Ambienta SGR SpA plans to set up an environmental fund with the aim of trumping the 217.5 million euros ($276 million) it raised in October 2009 from investors including Intesa Sanpaolo SpA and a Macquarie Group Ltd. unit.
Ambienta, based in Milan, plans to invest in companies that improve energy efficiency and curb use of natural resources, Chief Executive Officer Nino Tronchetti Provera said in an interview in London. The latest investment vehicle will be larger than the Ambienta I fund, he said, without elaborating.
“It makes macroeconomic sense,” Tronchetti Provera said. “Your business is going to win against the others as people call for a more efficient way of using natural resources.”
Investors hope to benefit from the conflicting ambitions of meeting humanity’s rising demand for resources, while steering the world away from environmental and social catastrophe. The United Nations said in a 2012 report the world needs to secure 50 percent more food, 45 percent more energy and 30 percent more water by 2030, while limiting the effect on the environment.
Ambienta hired Rede Partners LLP, a fundraising advisory business in London, to bring in investors, while the new fund will take stakes of about 25 million euros each in companies.
Ambienta plans to spend its remaining 45 million euros of Ambienta I on at most three investments this year, Tronchetti Provera said. It is looking at an energy storage company in Europe and a German business that specializes in lightweight materials that reduce consumption of energy, he said.
Fossil fuel will remain dominant in generating power as demand rises, Tronchetti Provera said, while renewable energy projects such as wind will also be a part of the solution.
Investment is needed to boost the efficiency of buildings, industry and transport, as well as waste and water recycling, as commodity prices increase and water becomes scarce, he said.
Ambienta’s investments include Spig SpA, an Arona, Italy-based maker of products to manage water, 10 million euros in FoundOcean Ltd. and a majority stake in Tower Light Srl.