Development Bank of Japan Inc. (DBJ) has become the first Asian region investor to sign an agreement to invest in Controlled Environment Foods Fund II LLC ("the Fund"), a North American hybrid lighting greenhouse ("advanced greenhouse") fund managed by Equilibrium Capital Management Inc.
The Fund's advanced greenhouse provides environment-controlled agriculture ("ECA") that is renowned and epoch-making in comparison with traditional cultivation methods. ECA provides a wide range of feasible solutions to decrease environmental load--for example, a high-roofed facility that facilitates economical land and water resource utilization, a circulation system that lowers the level of water pollution, and the annexation of a gas-fired power plant that incorporates the recycling of waste heat and carbon. In the midst of climate change, the world is seeing rapid change in food demand (both quantity and quality) and limited natural resources, and as we address these social issues, advanced greenhouse technology is expected to become more widespread not only in the US and EU but also in Japan and elsewhere, because it can be installed independent of geographical considerations.
Fund manager Equilibrium has created a platform of proprietary, sustainability-driven real asset strategies in the food and agriculture (F&A) space and consistently pursued "sustainability in agriculture" since its establishment in 2007. In addition to its Fund activities, its renown as a pioneer in operating funds targeting water, waste, energy and other areas critical to agricultural infrastructure is a major draw for investors. Equilibrium also goes to great lengths to incorporate ESG and impact-driven investment concepts into its decision making process, strictly monitoring water discharge levels and energy savings per unit of produce, reducing carbon emissions, creating new job opportunities and enhancing workers' welfare.
Through its investment in the Fund, DBJ intends not only to stimulate activity in the F&A industries but also to firmly grasp global trends and obtain advanced know-how based on best practices in the world, fostering further contributions to the industry's next phase of growth. DBJ's investment will also further the Fund's initiatives to promote "sustainability in agriculture" and support client activities toward the realization of a sustainable society.
Applying its corporate philosophy--"Design the future with financial expertise: Continue to expand financial frontiers; Provide the best solutions for customers and society; Pursue sustainable development for Japan and the world"--DBJ will continue to create diverse financial solutions to actively support further development of the F&A industries in Japan.
Corporate Finance Department, Division 3