In an effort to boost capital investments geared towards recycling infrastructure and the development of the development of the circular economy, the Closed Loop Foundation has launched a new research initiative.
Supported by grants from Goldman Sachs Center for Environmental Markets and Wells Fargo Foundation, the study seeks perspectives from capital providers and seekers working across the system — from residential curbside collection to advanced technologies and materials sciences. The analysis will provide investors interested in strong financial and environmental returns with actionable insights for deploying capital in this space.
“No one has yet been able to capture the capital investment available or needed to truly close the loop on post-consumer waste. A lack of data is a significant barrier for investors,” said Ron Gonen, board chair of the Foundation.
Closed Loop’s study will focus on three key areas:
- Where capital has been deployed: Recent trends in capital investments with a focus on activity within the past three years
- Where capital is going: Near-term forecasts for expansion, future investment and associated impact
- Where gaps exist and what could be achieved if they were filled: Needed long-term investment and capacity to support stronger end market demand for PCR and significantly stronger infrastructure and innovation by 2030
“Better understanding the capital requirements and opportunities that can drive greater resource efficiency and closed loop systems is incredibly important. We hope this study helps to inform investors and capital users in this regard,” said Kevin Smith, of Goldman Sachs Center for Environmental Markets and a member of the study’s advisory group.
As a result of the study, stakeholders will have access to practical guidance on investable opportunities across a wide spectrum of types and sources of capital. It will highlight deals across all aspects of circular infrastructure — from design and manufacturing to collection, sorting and processing. A public report will be available later this year.
Closed Loop Partners also plans to host events to help interested parties act on the report’s findings.
“We need to better understand the risks and opportunities related to closed loop and circular economy investments, that have significant opportunities to help our customers and communities be more resilient, while protecting natural resources,” said Puon Penn, of Wells Fargo Tech Capital and a member of the study advisory group.