Pension Fund Grants £80m to Gresham House in Support of Their Green Investment Strategy
Gresham House's sustainable infrastructure (BSIF) investment strategy has been chosen by Bedfordshire and Staffordshire Pension Funds to receive an £80m investment. This strategy has funded various initiatives, ranging from vertical farming to protecting biodiversity.
Gresham House anticipates that infrastructure projects, that range from vertical farming to broadband rollout in rural areas and the formation of 'habitat banks' for conservation, will create £600m in economic, social and environmental advantages for these places.
So far, BSIF has reported that their investments have created over 2,000 new job opportunities, with an estimated 5,000 to be established by 2025/6. Additionally, they have stated that more than 175,000 households and businesses have had access to full-fibre broadband and that the shift from importing crops to growing leafy greens has decreased water usage by up to 98 per cent, generated 1,900 times fewer CO2 emissions, and provided thousands of hectares of new wildlife habitats.
Peter Bachmann, the managing director of sustainable infrastructure at Gresham House, believes that LGPS funds are vital for transforming areas' environmental and social aspects, ensuring a world in which people can look forward to retiring while still delivering returns for members.
He stated that the backing from Bedfordshire and Staffordshire Pension Funds, as well as their other institutional investors, is assisting them in putting capital into areas where genuine asset-based solutions can have the most significant effect. He expressed enthusiasm for constructing fresh place-based investment approaches to address these areas' difficulties, resulting in even better advantages for their members and local communities.
The Sustainable Infrastructure team of Gresham House directs their attention towards mid-market (sub-£50m) platform projects in the greenfield sector to access underfunded industries that can generate significant returns and open the door for more deals. They also provide substantial assistance to entrepreneurs and technologies that positively impact people and the environment.
BSIF and its related funds have raised £400m through the "place-based impact investing" approach, and Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) funds have shown enthusiasm for the sustainability investing tactic.
Councillor Doug McMurdo, chair of Bedfordshire Pension Fund, stated that the East of England is already home to various renewable energy infrastructures and thus plays a vital role in the UK's shift to net zero. He explained that the significant investment required to create such infrastructure provides excellent chances to improve lives and promote lasting local economic and environmental advantages. Furthermore, this commitment will help to reinforce the region's status as a green leader by incorporating high-grade sustainable infrastructure assets.
The Chair of the Staffordshire Pension Committee, Mike Sutherland, commented: "Our mission is to tackle the climate emergency and support the regeneration of nature in the area, which is renowned for its stunning scenery. The BSIF's varied and diversified portfolio is not only anticipated to generate solid financial results but is also in line with Staffordshire's investment sustainability policy. We deem this investment a beneficial complement to our fundamental infrastructure investments, reflecting our dedication to place-based impact investment in the UK."
This material has been adapted from a piece first published at Professional Pensions; it reported that LGPS funds had set aside GBP 80 million for a Gresham House BSIF strategy.