ESG and Sustainability
The rise of ESG factors in investment decision making will have a dramatic impact on returns and opportunities in the 21st century. A recent survey by LGT Capital Partners and Mercer showed that 57% of respondents believe that incorporating ESG standards into investment decisions will raise returns. Just 9% argued they reduce returns on investment.
Revaia, Europe’s largest female-founded venture capital firm, has successfully raised €150 million ($160 million) for its second fund, Revaia Growth II. The funding was secured from sovereign wealth funds, family offices, and institutional investors across Europe, with support from existing partners like Bpifrance and new backers such as mutual insurer Carac and the European Investment Fund.
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More Stories on ESG and Sustainability
Venture Capital: Bedrock Energy Lands $8.5M For Its Geothermal Energy Solution Aimed At Commercial Buildings
Bedrock Energy, a tech startup specializing in geothermal heating and cooling systems, has secured $8.5 million in seed capital. This funding round, led by Wireframe Ventures and featuring participation from various investors including Overture Climate VC, Long Journey Ventures, and Climate Capital, is set to accelerate the manufacturing and deployment of innovative technologies. These advancements aim to enhance the economic viability of all-electric geothermal HVAC systems, ultimately contributing to Net Zero operations for real estate properties.
Alternative Investments/ESG: Franklin Templeton And Clearbridge Investments Launch Sustainable Global Value Equity Fund
Franklin Templeton and ClearBridge Investments have collaborated to introduce the FTGF ClearBridge Global Sustainability Improvers Fund, a new global value equity fund. This fund represents a significant move towards investing in companies that are actively enhancing their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) profiles.
Wanda Fish Technologies, a foodtech start-up, has successfully secured USD 7 million in seed funding to expedite the pilot production of cultivated bluefin tuna. This funding round was led by Aqua-Spark, a Netherlands-based global aquaculture investment fund, with participation from pre-seed investors like The Kitchen Hub, Peregrine Ventures, PICO Venture Partners, MOREVC, and CPT Capital, totaling the company’s funding to USD 10 million since its inception in 2021.
CEOs today face the challenge of navigating an increasingly volatile U.S. economy characterized by a blend of disruptive risks to growth and structural shifts. These shifts range from persistent inflation to the transition towards cleaner energy sources and changes in the labor market. These factors collectively raise the cost of doing business while leaving minimal room for error in strategy development and execution.
TMX Datalinx, the information services division of TMX Group (TSE: X), has unveiled its Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) data hub, a significant step towards integrating ESG considerations into the investment decision-making process for TMX’s clients.
REGENT Craft, a Rhode Island-based manufacturer of all-electric seagliders, has successfully raised $60 million in Series A funding. The funding round was co-led by 8090 Industries and Founders Fund, with participation from Japan Airlines Innovation Fund, Lockheed Martin, Yamato Holdings, and Point72 Ventures, among others. This brings REGENT’s total funding to $90 million.
Digital Assets: Northern Trust Developing Smart Contracts-Enabled Platform For Transacting Carbon Credits
Northern Trust (NASDAQ: NTRS) is developing a digital program to connect institutional buyers with project developers, facilitating the purchase of voluntary carbon credits. This initiative aims to support institutions in their efforts to achieve net-zero goals. The platform employs private ledger digital blockchain technology, enabling seamless interactions between buyers and carbon-credit suppliers. Smart contracts automate the transaction process, ensuring immediate settlement when predefined conditions are met.
One Ventures, the climate tech venture capital firm founded by Tom Chi, a founding member of Google X, has successfully closed its second fund, raising a substantial US$375 million. Much like its inaugural fund, Fund II is dedicated to supporting early-stage startups with innovative technologies aimed at enhancing the health of the planet. These technologies are poised to address some of the most environmentally damaging industries, including construction, energy, transportation, and agriculture.
Alternative Investments/ESG: New ETF From Sovereign’s Capital To Invest In Faith-Driven Companies That Care For Employees
Sovereign’s Capital has unveiled Sovereign’s Capital Flourish Fund, an active ETF with a focus on companies that the issuer deems to be the most spiritually integrated. This debut ETF, trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSEARCA: SOVF, is designed to invest in companies led by faith-driven CEOs who foster exceptional corporate cultures aimed at achieving outperformance and the flourishing of employees.
A federal appellate panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has issued a temporary injunction preventing an Atlanta-based venture fund from granting $20,000 awards exclusively to Black female entrepreneurs. They argued that this program exhibited “racial exclusion” and might violate federal anti-discrimination laws in contracting.
Atom bank and Kamma have formed a significant partnership aimed at addressing the pressing concerns of climate change. This collaboration brings together Atom bank’s cutting-edge banking technology with Kamma’s climate tech expertise, creating a comprehensive approach to understanding and mitigating climate risks associated with Atom bank’s mortgage portfolio.
Small AI-equipped boxes called “curupiras” have been deployed in the Brazilian Amazon to combat deforestation. These boxes use sensors and AI software to detect sounds of chainsaws and tractors, signaling potential threats in real-time.
Brazil’s agro fintech company Nagro has secured $49 million in funding from equity and debt sources, including Kinea Ventures and Revolution. The funding will be used to expand Nagro’s credit solutions for rural producers, focusing on credit analysis, risk monitoring, and digital credit allocations.
HSBC (LON: HSBA) has made a significant commitment in the fight against climate change by pledging to provide $1 billion in financing to early-stage climate tech startups worldwide. This initiative aims to accelerate the development of innovative solutions in areas such as electric vehicle charging, battery storage, sustainable agriculture, and carbon removal technologies.
Venture Capital: Trailhead Capital Concludes Its First $50 Million Fund Focused On Companies In The Regenerative Food And Agriculture Sector
Trailhead Capital, a mission-driven venture capital firm based in Boulder, Colorado, has successfully closed its inaugural fund, the Trailhead Capital Regeneration Fund I, with commitments totaling approximately $50 million. This achievement highlights the strong investor confidence in Trailhead’s team and its focus on expanding regenerative agriculture practices and products through tech-enabled solutions.
Galvanize Climate Solutions, a prominent global climate-focused investment firm, has successfully concluded its Innovation + Expansion Fund, raising more than $1 billion. This achievement marks a significant milestone in climate venture funding, attracting a diverse group of institutional investors, such as endowments, foundations, and family offices. The Fund’s primary goal is to invest in early- to growth-stage climate companies that play a crucial role in advancing decarbonization efforts. Beyond financial support, the Fund offers interdisciplinary resources to expedite the journey to commercial scalability.
BlackRock (NYSE: BLK) has made a significant move in the world of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) with the listing of the iShares MSCI Asia ex-Japan Climate Action ETF on the Singapore Exchange (SGX). This marks a milestone as the largest equity ETF launch in Singapore’s history, boasting an impressive US$426 million ($579.45 million) in assets. The fund’s foundation is bolstered by Prudential and a group of investors that includes Temasek and Singlife.
Optera, a leader in ESG and carbon management software, has secured $12 million in Series A funding. Next Frontier Capital led the funding round, with participation from Blackhorn Ventures, Mucker Capital, Overture, Engage, Massive, SaaS Ventures, Valo Ventures, AngelList, and Stout Street Capital.
Rockefeller Asset Management and KraneShares have jointly introduced the KraneShares Rockefeller Ocean Engagement ETF (KSEA), an innovative investment opportunity aimed at addressing the intersection of finance and ocean health. This ETF, under the ticker KSEA, is designed to invest in public companies that play a significant role in the well-being of oceans and their resources, aligning with the concept of the blue economy. This sector emphasizes sustainable solutions that yield positive outcomes for the ocean environment.
Fintech: Payhawk And Lune Make It Easier For Companies To Take More Sustainable Decisions Related To Company Spending
Payhawk, a provider of spend management solutions, has introduced “Payhawk Green,” a platform feature set aiding companies in sustainable spending decisions and Scope 3 emissions. Scope 3 emissions include indirect value chain emissions like business travel, transport, fuel, and capital goods. These features ensure compliance with UK and EU sustainability regulations and support internal initiatives such as emission offsetting.
Helsinki-based venture capital firm NordicNinja has launched its second fund, totaling €200 million (US $214 million), with substantial backing from Japanese investors. The Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC) is the cornerstone investor for NordicNinja Fund II, with additional support from European investors BaltCap and Swedbank pension funds, along with existing Japanese investors Honda and Omron.
Environmental advocates in New York are vehemently opposing the renewal of an air permit for a cryptocurrency mining facility in North Tonawanda. They argue that this operation not only threatens the quality of life for local residents but also contradicts the state’s climate goals.
Gobi Partners, an Asian venture capital firm, has invested in Electronic Recycling Through Heroes (ERTH), a Malaysian electronic waste (e-waste) recycling company. ERTH distinguishes itself with a unique approach—it not only manages responsible e-waste disposal but also rewards contributors with cash or vouchers, fostering a community-driven commitment to environmental preservation.