Ready to step up to the climate emergency but don’t know where best to invest? Here are 3 ideas
By Johannes Hammerstein – Kylla Vice President Corporate Transactions and Wayne Hovdestad – Associate Partner
We all know by now about the climate emergency we face. The impact of industrial pollution, the plastic waste that is destroying our land, rivers and oceans, the pollution in the big cities… What we don’t know so well is how to tackle them. So, I want to throw out a few of ideas about the opportunities that are available to us.
The world of private equity investment is full of new and established companies who claim that they follow at least one of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. But is this true? Are they really doing so and how? Or are they making this claim to boost their marketing?
Besides trust, there is a second issue to consider: where do you want to place your long-term focus and what should you be considering from a sustainable development perspective? Here are some suggestions and thoughts based on our interests and expertise:
- Electric vehicles: It is estimated that by 2040, electric vehicles (EVs) will constitute 54% of global new car sales. As the greener and more cost-efficient alternative to fossil-fuel cars, EVs will soon be a fixture of everyday life. But lithium mining (needed to make the batteries) has a major impact on the local environment as it requires pumping out the saline brine. This in turn lowers the water table. To obtain one ton of lithium requires between 400,000 and 2 million litres of brine is required, depending on the concentration. However, once considered “cutting-edge, the lithium-ion battery may actually soon be a thing of the past. An Australian company claims to have developed an aluminium-ion battery that is more environmentally friendly and sustainable and which charges in 1/60th of the time of a lithium-ion battery. So if you’re interested, there are some interesting battery and electric vehicle investment opportunities to talk about.
- Alternative and environmentally friendly energy: Horizontal wells, long used in the oil and gas industry, show real potential to improve the efficacy of geothermal electric power plants. The reason? They make it possible to pump far more superheated water from deep in the earth to supply steam power plants on the surface. On a different but related tack, with more than half of the oil and gas we use going into making fertilizers, plastics and asphalt, new chemical formulations are being developed that combine ecologically sound biodegradability with high levels of environmental safety. There are exciting investment opportunities in both these areas.
- Improved process monitoring and operations: Many industries are struggling to tighten their process monitoring and operations in the face of stricter environmental standards. The issues they face involve data and consistency. Technology, including artificial intelligence, offers ways to create solutions that are both environmentally responsible and sustainable for the oil & gas, chemical, electronics/semiconductor manufacturing, biotech sectors and more. Various innovative new companies are taking the lead in this, and being very familiar with this field, we know them well.
If you share our belief in the need to fight for a sustainable world for developed and emerging economies, we would be delighted to discuss where we can add value to your sustainable development goals and sustainability strategy.