Asahi Kasei establishes framework for investment in startups focused on carbon neutrality
Düsseldorf and New York, 11 April 2023 – Asahi Kasei established a “Care for Earth” investment framework as a new initiative for carbon neutrality by investing $100 million worldwide in early-stage startups that aim to solve issues in environmental fields such as hydrogen, energy storage, carbon management, and bio-based chemicals over the 5-year period up to fiscal year 2027.
Since 2008, Asahi Kasei has advanced corporate venture capital (CVC) activities in order to create new businesses by investing in startups and performing joint developments with them. Based in Silicon Valley since 2011, this activity has facilitated investments in over 50 startups in the US, Europe, China, and Japan, resulting in numerous collaborations and the two acquisitions of Crysal IS, a US-based provider of UVC LEDs for air, water and surface disinfection, and Swedish Senseair, a manufacturer of CO2 and alcohol sensing solutions.
Asahi Kasei is helping to solve issues in society with all of its businesses providing value from the perspectives of “Care for People” to realize active life in the new normal and “Care for Earth” to realize a carbon neutral and sustainable world.
Until now, Asahi Kasei has focused its CVC investments in the area of “Care for People” such as healthcare, IoT, and homes, which have relatively short timeframes to commercialization. The area of “Care for Earth,” in contrast, tends to have longer-term commercial prospects, while fields such as hydrogen and energy storage lack established value chains, making it difficult to invest under the conventional framework.
“Our CVC team is excited for the opportunity to accelerate investments in early-stage startups hard at work to make a difference for our planet,” said Dr. Takashi Morishita, General Manager of Corporate Venture Capital at Asahi Kasei. “We are seeing a lot of passionate people leading these decarbonization initiatives and it feels good to help them on their way. The ideas and technology being innovated now will be an invaluable asset in actualizing a carbon neutral society.”
To achieve carbon neutrality in 2050, Asahi Kasei aims to reduce its own GHG emissions and to contribute to reducing GHG emissions throughout society, while creating new businesses through the newly established “Care for Earth” investment framework whose investment horizons and investment decision criteria are different than before. The new investment framework is also expected to help Asahi Kasei advance the transformation of its Material sector portfolio through participation in business ecosystems for carbon neutrality.
The Asahi Kasei Group aims to further contribute to sustainable society while achieving sustainable growth of corporate value by leveraging its accumulated technologies and expertise while accelerating investment for Green Transformation (GX).
About Asahi Kasei
The Asahi Kasei Group contributes to life and living for people around the world. Since its foundation in 1922 with ammonia and cellulose fiber businesses, Asahi Kasei has consistently grown through the proactive transformation of its business portfolio to meet the evolving needs of every age. With more than 46,000 employees around the world, the company contributes to a sustainable society by providing solutions to the world’s challenges through its three business sectors of Material, Homes, and Health Care. Its Materials sector, comprised of Environmental Solutions, Mobility & Industrial, and Life Innovation, includes a wide array of products from battery separators and biodegradable textiles to engineering plastics and sound solutions.
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Asahi Kasei is also dedicated to sustainability initiatives and is contributing to reaching a carbon neutral society by 2050. To learn more, visit www.asahi-kasei.com/sustainability/.