Althelia Sustainable Ocean Fund (SOF): Impact Report 2020
Discover the 2020 Althelia Sustainable Ocean Fund Impact Report.
The Althelia Sustainable Ocean Fund (SOF) reached its final close in May 2020 securing over US$ 130m of public and private investor commitments to support sustainable blue economy investments in emerging markets globally. This was achieved in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic and the team has been working hard through this period of disruption to manage and deploy capital in a rapidly changing world.
At the time of writing SOF has now completed eight investments across our target themes of sustainable seafood, the circular blue economy and ocean conservation. These represent nearly $45m of initial commitments of which four were executed during 2020: Recycled Technologies, Plastic for Change, nextProtein and Clean Marine Group.
As with all businesses globally we have had to adapt to the realities of the ongoing global COVID pandemic. Whilst in early Q1 2020 the team made trips to Belize and the Caribbean, they spent the remaining part of the year marooned, working from home in the UK, France and the USA. Despite this, the team has worked well under the new arrangements and has been busy on new projects, as well working with the existing portfolio to manage the economic and environmental effects of COVID-19.
The pandemic has in many cases increased ocean issues, triggering a huge increase in the global use of personal protective equipment. Some estimates placing associated disposals at some 129 billion face masks and 65 billion gloves every month1, likely to contribute further to the 80% of ocean plastics coming from land. In the developing world, this plastic often ends up mismanaged in open dumps, eventually leaking into the environment, ultimately making its way into rivers and then into the oceans where it is mistaken, for example, as jelly fish or creates an entanglement risk for a variety of fish and animals. The SOF is working on solutions for the safe disposal and recycling of single use plastics through its pipeline in India, Indonesia, Fiji and the Dominican Republic.
The ocean is critical to life on earth and we can only address global sustainability and climate change through protecting a healthy and vibrant ocean. Whilst the current environment has made it more difficult to complete investments, the pandemic underlines that investing into nature is now even more critical in order to address the significant environmental issues the world faces.
We continue to place environmental, social and governance (ESG) risk management and impact at the heart of our investment selection and management process and we are pleased to present our progress over 2020 to addressing ocean environmental issues.
1 - “COVID-19 Pandemic Repercussions on the Use and Management of Plastics”, Environmental Science & Technology (2020).
The Althelia Sustainable Ocean Fund (“Fund”) is a Luxembourg SICAV-SIF authorized by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (“CSSF”), closed to new subscription. Alter Domus Management Company S.A. is the Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM) of the Fund and is duly authorized by the CSSF as an alternative investment fund manager pursuant to Chapter 2 of the AIFM Law and the AIFM Directive. Mirova Natural Capital Limited is an investment advisor to Alter Domus Management Company S.A. The fund is exposed to capital loss risk, deal flow risk, operational risk, liquidity risk, country risk, market risk, regulatory risk, currency risk, counterparty risk and project risk.
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Mirova, today announces the final close of the Althelia Sustainable Ocean Fund (“SOF”), a fund dedicated to making pioneering impact investments into marine and coastal projects and enterprises that can deliver sustainable economic returns in fisheries, aquaculture, the circular economy and marine conservation. The fund’s final commitments are now more than $132 million. Mirova Natural Capital Limited, the London-based wholly owned subsidiary of Mirova, is the investment advisor to the SOF.
The US$1.2 million facility allows the Marine Protected Area co-manager, Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association (TASA), to implement a number of sustainable revenue-generating initiatives and enhance the protection of the 132,000 hectares of spectacular coral reef ecosystems. The investment will have a positive impact on the local economy, including coastal fisher communities.