SJF Ventures Updates Portfolio Carbon Impact Model

Updated carbon impact model reflects rapid growth of NEXTracker & addition of TransLoc

SJF Ventures has completed its 2016 update to its portfolio carbon impact model and is pleased to share its findings on SJF portfolio companies’ continued impact on mitigating carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.

SJF’s inaugural carbon impact study was initiated last year and helped to better understand the climate change impact of its portfolio. Read the details and history of the portfolio initiative here. The dynamic model illustrates how and where SJF portfolio companies mitigate the release of additional carbon emissions using company data and sources of academic and third-party research.

In 2016, SJF Ventures’ portfolio companies helped to mitigate more than 1,153,000 metric tons of CO2.  This is equivalent to removing more than 242,000 cars from the road or allowing 945,000 acres of forestland to absorb carbon for one year.   The model is built upon the impact of ten portfolio companies within two of SJF’s investment themes: clean energy & energy efficiency and asset recovery & recycling.

The carbon impact model demonstrates how growth-stage companies can play an important role in accelerating business models that have the potential to play an important role in reversing climate change.  Last year SJF learned that the carbon emission mitigation potential of recycling and reuse was much less well-known, but nonetheless substantial.  This year the team has found that scaling clean energy deployment can truly drive the types of progress and mitigation that society needs to help keep global warming below two degrees Celsius.

The growth in total emissions mitigated from 2015 to 2016 is largely driven by the impact of the renewable energy companies within the portfolio, including the notable growth achieved by NEXTracker, a provider of tracking systems for the global utility-scale solar market.  Increasing the number of projects on which the technology was deployed, from 25 in 2015 to 89 in 2016, truly demonstrates the acceleration of impact. NEXTracker has scaled immensely since SJF’s investment and its 2015 sale to Flex, while playing a fundamental role in helping to increase the economic competitiveness of solar on a global level. To date, the company has deployed technology on more than 9GW of global solar installations.

A new addition to the portfolio model this year per SJF’s 2016 investment was that of TransLoc, a leading provider of transit technology. The company provides real-time passenger information systems that drive increases in the use of public transport. As riders make a modal shift away from personal vehicles to public transportation, less fuel is combusted and additional greenhouse gas emissions are avoided.  Increasing the use of public transportation represents an important strategic component in reversing the potential devastating effects of a changing climate.

Since 1999, SJF Ventures has partnered with high growth, high impact companies focused on building a more sustainable future.  The results are based on companies within SJF’s second and third funds, with which the firm is continually working to accelerate the climate impact potential of their business models.

Original citations and resources about this model and methodology can be found on the original posting about the project, which may be found here. The calculation of carbon emissions mitigated is not a complete greenhouse gas accounting, but rather an attempt to provide gross carbon mitigation amounts from portfolio companies’ primary business operations. The methodology employed follows standard industry practices and reports total impact for the portfolio company, not a pro rata contribution based on SJF’s ownership stake. SJF accounts mitigation while SJF has a direct stake in a portfolio company or during the earnout period on an exited company. The study accounts for 100% of a project or product’s impact although a portfolio company’s work may be only a component of a larger project or system.

SJF portfolio companies included in the carbon impact model: