05 FEBRUARY 2020
We continue to see the shift and need for the investment community to play a key role in solving environmental challenges. For the first time, environmental concerns dominate the top 5 risks in the 2020 World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report. 

Moreover, in his annual January investor letter, BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink called out climate change as a significant factor in evaluating a company's financial outlook and issued a warning to the investment community highlighting that climate is going to reshape how we all think of and approach finance. This is a seismic shift in the way mainstream finance is starting to think about climate change and investing.

But to solve the climate crisis, we need to go farther than the steps Mr. Fink outlines in his letter. Public equities markets are largely focused on investing in companies based on a number of issues relating to how they approach environmental, social and governance issues (ESG). But ESG alone will not get us to where we need to be to solve the climate crisis. In addition to doing no harm, we need to invest in companies that are actively and directly building products and solutions that will address climate change and other environmental challenges in measurable ways. We’re going to have to double down on private market impact investments in companies that are the real proving ground for tomorrow’s circular economy. 

Check out more on this notion in my latest blog on Forbes


Rob Kaplan
Founder & CEO
Circulate Capital
CNBC Asia: Circulate Capital invests in startups and SMEs that prevent ocean plastic
in South and Southeast Asia
How venture capital can help stem the flow of ocean plastic waste

January 20, 2020 - Asia’s exponential growth has made it into a powerful economic force, but it also has placed the region at the heart of the ocean pollution crisis. More than half of the plastic that flows into the ocean comes from South and Southeast Asia. The meteoric rise in consumption, and the single-use, disposable mindset that comes along with it, have far outpaced the modernization of recycling and waste management systems needed to cope with the consequences.

The good news is that this economic growth means that there is capital available. So while we acknowledge that there’s no silver bullet for solving this challenge, we see capital investment as a solution, albeit with one barrier: who’s going to pay for it?.

Read the full story >
This New $100 million+ VC Fund Aims to Solve the Ocean Plastic Crisis in Asia

January 29, 2020 - Disposing of “Planet or plastic?” This was a poignant question posed by a series of stories published in the National Geographic magazine in 2018, about the global plastic problem.

Two years later, the situation is no better. Disposing plastic is not easy. It takes centuries to decompose, doesn’t add any value to the soil (in fact, it causes soil leaching), and inevitably ends up in water bodies, where it then kills marine life, and contaminates the water with microplastics, rendering it unfit for consumption.

An estimated 8 million tons of plastic waste enters oceans annually, via land use, and makes up as much as 95 per cent of all marine litter today. And Asia is the biggest culprit of all because most of the plastic affluent in the ocean comes from Asia - mainly China and Southeast Asia - in the form of single-use plastic, a majority of which is used for packaging purposes.

Read the full story >
Influence: The world’s first investment fund dedicated to address Asia’s plastic crisis

December 20, 2019 - The Circulate Capital Ocean Fund is the world’s first investment fund dedicated to addressing Asia’s plastic crisis. With 60 percent of ocean plastic originating from the region, Asia is the biggest source of plastic leakage into global oceans. We find out more with Rob Kaplan, Founder & CEO at Circulate Capital.

Listen to the show >
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To learn more about Circulate Capital and The Incubation Network, or to apply for funding, please visit our website to download the full Request for Proposals for projects seeking capital.
Eco-Business: Unlocking Capital for Sustainability 2020
March 26, Singapore
Sustainable Packaging Coalition Impact 2020
March 31 - April 2, Austin, Texas

Are you working on a data solution that could advance plastic waste management and the circular economy in South and Southeast Asia? Apply to the Plastics Data Challenge!

The Incubation Network, The Circulate Initiative’s flagship program developed in partnership with SecondMuse, launched The Plastics Data Challenge, a global innovation challenge that will source, support, and scale innovative solutions that address the lack of data across Asia's plastics value chains.

Up to 10 semi-finalists will be invited to a one-week innovation summit in Singapore and receive mentorship through a six-week pilot-readiness program. From this cohort, 3 finalists will be selected to receive a cash prize of up to US$10,000 in addition to the opportunity to implement a pilot in South and Southeast Asia with the support of The Incubation Network and its partners.

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