World leaders at last year’s COP26 conference laid out ambitious plans to reach the Paris Agreement target: limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
Despite the best intentions of many nations, Climate Action Tracker analysis shows that if the pledges made at COP26 are fully implemented, temperatures could still exceed the Paris Agreement target and hit 1.8°C.
The Green Revolution
A few days later, I attended the CBI Conference where Boris Johnson talked about a “Green Revolution” for the UK, citing his government’s ten-point plan and net zero strategy, which is expected to trigger around £90 billion of private sector investment. The plan, which CPI is well-placed to support, includes vital further investment in green transport, wind energy, carbon capture and critically: green finance. Government spending on R&D is at its highest level in four decades, which is hugely encouraging.
This is all backed by the UK-wide Innovation Strategy, from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which sets out a long-term plan for delivering innovation-led growth. The primary objective is to boost private sector investment across the whole of the UK. The strategy states that “innovation is central to the largest challenges the world faces, from climate change and the ageing society to global pandemics.”
This message is received loud and clear at CPI where we are growing our asset base and expertise to support companies developing more sustainable battery materials, alternative fuels and more sustainable materials for clothing manufacturing. We believe that by investing in innovations like these, we can quickly make big changes.
It isn’t just the government who are making great strides though. A new wave of activist shareholders are forcing companies to pay attention to the threat of climate change. Recent boardroom coups at ExxonMobil and Chevron prove that big investors are no longer sitting on the side-lines of climate action. A recent report by Dealroom and London & Partners revealed thatglobal climate tech investment has boomed, with 5x more venture capital funding in 2021 than 2016. Investment in Europe is growing faster than the global average at 7x and 4.9x, respectively.
So, what does the future look like?
CPI’s vision centres on two pillars – a healthier society, and a cleaner environment – both underpinned by digital technology to enable a vibrant UK society and economy. At CPI Enterprises (the investor engagement and ventures arm of CPI), we want to invest in companies that share our vision for a cleaner future and are developing innovative technologies or solutions to global challenges. This is why we recently invested in Qualus, a clean tech company that is helping global tanneries reduce the environmental impact of their leather production.
Investors aren’t the only ones driving change though. At the CBI Conference, it was apparent that large corporates are cognisant of the need for change to satisfy the consumer. Now more than ever, there appears to be a swell of consumer opinion changing companies, and the Prime Minister seems to be of the same opinion, citing in his speech that consumers will be the driving force behind radical change in the UK.
It’s also encouraging to note that some fund managers are solely focused on green investment and sustainable ventures and won’t invest if a company can’t demonstrate these credentials. Investors are looking for impactful investment opportunities promising solutions to the climate crisis and financial returns.
What part is CPI Enterprises playing?
We want to partner with investors and entrepreneurs to support the scale up of climate tech through to commercialisation. We’re building a portfolio of investments in early-stage deep tech companies that we can support with our assets and expertise, and we work with a vibrant network of investors to facilitate capital-efficient investment into these companies.
We work with so many entrepreneurs and innovators who are incredibly passionate about what they’re doing, really believe in their technology and have a vision for changing the world. When you see that in a team, that’s a team you want to invest in. And of course, we want to work with investors who have the same mindset, who are focused on green investment and sustainable ventures and share our vision for a cleaner future.
CPI has a long history of translating climate tech ideas and research into viable and sustainable products and processes, which transform the way industries work.
In October 2021, we announced that CPI is pioneering an open-access National Packaging Innovation Centre that will provide access to industrially relevant capabilities and expertise for packaging innovation development and demonstration. The centre will accelerate progress towards the UK’s target for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, driving productivity in the UK and ultimately, improving the long-term health of our environment.
Our expertise and capabilities in climate tech will ultimately help deliver a better future for our Earth and everyone in it. Adding the ability for CPI to invest and bringing investors closer to the companies we work with increases the chances of successfully scaling up and deploying climate tech. Ultimately, this keeps alive the prospect of meeting the Paris Agreement’s target of 1.5° C. I’m excited to see where our commitment to sustainable investing takes us next.
If you’re an entrepreneur or investor interested in climate tech and exploring the potential for collaboration with CPI, please do reach out to me anytime.
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CPI ensures that great inventions gets the best opportunity to become a successfully marketed product or process. We provide industry-relevant expertise and assets, supporting proof of concept and scale up services for the development of your innovative products and processes.