Having been working on gaining investment for Jet Fuel from Waste we have come to realise that not all investors, even those working within sustainability investing have sustainable aviation fuel on their agendas. We have spoken to many large institutions and grant programmes and the usual answers is that is not in scope right now or not part of the portfolio for this period.
With emissions reduction targets that are currently not on track, this being mentioned at the ‘The role of low carbon fuels in achieving the Paris agreement‘ at Sustainability Week, at the European Commission: 18th June, how do we expect to fulfil these when the finance is not necessarily there to scale up technology that is ready and available? As well as supporting new tech to continue to evolve.
We attend ‘All about Impactful Investing’ at King’s College, London, in January. The programme discussed fund management, wealth investors, impact reporting, aligning investments with SDGs and more. It was evident at this event that there is a turn around in thinking. As consumer behaviour changes businesses realise that they won’t cut it in the future if they don’t have sustainability through and through and not just a nod to it. It needs to be a pillar of the business strategy and no longer CSR.
In literal terms the capital needs to move, confidence needs to increase and more risk taking in this area needs to happen. Marko Janhunen of UPM mentioned policy uncertainly was a major factor in the fact that of funding wasn’t moving quick enough.
Clariant, a world leader in chemicals, mentioned at the same meeting that they had just invested €100 million in a bio based plant in Romania which shows leadership in decarbonising the future of the industry. Another company is GF Biochemicals who have been operating in the biochemical industry since 2008 and are pioneers in the shift to bio. Will we see others follow soon?
There was talk that €20 billion per year up to 2050 was needed in investment to reach the EU targets which is not on track.
It was noted this week that, Robeco, Dutch sustainable investment group, currently has a job opening for a biofuel analyst which is encouraging and does demonstrate understanding that the market needs to be assessed and monitored so reports can be presented to investors looking to the future of the bio based industry.
Bodies such as http://biofutureplatform.org and https://www.irena.org/ presented at the meeting at the Commission and explained about working towards scaling up the industry and the energy transition but again the International Energy Agency figures showed transport and some other sectors are lagging behind which was discussed by Paolo Franki in Brusssel’s this week, so still a way to go. Pharoah Le Feuvre of IEA recently sumed up the state of play in the sustainable jet fuel world and explains some of the drivers needed in the article he wrote in March this year.
The meeting was well attended and created an important discussion that needs to be had many more times until we see further policy change to support the production and emission reduction targets.