The EIF investment thesis is that sustainability problems are systemic in nature.
Sustainability deals with the largest industries in the world – energy, food, water, transportation, building materials, etc. These are large, complex systems that are slow to change. Successful sustainability investment requires careful study to identify niches that are ready to change and have the necessary conditions to enable company building and monetization in a reasonable time frame.
Our strategy is driven by careful study of systems and related sectors. We seek situations where significant economic value can be created with a relatively small amount of capital. We target niches and opportunities that have not received the investor attention they deserve, and we avoid over-valued “headline” deals.
Our goals are to remove obstacles to systemic change, and to put in place building blocks that enable greater systemic change over time.
We believe this is a different orientation than that of most venture capitalists, particularly those whose experience is in newer industries such as information technology or biotech. Some of the innovations we pursue will not be obvious to investors lacking a systemic approach, and may not even look like “impact” investments to those expecting change overnight.
Ultimately, we seek to prove that sustainability investment can outperform any other area of venture capital investment.
“In the not-too-distant future we will not think of “sustainability” as a separate investment thesis. It will simply be considered smart investing. Sustainability is about making things better, more efficient, less wasteful, less toxic, more humane. This is not some passing fad – this is the future.”
– James Everett, Partner