Environmental Sub Sector Focus

The Foresight environmental team invests in businesses operating in various sectors in the UK and Europe, including:

1. Wood waste for renewable energy generation and animal bedding

Waste wood is a valuable resource which is being increasingly captured, recycled and used in a range of markets. The uses of waste wood are broadening beyond its traditional use in boarding products and uses now include renewable fuel and animal bedding. Within these sectors Foresight has invested in O-Gen, including the recent investment in Birmingham BioPower Limited and Evermore.

2. Residual waste sorting and energy generation

Significant opportunities exist to process municipal and commercial & industrial waste, extract and recycle valuable materials within these waste streams and convert the remaining fractions as a raw material or as a fuel for energy generation. Much of this fuel is currently exported and Foresight is keen to support efforts to build appropriate scale domestic power plants to use this resource.

3. Food waste for energy generation and agriculture

Anaerobic digestion has an increasing role to play in recycling food waste to produce fertilizer and renewable energy. Source segregated food waste is collected by many councils and organisations and volumes collected are growing strongly, driven by escalating costs of disposal to landfill and to meet targets set by the government. Foresight has invested in an anaerobic digestion project with East London Biogas Limited.

4. Plastics recycling

Over 700,000 tonnes of plastic film enter the waste stream each year, much of which is sent to landfill, despite much of it being potentially of high value and readily recyclable. Foresight has direct experience of investing in the plastic recycling sector through supporting such companies as PlasRecycle.

Significant progress has been made in extracting plastic bottles from municipal waste, with most UK councils now providing kerbside collection of plastic bottles, alongside other dry recyclables such as paper. There is substantial opportunity to increase collection and recycling of plastic film and other mixed plastics and Foresight is at the forefront of these efforts where commercially attractive.

 

5. Niche recycling and reprocessing

There are numerous opportunities to extract more value from wastes through recycling, reprocessing or other conversion processes. Foresight is interested in proposals which apply proven technologies to build plants to process these materials.