The IPCC, ‘A liveable and sustainable future for all’ and 5 Katapult portfolio companies proving the necessity of impact investment
Last Monday, the IPCC released its latest report. Amidst sobering reading, the report concludes with the words: ‘A liveable and sustainable future for all’. The science is clear and this is what is at stake. For Katapult, the IPCC’s findings not only serve to validate our mission of building a thriving world for all but to redouble our commitment to impact investment.
Described by the scientific community as ‘the bleakest warning yet’, the IPCC once again underlines the disastrous effects of climate change and the continued gulf between rhetoric and action. In 2022, these assessments do not require a leap of imagination from the reader. Over recent years, the predicted storms, droughts, forest fires and famines have jumped from academic footnotes to the lived experience of millions. The now apparent magnitude of the problem we face leaves little room for inaction, consternation or indecision.
The glaringly obvious is that the threat of climate change necessitates action and a ‘do better’ ethos from every section of society. This could not be more true for the field of venture capital. Over the last 5 years Katapult has been on a mission to innovate in the field with the unyielding belief that through mobilizing people, startups and capital we are able to build a healthier planet.
Key to our investment strategy is a belief that the deployment of capital should not serve to simply reduce harm as with the traditional understanding of ESG. Instead, impact investment requires a head-on, solution-oriented approach. With a climate so evidently in crisis we invest in startups who put problem-solving at the very core of their business model.
Moving beyond a no-harm approach is not only an environmental necessity but a clear market opportunity. Katapult Partner and Climate CEO, Nina Heir says, “Through an investment mandate that seeks to address climate change both concretely and holistically we are simultaneously able to create the building blocks of a healthier climate and meet our commitment to present and future investors.”
An investment thesis in action and the hopes of investment impact
While it is difficult to underemphasize the severity of the IPCC report, we are both proud of the positive impact Katapult has made and highly optimistic toward the opportunities our investment model has the ability to generate. Last year, 2 (Solugen and Prometheus) of the 28 Climate Unicorns derived from Katapult Investments. In turn, they represent only 2 of Katapult’s 64 climate related investments. With each investment, we not only accelerate the ability of impact startups to address real-world problems but demonstrate the viability of our investment model.
In an era where ‘sustainability’ has become the corporate buzzword, the ability to demonstrate impact has become all the more important. The frames dictated by the IPCC are clear and action must not give way to further inaction. In this spirit, we want to present 5 Katapult Portfolio Companies who are directly addressing issues raised by the scientific community and are offering unique solutions that address the very core of the problems at hand. In doing so, they both embody the Katapult vision and are testament to impact in action:
“Projected climate change, combined with non-climatic drivers, will cause loss and degradation of much of the world’s forests, coral reefs and low-lying coastal wetlands .”
IPCC WGII Sixth Assessment Report, p.14.
Rising CO2 emissions, Ocean acidification and damaging fishing practices have caused large scale destruction of coral reefs. With reefs being home to a wealth of ocean biodiversity the consequences of their loss further exacerbate the declining health of oceans. The maritime construction sector must now ensure that project development is conducted without further harm to underwater ecosystems.
Arc Marines Reef Cubes are the only carbon-neutral, plastic-free solution for marine habitat restoration in the world. Designed for longevity, Reef Cubes utilize the patented Marine Crete to ensure a safe, secure and sustainable deployment.
Reef Cubes are an award-winning product, designed to support and protect life on our seafloor and coastlines. Manufactured solely from marine-friendly waste material they are the perfect substrate for marine flora and fauna, whilst also satisfying the growing need for environmentally and ethically sound marine products.
“Importantly, climate resilient development prospects are increasingly limited if current greenhouse gas emissions do not rapidly decline, especially if 1.5°C global warming is exceeded in the near term.”
IPCC WGII Sixth Assessment Report, p.37.
At the core of the climate crisis lies the indisputable rise of carbon emissions and associated negative consequences. Despite scientific consensus, both companies and consumers often feel limited in the tools they can deploy or utilize to offset carbon emissions.
CHOOOSE builds digital tools so that we all can make climate action part of everyday life. Designed for businesses of all sizes, CHOOOSE APIs and software offer climate compensation at check-out, in-app, or anywhere they meet their customers online. To date, Choose has reduced global carbon emissions in excess of 30 million tons.
“Currently, ~4 billion out of 7.8 billion people are estimated to experience severe water scarcity for at least one month per year due to climatic and non-climatic factors.”
IPCC WGII Sixth Assessment Report, p.625.
Lack of access to clean water is a major threat to modern society, and the problem is evolving. Desalination of salt water is one solution but desalination plants create CO2 emissions due to high energy use. Furthermore, current methods use a large amount of extracted salts, minerals, and source water that mix to form a hyper saline slurry (brine) and in turn contributes to ocean pollution.
Desolenator uses clean solar energy in a new way to create high-quality water at scale with a 95% reduction in chemical use. No filters. No membranes. No harmful chemicals. In addition, they use local resources giving employment opportunities to women in the communities they work in.
“Kelp ecosystems support fisheries, aquaculture, fertilizer, and food provision, including for local and Indigenous Peoples, along with regulating services in the form of wave attenuation and habitat provision. Kelp aquaculture can also buffer against local acidification and contribute to carbon storage.”
IPCC WGII Sixth Assessment Report, p.423.
Climate change is drastically altering our ocean ecosystems. With a loss of biodiversity, and rising water temperatures, the natural infrastructure of the ocean that helps insulate us from the worst effects of climate change, is at risk of irreparable damage.
By harnessing the naturally regenerative properties of seaweed, Ocean Rainforest is providing a scalable solution for oceanic protection. Through producing seaweed in sustainable seaweed farms, Ocean Rainforest not only produces a highly sustainable and commercially viable product but their farms combat climate change by acting as net carbon sinks.
“Paint appears as the largest source of microplastic leakage into the Ocean & Waterways (1.9 Mt/year), outweighing all other sources of microplastic leakage (e.g. textiles fibres and tyre dust).”
Environmental Action, Plastic Paints the Environment (February, 2022).
A new study has found that 58% of microplastics in our oceans derive from paint. While abrasive blasting is a key technique in maintaining maritime infrastructure, the process pollutes the environment and can damage sensitive equipment nearby by releasing blast media, rust, heavy metals and microplastics. This conventional process also creates dust that is a health issue for workers.
Pinovo has developed an abrasive blasting solution that ensures zero pollution and zero damage. The closed-loop system contains the waste, making Pinovo dust-free, and enables complete waste management control from nozzle to landfill. The solution also improves health and safety in the workplace.