Impact project/investment of the year - Agriculture and sustainable land use; Pollution and waste management: Northern Venture Capital Trust's investment in Oddbox

Channels: IMPACT

Companies: Oddbox, Northern Venture Capital Trust, Mercia Asset Management, ClearlySo

Northern Venture Capital Trust (NVCT)'s £3 million investment in sustainable fruit and vegetable box delivery firm Oddbox scooped the investment of the year award for both agriculture & sustainable land use and pollution & waste management.

In March, NVCT – managed by Mercia Asset Management – invested through a Series A funding round in the London-based firm which works with farmers to source seasonal and imperfect produce at risk of going to waste after being rejected by supermarkets.

The investment by NVCT came after impact investment bank ClearlySo arranged over 25 investor meetings across six European countries, eventually receiving multiple investment offers before closing the NVCT deal.

As well as redirecting food to consumers that would otherwise go to waste, Oddbox delivers further impact by donating surplus produce to charities tackling hunger and food waste.

Overall, Oddbox estimates it has saved over five million kilograms of fresh produce from being wasted – saving around four million kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent and one billion litres of water in the process.

The funds raised from NVCT will be used by Oddbox to expand the service outside of its current focus on London and Brighton as well as to roll-out its technology platform that allows each customer to record their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions savings.