[Funding alert] Waste management startup Blue Planet raises $25M from Nomura

This strategic engagement is a reflection of the growth of impact investing and opportunities in sustainable waste management in Asia

Blue Planet Environmental Solutions Pte Ltd announced that it has raised $25 million from Nomura, an Asian global investment bank headquartered in Japan. This strategic engagement by Nomura’s Loans and Principal Investments Area in Asia ex-Japan will help Blue Planet continue its efforts to develop integrated, inclusive and sustainable waste management solutions around the region. 

By the end of 2030, Asia is predicted to account for half of the world’s middle-class consumption. Waste generation rates are set to soar, along with this an increase in demand for resources. 

Solid waste, in particular plastic and organic waste, is becoming a key challenge for the rapidly developing nations in the region as they seek to fulfill their commitments to climate change and to reduce marine pollution. 

Blue Planet was founded with the vision to help avert this crisis by providing solutions that move beyond the traditional waste disposal paradigm of Asia, where collection, processing, and disposal are fragmented and inefficient. By securing exclusive access to the entire waste management process, from generation to recovery, the company seeks to introduce a new standard of waste management that has social inclusion, resource efficiency, and sustainability at its heart.

With the funding, Blue Planet aims to expand its products and services, and provide circular economy solutions for sustainable waste management.

“We aim to deliver our vision of ‘zero waste to landfill’, which is a long-term ambition to eliminate waste from business activities, downstream consumption, and waste handling processes. For us, this means developing capabilities to process all the waste produced through reusing, upcycling, recycling or energy recovery. This will help Asia’s rapidly developing countries to achieve long-term sustainable growth,” Madhujeet Chimni, Co-founder, Blue Planet, told PTI.

Managing waste sustainably in Asia

According to the United Nation’s assessment, Asia is falling behind on three key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), and SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production). Blue Planet’s solutions help organisations and countries achieve a direct impact on the performance indicators of these three SDGs and beyond. It is able to deliver on 15 out of the 17 SDGs, directly or indirectly, and is a unique player in the region by engaging with governments and companies to help them realise the benefits of sustainable waste management.    

The company does this by measuring the success of waste management projects and technologies by combining positive financial output with environmental protection and social inclusion. 

Aadit Seshasayee, Head of the Loans and Principal Investments Area, Asia ex-Japan at Nomura says, “Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) opportunities have been a key focus area for Nomura and Blue Planet through its solutions are leading the waste management space across Asia. Blue Planet’s technologies and offerings make it a frontrunner in achieving the zero waste to landfill vision.” 

Nomura’s strategic investment is the latest milestone for Blue Planet, which in the past 17 months, has announced a string of acquisitions, including Rudra Environmental Solutions (India), Yasasu Environmental Management Services (India), Xeon Waste Managers LLP (India), Globecycle Holding Sdn Bhd (Malaysia), Virtus Concrete Solutions Ltd (UK), and Smart Creative Technologies Ltd (UK).

In Asia, there is an overall increase in the capital flowing into companies that contribute positively to environmental and social progress. Notably, Japan is a frontrunner for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) by investing in Asia and has made significant strides in expanding its efforts, driven by the country’s revised reporting standards, the emergence of a sustainability-focused stewardship code and public policies. 

Bharadwaj Chivukula, Co-founder of Blue Planet says, “Nomura’s investment into Blue Planet is a testament to our capabilities and we look forward to working with the team to achieve impact around the region, even as we grow a sustainable, profitable business.”

One of Blue Planet’s key offerings includes the conversion of organic waste into energy and high-value compost using an anaerobic digestion technology. Other solutions include conversion of single-use plastics to fuel oil, recycled geopolymer concrete blocks made from inert waste, and precious metal recovery from electronic waste using a non-hazardous chemical process. 

“Together, we will re-invent the way municipalities and companies around the world deal with resource recovery and waste. We operate with a triple bottom- line approach that benefits people, planet and creates prosperity,” Chivukula adds.

(Edited by Kanishk Singh)