Equitable Adaptation Legal & Policy Toolkit


Other Public-Private Partnerships

Other public-private partnerships can provide financial benefits for cities and states while not always directly providing private finance. Private entities can use their specialized expertise to streamline procurement and implementation processes and, in the process, stretch and save public funds. Energy Service Company (CMC Energy), for example, secures grants from public utilities and energy companies to implement energy-efficiency measures in schools and multi-dweller residences. Case studies of public-private partnerships involving private sector entity Corvias, which partnered with Prince George’s County in Maryland and the city of Chester in Delaware to improve stormwater management practices, are provided in other chapters of the toolkit. 

Considerations of Other Public-Private Partnerships


  • Given that municipalities face limits in the amount of debt they can accrue through bonds and other approaches, partnerships with private sector entities provide another useful option for meeting adaptation needs.


  • PPPs often focus on environmental measures given that the value of environmental services is increasingly recognized and quantified.


  • Equity in the context of PPP can be advanced not only through financing measures that benefit disadvantaged communities but also through activities that employ these communities.


  • One of the most significant benefits to a PPP is private sector expertise in streamlining administrative processes and, in the process, saving money for public sector entities.


  • There is no binding definition of a PPP, and, as such, no fixed set of laws and policies that apply to these arrangements.
  • PPPs can be supported by memoranda of understanding (MOUs).

Lessons Learned

  • Direct financing is not always the best solution; public entities might secure desired results through private sector partnerships that meet public needs while providing financial benefits to the private sector entity.


Related Resources

Prince George's County, Maryland Clean Water Partnership

The Prince George’s County Clean Water Partnership (CWP) — between Prince George’s County and a private company, Corvias — began in 2014 to retrofit 2,000 acres of property for the purposes of stormwater management. As part of this process, both partners agreed that an emphasis on providing employment for local, under-represented communities was necessary. Within a three-year period, completion of the project involved contracting 66 businesses, reaching almost 1,600 businesses, and generated over 200,000 hours of work. The project also blew past their goals for under-represented employment: target class participation was 40%, but actual participation was 87%; target participation of local businesses was 50%, but actual participation was 82%; targeted hours for local employment was 51%, but actual was 57%. In all, the program delivered on all 2,000 in half the time for half the price. Because of the success of the first project, the Clean Water Partnership between Prince George’s County and Corvias was extended 30 years for 4,000 acres with the same goals of hiring underrepresented community members as a requirement.

New Jersey Clean Energy Program Efficiency Retrofitting

CMC Energy received funding from the New Jersey Clean Energy Program to install energy-efficient equipment in High Bridge Elementary School. The school is realizing an annual energy savings of approximately $22,000, which has been used to pay 70% of project costs and which also will be used for improvements such as a new roof.

  Tax Credits, Tax Increment Financing & Land Value Capture