Climate change and sustainability are private equity’s most influential trends. ESG investments are no longer for the sake of good PR but integral to a fund’s success. However, the challenge investors and funds are facing is how to define ESG impact and outcomes. Over the past 15 years, ETF Partners has specialised in just this. ETF Partners strives to demonstrate that venture capital offers compelling answers to one of the world’s most pressing problems: achieving sustainability. Each year, ETF Partners invests in European companies that have the potential for positive environmental impact. Evaluating the impact of our portfolio companies and their contributions to the planet are vital to keeping to our fund’s values of transparency and authenticity.
Today we are pleased to share our impact reports highlighting the positive environmental impact of our companies during 2020. One of our success stories is London-based Zeelo, which promotes shared transportation through calculated optimised bus routes. Over the pandemic, Zeelo has prevented almost half a million private car trips to reduce petrol costs and CO2 emissions. In France, we invested in Phenix, a revolutionary food waste management software that has helped supermarkets save over 34.5 million meals. And in Germany, we funded the sustainable banking company Tomorrow. Thirty kilotons of CO2 have been saved through @ Tomorrow’s work, equivalent to the annual emissions of a small town.
These are only a few examples of the meaningful and impactful work of our portfolio companies. More promising, however, are their high growth trajectories that indicate how impactful they will be in the foreseeable future. As most of this impact was evaluated through the COVID-19 pandemic, one trend has been clear: the crisis has greatly increased investors’ focus on sustainability and the importance of measuring impact in a meaningful way. This trend will not only boost the importance of our work and our companies’ goals but also gives us great confidence that our environmental impact will only grow from here.
Zoe trained as a mathematician at Harvard and then as a lawyer. Working in sustainability since 2008, she co-founded a listed clean energy fund in 2013, and later joined ETF in 2019 as the Head of Sustainability and Investor Relations.