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sustainability fund will back innovators

August 1999

Five of Europe’s largest insurers are to launch a $100 million venture capital fund that will invest in companies promoting sustainability.

The Sustainability Fund, which will pump money into businesses judged ‘likely to become key players in enabling sustainable growth’, will be formed by the newly launched Sustainability Partners Initiative (SIP), which brings together Storebrand of Norway, German insurers Victoria/Ergo and Gerling, Swiss Re, ING Group of the Netherlands, and also Sustainable Asset Management of Switzerland.

The fund will concentrate on making equity investments in younger companies ‘that promise outstanding financial performance and whose sustainable technologies are critical for mainstream companies to sustain long-term profits’.

The new partnership is also exploring the idea of setting up a Carbon Offset Investment Programme to encourage investment in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

SIP was initiated by Gerling and launched at the fifth annual conference of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Insurance Industry Initiative in Oslo.

Jürgen Zech, chief executive of the Gerling group, said the idea of a Sustainability Fund had been developed ‘because we believe that companies caring for sustainable development are also well-managed.’

Åge Korsvold, chief executive of Storebrand, said the fund would allow the six participating companies to ‘translate their commitment to sustainability into real action’.




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