Berlin, 14 September: World Fund, Europe’s leading dedicated climate tech VC, is announcing today that the UK Environment Agency Pension Fund (EAPF) is investing in its first fund, joining more than 200 investors including PwC and Ecosia in supporting the next generation of climate tech companies.
The EAPF is a £4.5 billion (€5.3bn) UK local authority pension fund, overseeing the pensions of employees and former employees of the UK’s environmental protection agency. In line with the agency’s mission to protect and improve the environment, so must EAPF’s investments. Since 2020, the fund has been a signatory to the Paris Aligned Investment Initiative, committed to achieving a net-zero portfolio by 2050 or sooner, with the EAPF setting itself an internal deadline of 2045.
Investing in World Fund is a key part of the fund’s mission to ensure it is supporting sustainable assets and climate solutions. Founded in 2021, World Fund is Europe’s leading climate tech VC, raising €350 million to invest in the continent’s startups that have the potential to save at least 100Mt CO2e per year and tackle the most pressing issue of our time.
Climate tech is one of the fastest-growing areas of European tech - last year the ecosystem was predicted to be worth $104 billion, more than double 2020’s figures. Yet, high investment levels don’t necessarily translate to positive gains for companies and the environment.
As a result, the EAPF only invests in the most innovative, best-in-class strategies that follow its ethos of making a better environment for everyone. This focus on evidence-based solutions helped lead it to World Fund. World Fund’s strict criteria for investment aims to back companies using technology to directly reduce emissions not only to help achieve the world’s climate goals faster but also because startups that can deliver this decarbonisation will be the most valuable companies of the next decade.
In order to find these startups, World Fund’s team of experts has come up with a climate performance potential, or CPP, assessment to gauge a startup’s ability to assist in the fund’s goal of reducing emissions. This assessment has led World Fund to invest in quantum computing leader IQM, Europe’s fastest-growing space tech startup Space Forge and the precision fermentation platform Planet A Foods. The high calibre of its investment strategy, best practices and ESG frameworks saw the fund ranked first in Europe for Environmental, Social and Governance by alternative assets data and insights provider Preqin earlier this year.
Danijel Višević, co-founder of World Fund, said: “We’re delighted to have the support of EAPF in backing our first fund. Our mission at World Fund has always been to demonstrate that investing in impactful solutions isn’t at the expense of financial returns - in fact, the companies that will be able to deliver decarbonisation at scale will be the most valuable businesses of the next decade. That’s why it’s important that the financial benefits of investing in impactful climate tech startups are accessible to local government pension funds as well as global organisations. We believe in the EAPF’s investment thesis to back climate solutions at scale and look forward to working with them to do just that across Europe.”
Graham Cook, chief investment officer at EAPF, said: “We’re dealing with a climate emergency and we need innovative, science-based solutions if we’re going to make a difference. We were really impressed with World Fund’s evidence-led and scientific approach to finding the new generation of climate tech startups that will have the biggest impact in the next decade. We’re excited to work with them and deliver both positive financial and climate results for our members.”
World Fund is the leading Europe-focused climate venture capital fund established by Daria Saharova, Danijel Višević, Craig Douglas, and Tim Schumacher. From energy, food, agriculture, and land use, to building materials, manufacturing and transport, World Fund is investing in European tech with significant climate performance potential (CPP). The investment team comprises engineers, physicists, chemists, biologists, early and growth stage investors. World Fund is backing those entrepreneurs who are building tech for a regenerative world.
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