General Atlantic forms BeyondNetZero

General Atlantic, a global growth equity firm, has announced the formation of BeyondNetZero (BnZ), a new venture targeting growth equity investments related to climate change. BnZ is being established in partnership with Lord (John) Browne of Madingley, Senior Advisor to General Atlantic, who will serve as Chairman of the venture. BnZ combines General Atlantic’s significant growth equity expertise, along with a new team of proven climate investors and industry executives, to create a unique capability to identify growth climate investment opportunities. 

The BnZ team will identify and scale innovative solutions that focus on meeting and exceeding Net Zero emissions targets. The venture will leverage an extensive global network across the General Atlantic and BnZ teams to source, execute and support investments in high-growth businesses that ultimately have the potential to combat climate change at scale. 

Collectively, the team brings decades of experience in both addressing climate-focused problems and building pioneering growth companies. The BnZ team is led by Lord Browne as Chairman and includes those with significant relevant expertise in investing, operating and building companies. This senior team includes four Managing Directors and two Principals across the US and Europe, with plans for further team expansion in the coming months. The venture will also benefit from the insights and support of a diverse and respected team of strategic advisors around the world with expansive academic, scientific and business experience. 

As part of its commitment to help companies achieve impact beyond Net Zero, the venture has secured an exclusive strategic partnership with SYSTEMIQ, an independent consultancy, think tank and investment firm, that will help develop a proprietary approach to measuring, reporting and driving emissions reductions.  

BnZ will take a thematic approach to identifying opportunities, focusing on: 

Decarbonisation – of supply chains, industrial processes and products 

Energy efficiency – solutions that contribute to energy efficiency and conservation 

Resource conservation – reducing waste and the resource-intensity of economic activity 

Emissions management – measurement, management, storage and removal of emissions 

BnZ will seek to identify entrepreneurs with technologies poised to be deployed at commercial stage; established technologies; and those offering solutions for companies that are looking to pivot away from unsustainable models. This focus on asset-light and technology-driven business models will draw upon the BnZ team’s strategic partnerships, dedicated research capabilities and significant understanding of market dynamics.  

Bill Ford, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of General Atlantic, comments: “Addressing global climate change requires both a systemic transformation of the energy economy and scale of investment never seen before. Technology, innovation and entrepreneurship will play a vital role in this monumental transition. Growth equity is uniquely positioned to drive this shift and support founders in deploying innovative solutions at scale. With the BnZ team, we believe we can create meaningful progress by harnessing our long-held belief in the ability of global entrepreneurship to shift the paradigm.” 

Lord Browne of Madingley (John Browne), Chairman of BnZ and Senior Advisor to General Atlantic, was from 1995 to 2007 Group Chief Executive of BP. He was the first energy industry leader to recognise publicly the risks of climate change and pledge action. He has significant experience in investment in and leadership of renewable energy and climate related technologies. He comments: “Climate change is the biggest threat to life, as we know it. The actions we need to take affect almost all aspects of production and consumption – a new fast-evolving industrial revolution of enormous scale. I am delighted that the specific expertise of the BnZ team will be combined with General Atlantic’s focus on working with growing businesses in rapidly changing sectors. This combination will create a distinctively differentiated approach to energy, industry and the consumer.”