Sustainable Investment Awards 2023

Environmental fund of the year, global: Beyond Impact

Beyond Impact places the need to reduce the global economy's reliance on animals for food, clothing, and other uses at the heart of its climate-themed investment strategy.

It invests in solutions that transition away from the use of animals – a shift that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, land usage, water usage, waste generation, and pollution and improve societal factors like health and working conditions.

It says this represents a market segment that has been largely ignored but has "huge potential".

Beyond Impact's inaugural impact fund has, since 2017, invested in about 30 companies across various stages of funding, from 'pre-seed', 'seed', Series A, and Series B fundraising rounds.

This includes investments in 'cellular agriculture' companies such as Mosa Meat, which produces a 'lab-grown' artificial beef burger, Geltor, which produces ingredients to enhance the texture of food, drink, cosmetics, and materials, and The EVERY Company, which makes baking products, food and beverage ingredients, nutritional supplements, and animal-free eggs, through a process of fermentation of yeast and sugar.

Beyond Impact is also raising funds for its second impact fund, with the aim of raising €160 million ($175 million) at final close this year. It held a €25 million first close for the fund last year.

The venture capital investment manager's parent, Beyond Investing, also provides a series of global and regional vegan indexes.

Last year, Claire Smith, the founder and chief investment officer of Beyond Impact, won Investment leader of the year in the 2022 Sustainable Investment Awards.

Smith said: "We are delighted to receive this recognition for our high impact approach to investing for a humane animal-free economy, which brings about environmental benefits that transcend traditional incremental sustainability goals and envision entire new supply chains that avoid the damage caused by the rearing, killing, and processing of animals for human consumption."