Lightrock, a leading global impact investor backed by LGT and the Princely House of Liechtenstein, today announced its minority investment of 10% in South Pole, one of the world’s largest companies fully focused on fighting climate change. For investors around the world this sends a clear signal: climate action is now squarely at the centre of attention and a rewarding investment. Following an unprecedented spike in demand for climate solutions in the last year, the mid-sized, double digit million Euro investment announced today will help South Pole meet exploding demand and achieve its mission of accelerating the global transition to a climate-smart society.
South Pole, a social enterprise recognised by the World Economic Forum’s Schwab Foundation, has developed nearly 1,000 projects in over 50 countries to massively reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Projects range from sustainable agriculture, forest conservation, waste management, energy efficiency, to decentralized renewable energy. Across the world, South Pole enables thousands of leading companies, including Nestlé, L'Oréal, and Tetra Pak, to achieve net-zero emissions.
For over fourteen years, Lightrock has pioneered investing into scalable and tech-driven businesses around three themes: people, planet, and productivity/tech for good. Today, it is a direct investor in over 60 companies around the world, with over US$ 1 billion in invested capital. LGT has over US$ 270 billion assets under management.
The world is in the grips of a climate crisis. Lightrock’s investment in South Pole is motivated by the growing urgency to meet this challenge, coupled with the realization that dramatically more financing is needed. Both companies, as leaders in their fields, recognize that scaled up action today is urgent to avoid irrecoverable damage to people and the planet, and wish to take advantage of the enormous market opportunity that investment into a low-carbon economy offers.
“Climate change has finally become a public, political, regulatory, and corporate hot topic. Reflecting this, we have witnessed a strong growth in carbon markets, driven by growing corporate and consumer demand for climate neutral solutions,” says Pal Erik Sjatil, CEO and Global Managing Partner Lightrock. “South Pole has developed the largest portfolio of carbon projects in the world. In terms of people, they have an exceptional talent base with over 470 sector specialists around the world, ranging from environmental scientists, engineers, social scientists, renewable energy experts, and more. We have been very impressed by the extensive solutions platform built by the team and look forward to partnering with South Pole in accelerating global climate action.
H.S.H. Prince Max von und zu Liechtenstein, Chairman LGT and Lightrock, says: “In addition to South Pole’s size and global presence, we chose to partner with South Pole based on two key differentiators. First, we consider the quality of its carbon projects as second to none. Second, the strategy that South Pole has developed to help clients on their climate journey towards zero carbon has proven extremely effective. On top of this, the company’s intention to materially improve lives, not just decarbonize operations, aligns well with our own ambitions and convictions.”
“Climate change and global inequality are among the most pressing challenges of our generation”, says Renat Heuberger, CEO of South Pole. “As entrepreneurs and scientists, our passion is to tackle these challenges with market-based approaches. We have come a long way since incorporating South Pole as a start-up in 2006. With Lightrock as an investor and partner, we can scale up our impact dramatically. And nothing less is required if we are to achieve a sustainable, more equitable and climate neutral economy.”
The investment in South Pole is one of Lightrock’s first and largest to demonstrate a dedicated portfolio around Lightrock’s key investment theme “Planet”, focusing on companies that contribute to the UN’s SDG 13 “Climate Action.” These are companies that enable a greener, more efficient energy value chain or that accelerate the transition into the circular economy.“
"We envision a regenerative system of resource usage supporting economic development whilst reversing environmental degradation", says Cornelius Walter, Senior Advisor to Lightrock on climate positive solutions. “The current convergence of technological readiness, regulatory action, consumer awareness, and talent attracted to purpose represents an unprecedented and unique opportunity. For us as investors to scale climate-positive solutions in partnership with ambitious entrepreneurs like South Pole, this is a strong step in the right direction not only for us, but for people and the planet as well.”
South Pole recognizes that private sector climate action is essential to address climate change. To leverage this potential, South Pole focuses on working with large companies to reduce their environmental footprint while making concrete impacts on removing CO2 from the atmosphere through direct development of climate action projects. Founded in 2006, South Pole today has about 500 staff in 18 offices globally, and has developed about 1,000 projects responsible for removing, reducing or avoiding over 100 million tonnes of CO2e to date. South Pole has worked with over 1,000 companies and organizations on their climate journeys.
Your contact at South Pole:
Director of Communications
Lightrock is a global private equity platform investing in sustainable businesses built by purpose-driven entrepreneurs and committed to innovation for systemic change at scale. Since 2007, Lightrock has invested in companies that pursue scalable and tech-driven business models around the key impact themes of people, planet, and productivity/tech for good. Lightrock’s portfolio includes more than 60 high-growth companies, supported by over 55 professionals based in 7 cities across Europe, LatinAmerica, India and Africa. Lightrock is backed by the Princely House of Liechtenstein and LGT, the international private banking and asset management group.
Your contact at Lightrock:
Dr. Katharina Sommerrock
Phone: +41 79 876 1961