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An investment firm called Closed Loop Ventures (they’re the folks behind the NextGen Cup challenge for Starbucks and McDonalds) has raised $100m USD for a fund to make early-stage equity investments into sustainable consumer goods companies, advanced recycling technologies, and services related to eliminating ocean plastic pollution, Bloomberg News reports. Rob Kaplan, the Fund’s Founder who used to be the Director of Sustainability at Walmart, believes that the fund’s investments are not only good for the environment but also will someday yield double-digit returns, and if they do, then big bucks from institutional investors will follow and that will be transformative.
Why This Matters: Yet another whale washed up this week dead from ingesting plastic — this one in Scotland and it had 220 pounds of trash in its belly. We desperately need solutions to the plastic epidemic. This fund has enough money to test the hypothesis that impact-investing can change the world and make the circular economy not only possible but also profitable. Finding a way to stop the flow of the 8 million tons of plastic trash that streams into the world’s oceans annually will not be easy or cheap but these “investors” should be responsible for doing it.
To Go Deeper: A House hearing yesterday examined how innovative finance mechanisms have already been a game-changer. For example, Connecticut’s innovative Green Bank launched in 2011 moved the state from a public funding model to an investment model that leveraged private funding at a nearly 7:1 ratio, resulting in $1.7 billion of high-impact new clean energy investments in Connecticut in the past eight years.
By Eric Schwaab, Senior Vice President, Environmental Defense Fund These are challenging times for our oceans and fisheries. Climate impacts, so evident along our coasts, in our forests, and on our farms, are even more disruptive to our oceans. Fish stocks are shifting at unprecedented rates and in unexpected ways. Fishermen are traveling farther to […]
by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Along North Carolina’s coast, commercial fishers who used to catch clams are now bringing in marine debris. The four-man crew was contracted by the North Carolina Coastal Federation to haul away debris from Hurricane Florence, which hit the state in 2018. It’s funded by the NOAA Marine Debris Program, […]
by Margaret Spring and Justin Kenney Preparing to take office on January 20, President-elect Joe Biden is building the most qualified and experienced team of experts that any president has assembled to address the climate change crisis. As excited and hopeful as we are about the Biden Administration’s extraordinary climate team, there is a major […]
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