Fortune 500 Brands & Corporate Foundations Extend Over $54 Million in Capital Commitments with Closed Loop Partners
June 30, 2020
Investment will support urgent need for additional recycling infrastructure and the development of end markets, keeping valuable materials in circulation across the U.S.
New York, NY — Closed Loop Partners today announced that some of the world’s largest consumer brands and corporate foundations are extending more than $54 million in capital commitments with the Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund (CLIF). This extension is testament to the progress CLIF has made over the last five years toward building a more circular economy and the sense of urgency from these brands to accelerate their circular economy goals and support the transformation of the recycling system.
Today, the original nine investors in the fund – 3M, Coca-Cola, Colgate Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health, Keurig Dr. Pepper, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and The Walmart Foundation – are extending their capital commitments, strengthening their investment in the infrastructure needed to build a more circular economy. Amazon, Danone North America, Danone Waters of America, Nestlé Waters North America and Starbucks have since joined the fund. Together, these companies’ major investments support additional recycling infrastructure and spur growth and technological innovation around end markets for post-consumer materials across North America. No company will be able to address the issue of plastic waste alone, and we need the industry to collectively work together to accelerate circular supply chains and keep materials in play.
With a global pandemic, growing climate risks and increasingly tighter municipal budgets, continued investment is critical to build our recovery infrastructure and economy back in a way that builds good job opportunities and safe and robust recovery systems to manage the critical inputs to product and packaging supply chains. And today, these brands show their shared commitment toward building back better and creating more efficient and effective systems to turn their product and packaging waste back into the inputs to future manufacturing.
The corporate investors in the Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund have proven the value created from investing in the circular economy. We invite other companies, brands and investors to join these industry leaders by investing with us in the infrastructure and technology needed to keep materials in manufacturing supply chains and out of landfills and marine environments – Ron Gonen, CEO of Closed Loop Partners.
The initial investment from these brands has already leveraged more than $200 million in co-investment, supporting the development of domestic recycling infrastructure, local jobs and new markets in cities across the country, including:
- Eureka Recycling, Minneapolis, Minnesota: A locally operated nonprofit social enterprise, Eureka recovers nearly 100,000 tons of primarily residential recycling per year. This diverts valuable material from the incinerator or landfill and protects the health and environment of the local community. Eureka prides itself on its best-in-class operation, producing high quality material; the facility has one of the lowest contamination rates in the country. Eighty percent of the facility’s material stays in Minnesota and ninety percent in the Midwest, further spurring local growth. Eureka Recycling works everyday to demonstrate that waste is preventable not inevitable.
- Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA), Florida: Since building its own state-of-the-art single stream facility, the ECUA materials recovery facility has become an asset for a region that had not previously had a long-term or reliable solution for processing recyclables. The facility generates economic benefits in the form of avoided tipping fees and revenue from commodity sales. For the 21-month period starting in January 2017, the facility generated $4.2 million in economic benefits. To date, the facility has operated at a profit margin between 10% and 30%, which gives ECUA capital to invest in other critical water, sewage, and solid waste infrastructure and programs.
- TemperPack, Virginia: On the forefront of materials science innovation, TemperPack manufactures proprietary plant and fiber-based insulated packaging solutions for cold chain shipments, perishable food and pharmaceuticals. Their products replace the need for styrofoam, a type of plastic that contaminates recycling facilities. Instead, TemperPack’s solutions are certified curbside recyclable, bringing value to recovery systems across the U.S. as their materials are kept in circulation.
Today’s reinvestment announcement builds on the success of these projects and will fund similar projects to accelerate and build circular supply chains. Thirty-seven of the world’s largest consumer brands and retailers, including many of those fueling this investment, have made public commitments to use recycled plastics in their packaging within the next ten years. This signals the opportunity to shift billions of dollars from the “take, make, waste” linear supply chain to circular supply chains. Current projections indicate new real demand of 5 million to 7.5 million metric tons of recycled content by 2030, requiring an increase of supply of 200-300%. It will only be possible to meet this need through greater collective investment from brands to move technology along faster.
Brands and investors interested in learning more about CLIF or getting involved should contact [email protected]
Quotes from Our Investors
By connecting the dots across the entire value chain, Closed Loop Partners is committed to keeping valuable materials in play. With our ambitious goals around recyclability in practice and at scale, as well as the use of recycled content in our products, we need companies like Closed Loop Partners to continue to increase the efficiency of supply chains so that we can access more recycled content. The demand is there, but the supply side needs investment and that’s why we’re reinvesting our capital with Closed Loop Partners. Let’s continue the good work! – Ann Tracy, CSO, Colgate Palmolive
Keurig Dr Pepper’s business is fueled by the power of partnerships which we use to drive positive impact. We signed on as original investors in Closed Loop Partners’ Infrastructure Fund to address waste and pollution in North America. As the waste system and potential solutions continue to evolve, there is still work to be done. Today we are recommitting to the important work being done by CLP and our co-investors by reinvesting in the Infrastructure Fund and continuing to strengthen domestic recycling capacity and technology across the country – Monique Oxender, Chief Sustainability Officer, Keurig Dr Pepper
We joined the Closed Loop Investment Fund as a founding member because it is an innovative impact investment opportunity that we believe will increase access to recycling infrastructure across the U.S. Based on the rigorous performance criteria for the Fund, it has been a wise investment decision for our company and we have decided to reinvest for another five-year term. The Fund has shown how industry leaders can come together to advance the circular economy and create a more sustainable future – Paulette Frank, VP, Environmental Health, Safety & Sustainability, Johnson & Johnson
At 3M, Science for Circular is one of our top sustainability priorities and we are committed to advancing design solutions that do more with less material. To reach our targets and promote a global circular economy, we need to ensure recycled materials are widely available. Closed Loop Partners is on the front lines of this work and their investment in recycling facilities across the country has driven much needed growth. We are proud of our continued collaboration and aim to build on the momentum we are seeing in the recycling sector to create a better future – Gayle Schueller, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, 3M
At Coca-Cola we care about the environment and the natural resources we all share. That’s why we set a global goal to collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle or can we sell globally by 2030. We know we can’t reach this goal without significant partners like the Closed Loop Fund who are helping to address the gaps in the domestic recycling system. We’re excited to continue our investment in the Closed Loop Fund and support their meaningful progress to optimize and upgrade recycling infrastructure as we work to realize our vision for a World Without Waste – Bruce Karas, Vice President, Safety and Sustainability, Coca-Cola North America
At PepsiCo, we’re striving to build a world where plastic need never become waste by reducing, recycling and reinventing our packaging. But we know we can’t do it alone. Through our investment in Closed Loop Partners’ Infrastructure Fund, recycling facilities across the country are being improved, helping give new life to materials and driving sustainable change. We are committed to building a circular future for packaging and know that impact at scale requires partnerships like this – Tim Carey, Vice President of Sustainability, PepsiCo Beverages North America
Now more than ever we are committed to making a positive impact on society and the environment. Strengthening and developing recycling infrastructure across North America is a critical part of this. Closed Loop Partners’ investment track record proves that investing in the development of the circular economy is not only environmentally beneficial but also good for the economic recovery. Increased access to recycling creates thriving communities, spurring innovation in end markets, getting materials back into supply chains for reuse and creating a healthier environment – Virginie Helias, Chief Sustainability Officer, Procter & Gamble
Our plastics commitments include halving our use of virgin plastic and collecting and processing more plastic than we sell by 2025. Investing in recycling infrastructure is key to both of these goals, and Closed Loop Partners helps make it possible to support a circular economy for plastics. Our vision is a world where everyone works together to keep plastic within the circular economy and out of the environment – Viviana Alvarez, Head of Sustainability for Unilever North America
The plastics value chain needs to be rewired for circularity, and innovation and infrastructure investments are needed to seriously address the plastic waste issue in the United States. We are proud to be a lead investor in the Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund to continue to advance waste reduction solutions in communities across the country – Chelsea Scantlan, Senior Program Officer, The Walmart Foundation
About Closed Loop Partners
Closed Loop Partners is a New York based investment firm comprised of venture capital, growth equity, private equity, project finance and an innovation center. The firm invests in the circular economy, a new economic model focused on a profitable and sustainable future. In 2014, Closed Loop Partners established the Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund (CLIF) that provides zero interest and below market rate loans to companies and municipalities building recycling and circular economy infrastructure in North America. Investors in CLIF include Amazon, 3M, Coca-Cola, Colgate Palmolive, Danone North America, Danone Waters of America, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health, Keurig Dr. Pepper, Nestlé Waters North America, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, Unilever and The Walmart Foundation. Learn more at www.closedlooppartners.com.