With their model, Bureo is turning one of the most harmful forms of plastic wastes into responsible textile materials.

Bureo Inc., a B Corp certified1 California Benefits Corporation2, specializes in the sourcing and recycling of end-of-life fishing nets. Bureo started collecting and recycling fishing nets in Chile in 2013, with the support of Patagonia and its venture capital arm Tin Shed Ventures, and since then has been expanding to Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Mexico.

Made from highly resistant materials – nylon or high-density polyethylene (HDPE) –, fishing nets represent a significant threat to the marine environment at the end of their lives. Discarded fishing nets that end up back in the ocean continue to negatively impact fish and marine wildlife for years. They also contribute to microplastic pollution as their oil-based synthetic materials take centuries to degrade.

In regions where adequate infrastructures may not be available to collect and safely handle this type of waste, Bureo works with fisheries and local communities to provide an incentivized program to collect, clean, sort and recycle fishing nets into their NetPlus™ material, creating positive solutions for end-of-use fishing nets, employment opportunities for local workers, and funding for community programs.

NetPlus™ material is made from 100% post-consumer recycled fishing nets. By replacing new plastics with post-consumer recycled NetPlus™, Bureo contributes to minimizing harmful waste and reducing the need to extract fossil fuels. The company is working to set an industry standard for the way recycled materials are used, continuing to push forward with a positive impact approach to sourcing the materials required to make products.

Over the last ten years, Bureo has built a solid expertise in turning fishing nets into high value recyclable products, creating a unique 100% traceable and 100% recycled fishing net supply chain. This model has been replicated in five countries in Latin America, California and is expanding to Asia, while the materials made from the collected nets have now proven commercial applications across outdoors gears and textile. To date, over 4.6 million kg of discarded fish nets have been collected, which have been used in over 13 million products3, across a wide range of consumer brands in a growing responsible fashion sector.

Mirova joined Bureo’s Series B round led by Toyota Tsusho Corporation, supported by like-minded impact investors including Ocean 14 Capital, Susquehanna Foundation and Conservation International Ventures, to support the expansion of Bureo’s fishing net recycling programmes in Latin America and in Asia and the sales effort of their NetPlus™ materials.

By supporting the development of Bureo, Mirova aims to participate in upcycling over 13,000 metrics tons of end-of-life fishing nets, replacing virgin nylon in textile supply chains thus avoiding nearly 20,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions4. In addition to Bureo’s mission to end fishing net pollution, the company’s future growth is expected to create quality jobs across Latin America and increase social and environmental initiatives in coastal communities.

“We are excited to support Bureo's expansion and their Netplus™ brand. Through their solid, proven business model, the collection and recycling of end-of-life fishing nets aims to foster positive impacts on ocean pollution, carbon emission reduction through production of recycled nylon and also to improve livelihoods of coastal communities. The company is also increasing the offer of responsible materials supporting the sustainable transition of the textile industry.” – Magali Rousselot, Investment Director

With this investment, Mirova has now deployed more than US$100m of impact capital into 16 projects ranging from Indonesia to Latin America and across all three of their target verticals – sustainable seafood, circular blue economy and marine conservation.
1 References to a ranking, award or label have no bearing on the future performance of any fund or manager. Since 2006, the B Corp movement has been promoting strong values of change throughout the world to make companies "a force for good" and to distinguish between those that reconcile profit (for profit) and collective interest (for purpose). The B Corp's objective is to certify companies that integrate social, societal and environmental objectives into their business models and operations. B Corp Certification is a designation that a business is meeting high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on factors from employee benefits and charitable giving to supply chain practices and input materials.
2 The “Benefits Corporation” status serves the purpose of allowing entrepreneurs to simultaneously pursue both profit and broader societal purpose. It is currently available as a corporate form in the District of Columbia and in 16 states, including California.
3 Source: Bureo
4 Calculated based on results from SCS Global Services Report, 8 March 2023 – “Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of NetPlus® Nylon 6 and Virgin Nylon 6”

Mirova is an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers.
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Natixis Investment Managers
Natixis Investment Managers is a subsidiary of Natixis.
Portfolio management company - French Public Limited liability company
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This communication is for information only and is intended for investment service providers or other Professional Clients. The analyses and opinions referenced herein represent the subjective views of the author as referenced unless stated otherwise and are subject to change. There can be no assurance that developments will transpire as may be forecasted in this material.

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