Reusing urban industrial land reduces the urban sprawl that puts pressure on surrounding landscapes and nature. The EIB’s new partnership with Ginkgo will see the increased use of nature-based solutions in these urban regeneration projects in order to provide multiple environmental, economic and social benefits. Building on its pioneering role in brownfield development in Europe, Ginkgo Advisor is also working with the NCFF to establish best practice for such green infrastructure inclusion in projects throughout Europe.
The Ginkgo III Fund has already initiated six ambitious projects in France (Massy, Montreuil), Spain (Alcudia), Italy (Florence), Portugal (Porto) and the Netherlands (Amsterdam) and further projects are in the pipeline.
Green and blue infrastructure includes different techniques to optimise the use of topography, vegetation and soil for surface water management and reducing urban heat stress, while enabling the creation of biodiversity habitats and corridors as well as providing energy savings. Ginkgo also promotes the use of nature-based remediation techniques in its projects.
Technical cooperation between Ginkgo and the NCFF will see the creation of a multidisciplinary team including ecologists and architects that will develop a tool kit for green and blue solutions for biodiversity and climate adaption. This tool kit will then be applied across all of the fund’s projects and will be used to disseminate best practice to a wider audience, including to local authorities that may lack enough expertise to consider these elements during the design and permitting of large urban generation projects.
EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle said: “The Ginkgo Fund has supported a unique and innovative approach for the sustainable redevelopment of urban industrial sites. It has facilitated the successful implementation of several projects in the European Union. We are happy to bring a renewed impetus to this initiative through the Natural Capital Financing Facility (NCFF), which aims to demonstrate and support business models that promote biodiversity and climate adaptation. Our collaboration with Ginkgo, a long-time and trusted partner of the EIB, is well aligned with these objectives, and we look forward to seeing the increased deployment of their pioneering approach.”
European Commissioner for the Environment Virginijus Sinkevičius added: “Protecting and restoring our ecosystems is essential, not just to protect biodiversity, but also to ensure we build a future that is resilient to the inevitable impacts of climate change. Urban green spaces offer a haven for biodiversity, they help significantly lower urban temperatures, reduce the risks of flooding, and help to tackle water and air pollution — not to mention the benefits for citizens’ physical and mental wellbeing. I am delighted to see the Natural Capital Financing Facility used this way. Nature based solutions can help tackle the big challenges facing society today, and this lies at the heart of the Commission’s European Green Deal.”
Ginkgo President Bruno Farber said: “We are very happy and privileged to benefit from the Natural Capital Financing Facility provided by our long-term partner the EIB in order to push the envelope for our projects both in terms of resilience to climate change and improved biodiversity. We expect our learning curve in the field of green infrastructure to rise very fast and showcase several flagship projects soon.”
Ginkgo was founded in 2010 and based in Geneva, the investment advisor of the Ginkgo funds comprises a team of 25 professionals specialised in decontamination, real estate and private equity. At final closing, Ginkgo III had received capital commitments of €367.5 million from investors, including €30 million from the EIF. In addition, EIB has provided a €20 million co-investment for one of the fund’s projects: the depollution, remediation and redevelopment of a shipyard located in the city of Amsterdam. In addition to the €367.5 million Ginkgo III Fund, Ginkgo Advisor also manages €240 million in capital commitments through the Ginkgo I and Ginkgo II funds, which are expected to generate more than 450 000 m2 in development rights, primarily in the residential category but also in service, spanning 16 projects focused on the remediation and redevelopment of contaminated brownfield sites in France, Belgium and Spain. Ginkgo I Fund, Ginkgo II Fund and Ginkgo III Fund are closed for further commitments.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) was created by the Treaty of Rome and founded in 1958. It is the long-term financing institution of the European Union, and its shareholders are the 27 EU Member States. The EIB’s remit is to contribute towards the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the EU Member States. It borrows large volumes of funds on the capital markets and lends them on very favourable terms to support projects that contribute to attaining the European Union’s objectives. As the EU climate bank, it aims to encourage the emergence and deployment of new technologies to meet ongoing challenges such as the energy transition to a new green growth model. To find out more about the EIB: www.eib.org
The Natural Capital Financing Facility (NCFF) is a joint instrument of the European Investment Bank and the European Commission financed under the LIFE programme, the European Union’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. It supports projects dedicated to biodiversity and/or nature-based adaptation to climate change. It is financed from the EIB’s own resources and benefits from a €50 million guarantee and €10 million of technical assistance under the LIFE programme. To find out more about the NCFF on the EIB website: Natural Capital Financing Facility. See also: Investing in Nature – A Practical Guide for Europe.
Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity is an independent firm, part of Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management, with over €3 billion in assets under management. With an entrepreneurial approach to finance and backed by strong convictions, Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity builds and develops differentiating investment strategies that provide a sustainable response to environmental and social challenges. Founded in 1953, the Edmond de Rothschild Group had €172 billion in assets under management at 31 December 2021, 2 500 employees and 33 offices worldwide.