Closed Loop launches Circular Services business
New York-based Closed Loop Partners and U.K.-based Brookfield Renewable have partnered to establish Circular Services as a circular economy and recycling infrastructure developer in the United States. Circular Services is majority owned and managed by Closed Loop Partners, and Brookfield is committing up to $700 million toward the growth of Circular Services through its Brookfield Global Transition Fund.
“[Circular Services] is a new business that is majority owned and operated by Closed Loop Partners,” Closed Loop Chief Strategy Officer Jessica Long says.
Long says Closed Loop has three primary business focuses: innovate, invest and operate.
“We have our innovation center—the Center for the Circular Economy,” she says. “From an investment perspective, we have an asset management firm that does venture growth, buyout and catalytic private capital. And then we now have an operating group called Circular Services.”
According to Closed Loop, Brookfield has invested an initial $200 million in Circular Services, with an additional $500 million committed to pursue growth opportunities. Long says the initial $200 million will be used to help set up Circular Services operations, while the remaining $500 million will provide growth capital to expand the business across the eastern and southern United States.
Natalie Adomait, managing partner and chief investment officer at Brookfield Global Transition Fund, adds that it is focused on providing long-term infrastructure development to emerging business models that help to lower carbon emissions while also generating strong risk-adjusted returns.
Closed Loop says the Partnership Fund for New York City also is an investor in Circular Services but did not disclose how much it plans to invest in the division.
The Circular Services business will include the operations of some of Closed Loop Partners’ acquired recycling businesses, including Sims Municipal Recycling, Balcones Resources, Single Stream Recyclers, Retrievr, HomeBiogas and several small modular material recovery facilities (MRFs). Closed Loop Partners says Circular Services operates a total of 12 facilities, with locations in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Florida, Texas and Arizona. It also has several long-term municipal and commercial contracts to recycle and reuse paper, metal, glass, plastic, organics, textiles and electronics.
With 12 facilities and several municipal and commercial recycling contracts, Long says Circular Services “will be the largest privately held recycling company in North America.”
Although all these locations and services fall under the new Circular Services umbrella, Long adds that Closed Loop Partners doesn’t plan to change branding at respective locations at this time in light of the individual businesses’ name recognition and reputations.
“Circular Services is the overall operating company, the parent company, with all these entities as part of its company,” she says. “We might look probably in the next year for opportunities to rebrand or opportunities to bring identities together, being very mindful of the fact that, again, they just happen to be businesses that have amazing reputations.”
Long says Closed Loop Partners plans to hire leadership positions to oversee Circular Services but adds that the company intends to keep the same leadership in place at individual MRFs and recycling facilities.
“We will want to bring in new talent and leadership to help us grow; but, overall, it’s about keeping the people that are doing an amazing job with us,” she says. “A huge benefit we have is the leadership team and operations team for all those entities.”
Closed Loop Partners’ new business aims to focus on several growth opportunities. First, Long says the company wants to use this business division to grow within cities it already serves by scaling up processing abilities. The company then wants to expand by finding ways to recycle materials that don’t have as many recycling outlets, such as textiles, organics and electronics.
Finally, Long says Circular Services wants to focus on expanding its offerings into underserved communities to boost recycling rates across the U.S. She says the company could consider how to add more localized, modular MRFs as a solution in underserved communities, adding that they are “much more affordable and much easier to set up” than traditional MRFs.
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