BVCA rallies cleantech experts

The British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association is the latest to jump on the green investing bandwagon, having formed a group to promote cleantech investment. Last week KKR touted its green accomplishments at the portfolio company level.

The British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA) has formed a group of experts to provide guidance and advice to governments, investors and companies active in the renewable and clean technology sectors.

The 12-strong Energy, Environment and Technology Group (EETG) is made up of practitioners in the sphere such as Jamie Kiggen, who leads The Blackstone Group’s Cleantech Venture Partners vehicle; Tom Murley, chairman and head of the renewable energy team at HgCapital; and Pat Burtis, an investment manager at Amadeus who was formerly a management consultant within clean technology and life sciences.

“Investment in renewable energy and clean technologies is a necessity now not a luxury for healthier economic times. Climate change is accelerating, and while the scale of the problem is considerable, so is the investment opportunity,” Simon Walker, chief executive of BVCA, said in a statement.

Murley, who is EETG’s chairman, said in a statement that the group would act to secure the right regulatory and investment frameworks to create tens of thousands of jobs and to lay the foundation for a new energy economy essential to combating climate change.

The group’s experience covers the entire life cycle of the renewable energies and clean technologies ranging from early stage seed capital and technology development to late stage venture, private equity and infrastructure investments in power generation, it said.

The BVCA measures come a week after Kohlberg Kravis Roberts said that a recent partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund to make three portfolio companies – US Foodservice, PRIMEDIA and Sealy Corporation – more environmentally friendly saved them $16.4 million in 2008.

It also follows the US-based Private Equity Council’s decision to adopt a set of socially responsible investment guidelines. The lobbying group represents a dozen or so mega-firms including KKR, Bain Capital and The Blackstone Group.