Foresight’s London renewable fund raises £70m

The UK-based VC and infrastructure investor hopes to eventually raise £200m for a London-focused waste and recycling fund that is supported by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Foresight Group, an investor in sustainable assets, has raised £70 million (€81 million;, $114 million) for its Foresight Environmental Fund, which will target recycling and renewable energy projects in London.

The fund has received a £35 million commitment from the London Green Fund and a further £35 million from unnamed local authority pension funds and a range of other investors. 

Boris Johnson

The London Green Fund is a £100 million holding fund which is managed by the European Investment Bank with contributions from the London Development Agency, the London Waste and Recycling Board and the European Regional Development Fund. It was launched by Mayor of London Boris Johnson in October 2009, and is part of a joint initiative between the European Investment Bank and European Commission known as the Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas (JESSICA).

Foresight’s fund, which will focus on waste projects, is the first of two so-called urban development funds (UDFs) in the UK to receive JESSICA backing. The other fund, which will focus on energy efficiency, is due to appoint a manager soon and be up and running by the summer of this year.

The Foresight fund will finance small-scale waste-to-energy and recycling plants promoting sustainable and carbon-neutral economic growth. The aim will be to divert waste away from landfill, reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions and creating jobs in parts of London needing regeneration.

Foresight Group has invested £60 million in UK waste infrastructure over the last four years. Its projects include Closed Loop Recycling, London’s first food-grade plastic bottle recycling facility.