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Blue Earth makes first climate impact investment in India

Published: 26 February 2024

The investment in dry waste management company Nepra addresses “a clear climate challenge”,  the Swiss specialist impact investor said.

Main Bazar, Paharganj, New Delhi, India
Record levels of urbanisation combined with strong population growth has led to increased waste generation in India. | Photo by Hadynyah via iStock

Blue Earth Capital has made an investment in Nepra Resource Management, India’s leading dry waste management company and a pioneer in promoting a circular economy in the world’s most populous country.  

According to Blue Earth Capital, the transaction has been done in partnership with leading India-based impact investor Aavishkaar Capital. No financial details were disclosed.

“We believe that responsible waste management is not only vital for environmental stewardship but also presents a significant opportunity for economic growth and societal benefit,” said Rohan Ghose, director of private equity partnerships at Blue Earth Capital.

We also look forward to delivering value through our strategic collaboration with Aavishkaar Capital which underscores our commitment to fostering sustainable practices together with leading fund managers.”

1.4 billion people

Blue Earth Capital was founded in 2015 by Urs Wietlisbach, a co-founder of Partners Group, and is owned by his Blue Earth Foundation, a Swiss-based non-profit whose initiatives and business ventures aim to deliver a more equitable and sustainable future. Blue Earth Capital operates dedicated private equity, private credit, and fund solutions.

In February, the firm announced it had bought part of the stakes held by British International Investment in three African and Asian funds. And in January, the firm said it had closed its new climate impact fund above target at $378m.

The investment in Nepra, Blue Earth Capital’s first climate-focused private equity impact investment in India,  addresses “a clear climate challenge”,  the firm said.

India, which last year overtook China as the world’s most populous country with more than 1.4bn people, according to the United Nations, is experiencing “unprecedented levels of urbanisation”. Combined with a growing population, this has led to increased consumption and waste generation. Annual material consumption may rise to around 14bn tonnes by 2030, compared with 1.2bn tonnes in 1970.

“Nepra has been a pioneer in India’s dry waste management ecosystem and has built very strong digital transformation tools and state of the art infrastructure to enable inclusive circular economy and ‘zero waste to landfill’ models,” said Sandeep Patel, chief executive officer of Nepra. “Along the journey, we have created positive climate outcomes, while also enhancing the lives of thousands of people, including waste-pickers.”

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