Apple hands CAM $200m mandate as it expands Restore Fund

Climate Asset Management’s investment vehicle will straddle its existing carbon and natural capital strategies and is open to investment from Apple supply chain companies to address its Scope 3 emissions.

Climate Asset Management has secured a $200 million commitment from Apple for a distinct investment vehicle, which the tech giant views as an extension of its Restore Fund.

Apple launched its $200 million Restore Fund in April 2021, with Goldman Sachs managing the vehicle and Conservation International participating as co-investor as well as being responsible for “ensuring that projects meet strict environmental and social standards.”

The 2021 Restore Fund mandate is aimed at making investments in forestry to remove carbon from the atmosphere while generating a financial return for investors.

CAM’s $200 million mandate, which is separate to the initial Restore Fund and features no involvement from Goldman Sachs or Conservation International, will make investments aligned with the firm’s existing investment strategies.

CAM’s natural capital strategy invests in natural assets such as farmland and timberland in developed markets and delivers financial and environmental returns. Its carbon strategy, meanwhile, delivers yield exclusively in the form of carbon credits and invests in emerging markets to finance the development or restoration of natural assets.

Apple’s $200 million commitment includes an investment into CAM’s natural capital fund. The firm’s two vehicles raised $650 million in December split roughly evenly between the two.

“One part of the investment vehicle is going towards an agriculture investment strategy and they [Apple] also support our natural capital fund,” said Martin Berg, CIO for the nature based carbon strategy.

“The other side is really focused on generating high quality offsets from nature based solution projects. And that is all put together in one investment vehicle which creates an outcome for Apple that creates both a financial return and a stream of carbon credits,” he told Agri Investor.

Companies in Apple’s supply chain will also be given the opportunity to invest in the vehicle in order to address its Scope 3 emissions, so there is potential for it to grow beyond the $200 million committed by Apple.

Berg added that the blended return structure it has created for Apple, which delivers both a financial and carbon yield, has attracted other prospective investors.

“There are a few other corporates who’ve seen that and some of them are asking, ‘Can we also find a way where this is not just a cost, so to speak, but also an investment opportunity?’ Yes, they are getting a lower return but it is alongside the delivery of a carbon return,” Berg said.

CAM uses Verra and the Gold Standard system to verify its carbon projects.