Circulate Capital Releases 2022 Year in Review, Revealing Key Milestones & Insights From Fighting Plastic Pollution in Asia

Circulate Capital

Circulate Capital, a leading circular economy investment management firm in high-growth markets, has released its 2022 Year in Review report, "Unlocking circularity, value and impact at scale", marking significant milestones in its mission to prevent plastic pollution, mitigate climate change and improve livelihoods.

Key impact figures featured in the report demonstrate significant leaps in progress across Circulate Capital's portfolio: 

  • 100,000 tonnes of plastic waste diverted from the environment, the equivalent of 2.5 billion plastic bottles and three times as much as 2021.
  • 140,000 tonnes of GHG emissions prevented, more than double the previous year and equivalent to taking 30,000 cars off the road for one year.
  • 145,000 tonnes of new recycling infrastructure capacity installed, four times as much as in 2021.
  • 1,300 new jobs created directly, doubling its 2021 impact across local communities, and supporting thousands more informal waste workers.

The impact outcomes were underpinned by notable portfolio milestones, which include:

  • Textile recycling pioneers Circ raising an additional US$55 million since Circulate Capital's initial investment. 
  • Prevented Ocean Plastic Southeast Asia opening three new collection facilities across coastal Indonesia. 
  • Indian recycling company Lucro significantly increasing its capacity by opening a new facility. 

Getting ready for scale 

In 2022, Circulate Capital focused on strengthening portfolio companies' readiness for scale via:

  • Close to 80% of its capital committed over the year going to existing portfolio companies.
  • A first successful exit, as Indonesian recycling company Tridi Oasis entered into a joint venture with a global recycling specialist and environmental services provider.

Strategic partnerships with corporate investors - PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Dow, Danone, Chanel, Unilever, The Coca-Cola Company, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC and Mondelēz International - played a crucial role to support the growth of the portfolio through knowledge sharing and connections to global supply chains. 

Private and institutional investor interest is growing 

Last year, Circulate Capital also broadened its investor base, attracting capital from the European Investment Bank (EIB), International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Proparco, a subsidiary of Agence Française de Développement. The firm also welcomed the addition of established private investors, including Builders Vision (Lukas Walton's Family Office) and the Minderoo Foundation. 

Rob Kaplan, Circulate Capital's Founder and CEO, said: "The circular investment space is going mainstream, with more investors recognizing the opportunity for impact and competitive financial returns. As the global movement to tackle plastic pollution grows, we, as a community of investors and entrepreneurs, are gearing up to catalyze scale and impact.

"We are seeing tangible positive environmental, social and financial returns across our portfolio. Looking forward, we will continue to build on this momentum to capture scalable opportunities and accelerate our progress in advancing a sustainable, circular economy for plastics." 

Four key insights from fighting plastic pollution in Asia

In addition, drawing on learnings from its journey of investing to fight plastic pollution and new developments in the circular economy space, Circulate Capital's 2022 Year in Review report outlines four key takeaways on emerging trends and tailwinds, including: 

  1. We need to accelerate. Progress is not happening fast enough. 
  2. We must foster a sustainable growth mindset with entrepreneurs.
  3. A rising tide lifts all boats. Strategic partnerships are key to scale. 
  4. Data brings confidence. More data and insights are providing investors with a clearer view of the opportunities and gaps in circular economy investments.

Read more in the report at this link.

Source: Circulate Capital


Tags: Circular economy, Environment, Impact investment, Investment, Plastic pollution

About Circulate Capital

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Circulate Capital is a leading environmental impact investor advancing the circular economy for plastics in high-growth markets, with activities and teams in 10+ countries. Partnering with global brands and financial institutions, we transform supply chains at scale by delivering economic, social, and environmental value. Launched in 2018 by supply chain experts and leading corporations - including PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Dow, Danone, Chanel, Unilever, The Coca-Cola Company, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, and Mondelēz International, the firm is scaling solutions across the recycling and innovative materials value chains. Founded in and originally focused on South and Southeast Asia, the firm now targets untapped opportunities in high-growth markets to spark further development in the emerging circular economy. It expanded its activities into Latin America with the support of IDB Lab, Builders Vision, CP Chem, Dow, Danone, Mondelēz International, and Unilever. Circulate Capital’s commitment to protecting the planet, its oceans, and its people enables progress on many of the world’s most urgent challenges, including inequality and the climate crisis.