CMI is accelerating the shift from centralized industrial-scale production to sustainable, distributed solutions that create opportunity for all.

Many Americans share the concern that "business-as-usual" is limiting human progress and taking a dangerous toll on vital ecosystems. In response, we need to replace old tools and frameworks with integrated solutions that create the conditions for people to thrive supported by an increasingly stable and healthy base of natural resources.

The Center for Market Innovation (CMI) works to demonstrate and implement new approaches to finance and investment that offer strong profit potential as well as increased opportunity for people of all income levels. Our experts work together with private and public sector leaders to accelerate the adoption of more resilient, inclusive, and efficient investment models.

CMI focuses on food, water, shelter, and energy because these are the building blocks of life and also hold the greatest potential for transformative environmental market opportunity. CMI brings a deep understanding of the underlying dynamics of each target market and the synergies between them. From green banks and green bonds to better beef and sustainable regional food systems, to energy efficient apartments and distributed energy resources to green infrastructure, we have the technical expertise and relationships to move ahead faster and smarter.

CMI's approach to effecting change is to pilot strategies and take them to scale using demonstration projects and financing tools that help boost profits while making markets greener and more accessible. We specialize in:

  • Identifying and removing barriers to viable solutions.
  • Promoting new financing models and tools.
  • Documenting and publishing best practices, reports, and market analyses.
  • Developing, testing, and deploying new solutions.
  • Partnering with key decision-makers and community leaders to replicate successful models.
  • Increasing transparency and fairness so that people of all incomes and backgrounds can benefit from -- and participate in -- investment decisions.

CMI Initiatives include:

Recent Projects

clean water cash flows

Clean Water Cash Flows

In Clean Water Cash Flows, NRDC, together with its partners The Nature Conservancy and EKO Asset Management Partners, complete a multi-year analysis of green infrastructure market opportunities in Philadelphia. Learn More

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High Performance Tenant Spaces

When energy efficiency measures are implemented at the same time as tenant space fit-outs in large commercial buildings, they represent only marginal costs in the context of the overall project, significantly reducing the time to realize financial payback. Learn More

New York City

New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation

An independent, public-private partnership, NYCEEC is tasked with catalyzing the development of a fully scaled, market-driven energy efficiency retrofit industry in New York City, where buildings consume 80% of the city's energy and produce 75% of its greenhouse gas emissions. Learn More

green infrastructure

Photo: ©Hawkins Partners

The Green Edge

The Green Edge is a first-of-its-kind report quantifying the full range of monetary benefits that green infrastructure investments generate for commercial property owners and their tenants -- from reduced energy costs to higher rents. Learn More

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Case Study: Li & Fung USA (LFUSA)

Li & Fung USA (LFUSA), a global consumer goods company, has committed to design and construct a high performance tenant space in the Empire State Building to reduce energy demand, increase efficiency, and improve indoor environmental quality. Learn More

empty office space

Case Study: Tower Companies, Inc.

Tower Companies, Inc. implemented an energy management initiative in three large, multi-tenant office buildings it owns and operates in downtown Washington, D.C. Learn More

Connect With Us

Our Team

Yerina Mugica

Yerina Mugica is Managing Director at NRDC's Center for Market Innovation, focusing on green, inclusive, high impact strategies across food, water, shelter and energy.

Douglass Sims

Douglass Sims, Director of Strategy and Finance, joined the Center for Market Innovation in April 2010. Doug focuses on next generation energy, food, water, shelter and infrastructure investments.

Wendy Fok

Wendy Fok is Project Director for CMI's High Performance Demonstration Project and leads the overall development and execution.


Alisa Valderrama

Alisa Valderrama is a Senior Project Finance Attorney at CMI and focuses on financing green infrastructure to achieve better water quality.

Meet the rest of our team

Factsheets, Reports, and Other Resources

Clean Water Cash Flows

Cities developing green infrastructure programs face challenges financing those programs entirely through traditional means such as municipal bonds or federal and state funds. Read More

The Green Edge

Commercial investment in green infrastructure can provide additional value to property owners and their tenants. Read More

Selecting High-Performance Tenant Space: A Pre-Lease Guide

High-performing and energy-efficient commercial office space begins before tenants even set foot in the building: choosing the right building is the critical first step. Read More

The Hidden Potential of Tenant Spaces

The Leader, March/April 2013: While it comes as no surprise that one of the most effective strategies to reduce operational costs and energy waste is to improve energy efficiency in buildings and across real estate portfolios, often overlooked is the potential of energy savings within the leased tenant space. Read More

Tenant Space Case Study: Natural Resources Defense Council Washington, D.C. Office

In July 2011, NRDC relocated its Washington, D.C. office to a new space designed with a focus on energy efficiency and sustainability, projected to yield a 30 percent annual energy savings, compared to expected energy use if the office were built to the minimum energy code requirements. Read More

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