Mirova, an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers dedicated to sustainable investing, has held the final close of the Althelia Sustainable Ocean Fund (SOF). The fund, which is dedicated to making pioneering impact investments into marine and coastal projects and enterprises delivering sustainable economic returns in fisheries, aquaculture, the circular economy and marine conservation, attracted final commitments of more than USD132 million.
Mirova Natural Capital Limited, the London-based wholly owned subsidiary of Mirova, is the investment adviser to the SOF.
SOF is a pioneering impact investment fund that is investing to support a sustainable ocean economy globally. The fund invests in enterprises involved in three key areas of the blue economy – sustainable seafood, the circular economy and ocean conservation – and aims to improve their sustainability and efficiency. Value is created through improved productivity, reduced intermediation, increased quality and market access.
As a purpose-native and impact-driven asset manager, Mirova has identified early on the potential of investing in Nature-Based Solutions. For more than seven years now, our teams have worked to create strategies able to finance and bring to scale financially viable projects with a positive impact on natural capital and on communities. The SOF is one of our most advanced strategies and we are very proud of what it has already been able to achieve.
SOF has already committed to seven investments in areas ranging from sustainable seafood production, to tackling marine waste and plastics pollution, through to the creation of new Marine Protected Areas. The SOF is actively seeking new investable opportunities that both bring measurable and quantifiable impact to ocean and coastal ecosystems as well as demonstrate sustainable business models with a commercial return for investors. The fund team is led by Simon Dent and David Barley
The fund has also been responsible recently for forming new partnerships with Eunomia & KFW to catalyse a circular economy study in the Caribbean, where plastics recycling rates are currently amongst some of the lowest globally and the launch of a dedicated Blue Carbon facility designed to support the continued development of the ocean and coastal mangrove habitats as a key natural solution for climate change mitigation.
“The damage that we are doing to our oceans continues to threaten our existence both economically and environmentally, through overfishing, ocean acidification, and through ecosystem destruction driven by ocean bound waste and plastic pollution. The Althelia Sustainable Ocean Fund’s final close allows us, with the support of our investors, to address these issues through dedicated impact investments bringing much needed finance and supporting best practise in the sector,” says Simon Dent, Head of Blue Investments at Mirova Natural Capital.
SOF was also established in partnership with Conservation International and the Environmental Defence Fund. This collaboration with leading environmental organisations ensures the funds direct investments into projects uphold the highest environmental standards and allow for collaboration with local stakeholders, including communities and governments. The fund also benefits from a partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and has executed a risk sharing guarantee through USAID’s Development Credit Authority (DCA) that provides loan guarantees directly to portfolio investments made by the SOF.
“As well reaching a final close we are also delighted to be developing a talented investment and technical team that can help draw the roadmap for blue investments for the next decade,” says David Barley, Investment Director.