Sustainable Investment Awards 2021

Real assets manager of the year: Mirova

Mirova, an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers, has over €20 billion ($24 billion) in assets under management (AuM) dedicated to responsible investment. However, it is the next frontier of sustainable investment in real assets that Mirova has turned its attention to recently, announcing it intends to allocate more than €1 billion to natural capital investment over the next five years.

Winning the award for Real assets manager of the year for the second year in a row, the firm sees natural capital evolving from niche investment strategy to a mainstream asset class, with the potential for consistent risk-adjusted returns. These investments include the protection of landscapes, biodiversity, soil and marine resources.

Mirova is not new to the natural capital space, with its Althelia Climate Fund having supported sustainable land-use projects that protect forests for several years, and its Althelia Sustainable Ocean Fund hitting a final close of $132 million in 2020.

The Althelia Biodiversity Fund Brazil was also launched in 2020 with the objective of providing venture and growth finance for sustainable businesses that have a transformational, positive impact on biodiversity and communities in the Legal Amazon region of Brazil. The blended fund benefits from USAID-backed guarantees, giving it an attractive risk proposition, with low development costs and a structure that can be replicated in other regions and countries.

Outside the field of natural capital, the work of Mirova's Energy Transition Infrastructure team has continued, and Mirova has now invested across more than 180 wind, solar, hydro, biomass and low-carbon mobility projects, representing over 5.7GW of installed capacity.

One of the Environmental Finance Sustainable Investment Awards judges called Mirova "a leader in ESG and sustainability" which has made some "nice hires and set up some new 'exotic' real assets funds in 2020."