Closed Loop Partners’ Innovation Ecosystem for a Circular Economy

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Danielle Joseph

Danielle Joseph is a Director and Investment Officer at Closed Loop Partners, an organization developed in 2014 for the purpose of fostering a circular economy in order to achieve zero waste…(it’s how they go about meeting their mission that is fascinating, so read on.)

Danielle is responsible for managing Closed Loop Ventures – an investment fund focused on early-stage innovations in the circular economy that is under the Closed Loop Partners umbrella. Prior to Closed Loop Partners, Danielle worked on project finance activities with Invex Infraestructura and Queensland Investment Corporation. Prior to this, she worked with NewWorld Capital Group on a range of growth equity and project finance related activities across environmental opportunities, including clean energy, energy efficiency, waste-to-value, water resources and reclamation, and environmental services. Danielle earned her MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business where she led the GSB Impact Fund, an early stage investing platform for impact-driven companies. 

Danielle is part of a highly skilled team that stretches their talents across several focus areas.  Along with Closed Loop Ventures, there is also the Closed Loop Fund, which was founded in 2014 to create economic value for cities, recyclers, processors or recycled material, and buyers of recycled content by increasing recycling rates in communities across America and improving the quality of recycled materials, with a focus on packaging materials.  Through project finance, the fund provides cities and companies with access to the necessary capital to scale the quantity and quality of recycled content available. Closed Loop Fund brings together the world’s largest consumer product companies to work together to create recycling and circular infrastructure.

A third investment vehicle is Closed Loop Leadership Fund which is a private equity fund focused on making control investments in companies that are building circular supply chains. They partner with owners and management teams in the circular economy to build their companies through a combination of strategic acquisitions and organic growth. In addition to providing growth capital, they also assist in establishing supply relationships with their extensive network of corporate partners.

As well as these investment vehicles, there is the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners, which is a hub for collaboration, advising companies and firms on how to identify innovation and commercialize circular products, services, and technologies.

The Center brings together major corporations, industry experts, academic researchers, and entrepreneurs who are solving today’s most pressing challenges in design and reuse. Through pre-competitive collaborations, research and landscape mapping initiatives, solution searches, and accelerators, the Center for the Circular Economy fosters an ecosystem of partnerships across supply chains in order to activate circular solutions.

Closed Loop Partners is one big umbrella…but it needs to be to create the kind of impact it intends.  As of 2018, Closed Loop Fund has been able to calculate the impact of every dollar invested in the fund:

For every $ 1 invested to date…

$4 co-investment from private and public sources

$1 economic benefit to communities

300 lbs of recyclables recovered and or returned to a supply chain

900 lbs of CO2 E GH G emissions avoided

Closed Loop Ventures has diverted over 11,000 tons from landfill, avoided over 44,000 MT of CO2E, saved over 102,000,000 gallons of water, and created 107 jobs.

But, while we may think we understand what a circular economy is, we may not understand its relevance beyond “sustainability.”  Danielle shares that reducing waste streams and moving toward resource efficiency is their focus. Sustainability is part of the framework, but the benefits of a circular economy are also simply efficient business and government practices that help to produce a stronger workforce, local job creation, and more productive and profitable economies.  In essence, it is at the heart of human livelihood.

“We take a systems change approach to our work,” says Danielle.  “We’ve created multiple funds that offer companies flexible types of capital. We have levels of support, knowing that not every problem within the circular economy is ready for a particular kind of funding,” explains Danielle.

Though Closed Loop Partners is a fairly new entity, itself, I did ask Danielle about how they measure their own impact.  One means she shared involves measurement of tons of waste diverted.  According to their 2018 Impact Report, Closed Loop Partners completed more than 35 investments in the circular economy since 2015.  They also state that “by 2030, Closed Loop Partners expects to reduce or avoid GHG emissions by at least 36 million metric tons of CO2 through our investments.” They spread their investments across several verticals:  municipal recycling, packaging, food tech and agriculture, fashion and apparel, and electronics. You can read more here in their Impact Report. http://www.closedlooppartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Closed-Loop-Partners-Impact-Report-2018-1.pdf  You can read about their anticipated impact here:  https://www.closedlooppartners.com/impact/

As an example of how their investment is creating an impact through their portfolio partners, meet HomeBiogas.

“The HomeBiogas story begins with 3 long-time friends and a mission to make free, renewable energy available to everyone in the world.  Their journey spans 10+ years, several continents and countless hours of  R&D.  After throughly analyzing and testing existing biodigester designs, it became abundantly clear that  traditional systems had significant limitations.  Oshik Efrati, Yair Teller and Erez Lanzer were determined to modernize the technology and create an efficient and durable biogas generator that was easy to install and accessible to all.  In 2012, they formed HomeBiogas.”

You can learn more about HomeBiogas here.  And, you can visit another portfolio partner, AMP Robotics here.  https://www.amprobotics.com/

We appreciate Danielle’s contributions to this article and invite you to explore Closed Loop Partners further:

Closed Loop Partners Site:  https://www.closedlooppartners.com/

Danielle’s Linkedin:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/danielle-joseph-71790026/

 

Networking Interests for Danielle and Closed Loop:

  • Companies with interest in a circular economy
  • Entrepreneurs/Innovators in the waste supply chain
  • MRFS in plastics who may be needing upgrades in equipment
  • Chemical/Gas/Oil Sector Leaders interested in collaboration

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