Foundation capital

Repsol SA: The Foundation, Crédit Agricole Indosuez and Portobello Capital present the first ESG investment fund for large-scale reforestation worth 100 million

The Repsol Foundation, Crédit Agricole Indosuez and Portobello Capital presented today the very first ESG investment fund in Spain to invest in reforestation. It will be endowed with an investment of 100 million euros to promote the development of large-scale forestry projects to offset CO₂ emissions.

This fund is entirely innovative in Europe and exponentially increase reforestationhighlighting this natural climate solution as the key to decarbonization and the energy transition, in line with the Paris Agreement, Agenda 2030, European Green Deal and commitments made at the Glasgow Climate Summit (COP26). The first investments, which will begin this year, will make it possible to reforest more than 24,000 hectares of land to offset 6 million tonnes of CO₂ over the next five years.

The reforestation projects financed by this initiative will be carried out by the Repsol Foundation and Grupo Sylvestris’ green engine project. It’s the largest reforestation program for offsetting emissions in Spainwho in addition to his Environmental benefitsis also characterized by its social impact and promotion of rural economies through its desire to generate local and inclusive jobs and to contribute to the economic development of the territories where it operates.

With this new investment power, Green Engine can move forward on its goal with even greater impact, maximizing its positive impacts on society, environment, business, economy and employment, especially in the most vulnerable rural areas. Moreover, it is an excellent opportunity to allow the Iberian Peninsula to lead Europe as a carbon sink.

The new fund was presented at an event on the Repsol campus and included the presence of the Secretary of State for Economy and Business Affairs, Gonzalo Garcia Andres; President Repsol Antonio Brufau; CEO of Indosuez Wealth Management in Spain, Antonio Losada; and founding partner of Portobello Capital, Iñigo Sánchez-Asiaín.

Chairman of Repsol, Antonio Brufau stressed that “this important project and the developments associated with the ‘new carbon economy’ generate multiple opportunities for society and businesses, for technology, innovation and sustainable finance.”

During the presentation, it was emphasized that the investment fund is fully aligned with ESG criteria and aimed at private investors engaged in long-term sustainable actionsdedicated to improving society and the environment. Furthermore, stakeholders indicated that reforestation is an excellent way move towards a low-carbon, profitable, efficient, competitive and scalable economy.

This initiative is supported by leading entities such as Crédit Agricole Indosuez, the global asset management brand of Crédit Agricole (world leader in sustainable bonds), and Portobello Capital, the leading alternative asset manager in Southern Europe. This support reinforces the potential that reforestation can have on strengthen the growing voluntary emissions offsetting marketgiven the growing number of companies that have committed to becoming carbon neutral.

The CEO of Indosuez Wealth Management in Spain, Antonio Losada considers that “the participation of a financial partner such as Indosuez in the development of the first venture capital company for green infrastructure and the real absorption of CO₂ through reforestation, represents a truly special incentive, given our commitment in favor of sustainable development. It is fully in line with the social project of our parent company, the Crédit Agricole group.”

In addition, founding partner of Portobello Capital, Íñigo Sánchez-Asiaínsaid that “with this pioneering initiative, we can provide a solution to investors’ growing appetite for financial products that support sustainability and social impact. We have the best partners for a unique project that unites a strong commitment to ESG criteria with an attractive profile financial approach.”

Other attendees at the event included former EU Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action and current Senior Advisor at Grupo Beka Finance, Miguel Arias Canete; full professor of economics at Carlos III University of Madrid, Nathalie Fabra; director of strategy and evaluation at the Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO), Blanca Navarre; Managing Partner of Markets and Business Advisory at KPMG, pablo bernad; and Managing Director of Grupo Sylvestris, Jaime Rabagowhich addressed aspects related to financial tools to encourage a fair energy transition.

The Spaniard Secretary of State for Economy and Business, Gonzalo García Andrés pointed out that the “Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan is very well targeted, with around 40% of the planned investments, above the amount established by the European Commission, intended for the development of the energy transition, the decarbonisation of the industry and energy efficiency improvement projects.”

Like Miguel Arias Canete underlined: “We have very powerful climate objectives, but we must activate mechanisms so that the energy transition is fair because the effects could be asymmetric.

green engine

The Repsol Foundation, together with its beneficiary company, Sylvestris Group, launched Green Engine in 2021 with the aim of promoting large-scale reforestation as a tool to offset emissions as part of the energy transition already underway.

This is the largest reforestation project to offset emissions in Spain,that promotes a new economy, training and employment, while creating new forests with native species. The objective of the Green Engine is to cover 70,000 hectares to capture 16 million tonnes of CO2 over the next few years. The new forests will be designed to the highest standards of the Spanish Climate Change Office (OECC) which is the official certification body for compensation projects in Spain, attached to the Ministry of Environmental Transition and Demographic Challenge.

Thanks to this project, inclusive local jobs are created in rural areas of Spainwhere planting takes place and particular attention is given to hiring people from vulnerable groups. It also boosts rural economies through specialized training and the creation of new businesses related to the forest industry while attracting additional economic activity to generate increased wealth in the region.

Since the beginning of its inception, Motor Verde has held an unwavering commitment to innovation and researchapplied to the forestry sector and recently signed a agreement with Hispasata leading technological partner with whom the Repsol Foundation and Grupo Sylvestris will develop satellite technology for the monitoring and maintenance of forests and their growth.

thesatellite control, drone monitoring and applied sensor technologies will enable the development of other technologies related to the internet of things, artificial intelligence and blockchainmaking forest management and carbon absorption as scientific, precise and rigorous as possible, and converting Green Engine into aleader in technological innovation applied to forestry engineering for the absorption of CO₂.