Published: 28 FEB 2022
Green economy
Green Infrastructure
Waste Minimisation
Transport and Logistics

New Zealand and Auckland’s ambitious environmental targets mean the climate and sustainability sectors will become very investable.

 

With markets created and protected by legislation and externality pricing, our obligations will only be met at great expense, but they will also create very large and lucrative new markets, and opportunities for new technologies. 

Auckland has a rapidly growing green economy, with a comprehensive climate plan and unique solutions for becoming a greener city. Some of the solutions will come from Auckland’s world-class tech ecosystem, reinforcing the region’s reputation for innovation (as modelled by carbon-smart companies like Lanzatech). Other solutions will require input from offshore companies and investors. 

Auckland has committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 and reaching net zero GHG emissions by 2050. The most significant sources of emissions in Auckland are related to transport, energy use in industry and buildings, and industrial processes.  Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland's Climate Plan provides direction for how the region can achieve this transition. 

 

Viewing platform at Arataki Visitor Centre

 

Hubs and initiatives in Auckland

Here is an overview of some of the initiatives and ventures underway in the public and private sector:

Climate Innovation Hub 

Tātaki Auckland Unlimited’s Climate Innovation and Sustainability team is establishing a national centre of excellence for climate innovation. Launching in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland in 2022, the Climate Innovation Hub will connect climate change challenges to solutions; showcase climate innovation; be the national climate innovation collaboration space; and establish a climate innovation ecosystem.  

Eco-park 

Tātaki Auckland Unlimited is working with Community and Social Innovation (CSI), an initiative within Auckland Council, on an eco-park plan for boosting Māori and Pasifika prosperity in south Auckland, as detailed in a recent digital look book

The eco-park is destined to become New Zealand’s biggest network of recycling and circular economy businesses, and there will be investment opportunities from the first and second quarters of 2022, particularly in the construction and demolition space. 

 

Innovation

Auckland continues to develop innovative solutions to become a greener region. Here are a few Auckland companies working in this space: 

  • Mint Innovation is a cleantech startup with an innovative approach to recycling electronic waste by harnessing specialist microbes. 
  • Ports of Auckland has committed to building a hydrogen production and refuelling facility at its Waitematā port. The company, and project partners Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and KiwiRail, will invest in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, including port equipment, buses and cars, as part of the project.  
  • ZeroJet develops and manufactures electric jet-propulsion systems for small boats and tenders. It aims to replace 10,000 petrol-powered outboards with its electric technology over the next five years. In short, taking one 20hp four-stroke outboard off the water is the equivalent of taking 150 cars off the road. 

 

Two people walking in Auckland

 

Opportunities

Auckland welcomes overseas business and investment that will help resolve environmental issues commercially. Priority opportunity areas include: ‘Greening’ the construction, visitor, industrial and commercial sectors; heat process solutions; CO2 reduction; transport solutions (including e-transport); circular manufacturing solutions; plastic recycling.   

Specific investable opportunities include the following: 

Corporate plastic waste transformation

Critical Design is transforming corporate plastic waste into products such as furniture or board games. Capable of processing all grades of hard and soft plastic, it works with some of New Zealand’s largest corporate clients.  

EV charging infrastructure 

Auckland Transport and charging provider ChargeNet NZ has formed a strategic partnership to install a network of 60 standard electric vehicle charging stations around Auckland.  

Construction and demolition (C&D) waste 

Auckland produced approximately 700,000 tonnes of C&D waste in 2020, and the figure is projected to grow at around 3 per cent per annum. There are major opportunities to offshore operators, investors and technology owners who can help realise Auckland Council’s vision of reducing total waste to landfill by 30 per cent by 2027, and to zero by 2040. 

For more information contact Investment Specialist Andrew Carpenter andrew.carpenter@aucklandnz.com 

Renewable energy farm 

With the government’s push to 100 per cent electricity generation from renewable sources by 2035, there is an opportunity for Māori to lead in the transformation of the energy sector while maximising underutilised collective Māori land. 

Maui Energy is developing a renewable energy business model with support from Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, Deloitte, ABB, GHD and Babbage consultants, which proposes developing scalable renewable energy farms through partnerships with Māori landowners. It is currently exploring various funding avenues, financial institutions and investor opportunities to assist and deliver these projects. 

Replacing wet wipes 

BDÉT Foam Wash, made by BDÉT, offers an eco-friendly alternative to the 450 billion plastic and polyester wet wipes consumed globally each year. The product is currently being consumer tested by one of the world’s biggest toilet paper manufacturers. Sales in supermarket chains, pharmacies and aged care facilities in New Zealand have received positive feedback. BDÉT is looking for partners to collaborate in global market development and is open to investment. 

Wireless EV charging 

IntDevice technology offers customers greater freedom on where and how EVs (from buses and trucks to cars and robots) can charge, with automatic high power and fast charging ‘drive on’ units. An opportunity exists for investment or collaboration. 

Luxury skincare company 

An opportunity exists to become a trading partner or investor in New Zealand Secret Limited, a luxury health and beauty company. With the help of biochemists, it has designed formulae including an immune booster, and a combination of anti-aging peptide and antioxidant skincare made from cold pressed wakame seaweed – an invasive species in New Zealand, now used as a raw material for beneficial elements extraction.

Fresh organic baby food

Future Foody has a unique value proposition with secured resource of 100 per cent New Zealand pure organic A2 milk powder from organic and traceable dairy farms. It owns unique formulae and resources that suit different age groups, including infant formula, and specialises in super foods and advance nutrition, creating products that are aspirational, disruptive and on trend. Future Foody welcomes business collaborations through trade and/or investment.

For more information contact Investment Specialist Yan Zhang yan.zhang@aucklandnz.com 

 

Auckland venture capital funds with a focus on ClimateTech

Offshore investors including pension funds, funds-of-funds and family offices can secure excellent portfolio exposure to climate change technology, through limited partnership in or co-investment alongside the latest vintage of Auckland-based venture capital funds.

Climate Venture Capital Fund, MOVAC and Nuance Connected Capital are now raising capital to support investments in Kiwi technology companies addressing climate change. New Zealand public insurer ACC is investing via the ACC Climate Change Fund and is also open to investors. 

Nuance Connected Capital has invested in e-mobility solution UBCO, as well as ocean buoy–based energy-storage-as-a-service company EnergyBank. With a presence in Auckland as well as Wellington, MOVAC is an investor in Mint Innovation (mentioned above). Climate Venture Capital Fund’s deal flow includes leaders in bioplastics manufacturing, green hydrogen refuelling and CO2 capture systems.

The managers of these funds would be pleased to speak with prospective offshore institutions and family offices, both as limited partners as well as co-investors in the funds’ technology companies.

For more information about opportunities in this sector, contact our investment specialists.

 

DISCLAIMER: This article provides general information on potential investment opportunities in Auckland and is not intended to be used as a substitute for financial advice. The views and opinions expressed are those of the relevant author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Tātaki Auckland Unlimited. Tātaki Auckland Unlimited disclaims all liability in connection with any action that may be taken in reliance of this article, and for any error, deficiency, flaw or omission contained in it.