towards refugee engagement.”
In that spirit, the Challenge Fund is seeking proposals from organisations with innovative and sustainable solutions to employ refugees or match refugees with employers through the effective use of technology or by overcoming barriers to employment.
To apply for funding for up to AU$75,000 for either of the Challenge Fund themes or to learn more, visit Let’s Make it Possible or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.