Evergreen Fund to invest £5M in eco entrepreneurs
A new £5M investment fund dedicated to sustainability, environmental initiatives and carbon sequestration has been launched by Ground Control, the UK’s leading supplier of award-winning landscaping and maintenance services.
Financed by 5% of Ground Control’s annual profits, the Evergreen Fund will specialise in providing seed and growth capital to early-stage companies and social enterprises that are focused on delivering measurable, beneficial and sustainable environmental impact.
Over the next five years, the new impact venture fund will:
- Invest £5M in early-stage environmental ventures;
- Become a perpetual investment facility with profits reinvested; plus
- Dedicate £100,000 annually to finance the planting of one million new native trees to create protected areas of biodiversity.
Creation of the Evergreen Fund represents a milestone moment for the firm, said Ground Control co-founder Kim Morrish:
“The launch of the fund is a natural extension of our belief that business can and should be a force for good when it comes to environmental responsibility, especially during such a critical period for conservation and climate change.”
A number of specific investment criteria have been set for the new Fund:
- The Evergreen Fund will invest in entrepreneurs who have a clear vision of how to effect positive environmental change, combined with the experience, hard work and commitment to deliver;
- Applicants must be able to display their positive, measurable and sustainable contribution; have a proven, sustainable business and revenue model; plus demonstrate a competitive marketplace advantage and an opportunity or vision to scale;
- The fund will directly invest in Seed, Series A and higher, but will avoid pre-seed or investments in fee-bearing funds;
- Investments will range in size from £10,000 to £500,000.
In particular, ventures must contribute to at least one of the following measures of ‘positive environmental change’:
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
- Increasing natural resource efficiency;
- Protecting the natural environment;
- Protecting biodiversity;
- Promoting environmental sustainability.
Going forward, launching the Fund will also open up new opportunities for Ground Control, adds co-founder Simon Morrish:
“From the very start, a passion for nature and commitment to sustainability has been central to what Ground Control does every day. Whether it’s moving to a fully electric fleet of vehicles or leading major tree-planting schemes, we are dedicated to finding new and innovative ways to protect our environment. With this financial investment, we are now in a position to catalyse and amplify sustainability and carbon sequestration initiatives.”
Ground Control is one of the UK’s largest suppliers of award-winning maintenance services. It services over 50,000 private- and public-sector sites, with a client list that includes three of the country’s four biggest supermarkets. The firm directly employs 1,000 people and supplies work to over 5,000 contractors.
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