L’Oréal announces creation of new circular innovation fund

L’Oréal has announced the creation of the Circular Innovation Fund in response to what it calls the “increasing pressure on natural resources and the urgent need to scale-up circular economy solutions”.

As an anchor investor, L’Oréal is contributing €50 million as part of its L’Oréal for the Future sustainability programme to this new €150 million fund.

Operated by Demeter and Cycle Capital, pioneers and leading cleantech-focused capital managers firms, the fund sets out to support start-ups and companies across North America, Europe and Asia, which are developing circular use of resources across various sectors, including new materials from the bioeconomy, circular solutions for packaging, recycling & waste, logistics, eco-efficient processes.

Projects supported by the Circular Innovation Fund include circular fashion start up For Days, a service “starting a circular revolution” by recycling consumers’ old clothes with the Take Back Bag and offering a robust catalogue of 100% circular, recyclable and eco-designed clothing.

A second project, Aphea.Bio, whose mission is “Applied Nature for better Agriculture”, develops “new and superior” agricultural biologicals to reduce or substitute chemicals application.

The Circular Innovation Fund has the potential to drastically re-design how we extract, manufacture, consume and dispose of goods and materials.

Christophe Babule, Executive Vice-President, Chief Financial Officer of L’Oréal, said: “L’Oréal is the initiator of the Circular Economy Fund and its first investor with 50 million euros. I am convinced that finance can play a decisive role in mitigating the impacts of climate change and can be a vehicle for progress.

“We believe impact investment is one of the ways we can contribute to spur innovation in the circular economy space as part of the L’Oréal For the Future program. Impact investing is a perfect illustration of sustainable finance, that is to say, the ability to combine financial value creation with environmental and social value creation.”

“As organisations and individuals are feeling the pressure of climate change, sustainable investing strategies will continue to soar. This strategic collaboration between impact investors and established institutions comes at a pivotal point as we need to re-think how we consume goods globally.

Andrée-Lise Méthot, Founder & Managing Partner of Cycle Capital and Stéphane Villecroze, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Demeter, said: “The Circular Innovation Fund has the potential to drastically re-design how we extract, manufacture, consume and dispose of goods and materials.

“Together, we can deliver value to the market with returns and, most importantly, deliver purpose and new innovation-driven technologies developed by talented entrepreneurs that have the potential to mitigate the environmental crisis humanity faces.”

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