The free tool CEvaluator, developed by research centre VITO, Econocom and the Foundation for Future Generations, is intended for companies and governments as well as for lenders. It helps companies to prepare themselves optimally for their financing request and immediately gives criteria that lenders can use to make the most objective credit decision in circular investment cases.
More and more companies are taking the circular economy route. One of the levers for this is financing. However, investors are often unable to correctly assess the potential of circular projects and companies' credit files are poorly substantiated, which makes them reluctant to invest in their circular projects. In the framework of 'Circular Impact Investing', a project subsidised by Circular Flanders, the CEvaluator was developed. This tool makes it easier to evaluate the circularity of investment dossiers, thereby increasing the effectiveness of investments in the circular transition.
"The availability of finance is often a deal breaker in the transition to the circular economy. This tool can be a lever to accelerate and scale up circular investments. The standardisation and consistency of the methodology for analysing circular finance cases offers absolute added value." - Hilde Janssens, Marketing & Communications Director Econocom Belux
Circularity translated into investment criteria
This tool meets an important demand from the grassroots. After all, Circular Flanders has found that there is certainly interest in circular dossiers, but that many are still waiting to see which way the wind is blowing. The tool offers tools to convert circularity into investment criteria. If credit decisions are better substantiated, confidence can grow and the circular transition is immediately given a significant boost.
"In our coaching programmes for start-ups and established companies with circular ambitions, the question of financing invariably arises. Where many enter unknown territory in their search for financing, the CEvaluator tool offers a firm handhold. It does so by not only looking at circularity performance, but also by mapping out the specific opportunities and risks that circular business cases have to deal with." - Anse Smeets, project manager VITO
The financial aspect of circularity, in focus for each stakeholder
A number of tools already exist, but experience has shown that these tools do measure circularity in the business context, but that the financial aspect is barely addressed in them. The CEvaluator does, however, and not only provides objective criteria, but also explains them. In this way, it not only points out opportunities, but also indicates where the risks lie. That is why it is particularly suitable for any source of financing: credit institutions, funds, subsidy providers and leasing companies can all use it. But also companies and authorities in the preparatory phase of a capital round or financing request can prepare themselves better via the CEvaluator. It provides them with tools to substantiate their idea, to draw up their business plan and to prepare their loan application. This increases their chances of success.
"The emergence of a model for a sustainable society, based on a '360°' integration of aspects of 'Planet', 'People', 'Prosperity' and 'Participation', will be facilitated by the convergence towards common methodologies for evaluating impact and, in particular, for guiding investment decisions towards a better impact." - Benoit Derenne, Director of the Foundation for Future Generations
Discover the tool via www.cevaluator.be
VITO is a Flemish research organisation and engine for sustainable innovation, which wants to help accelerate the transition to a circular economy, among other things through action-based research with and for circular entrepreneurs. VITO has taken on the role of coordinator, knowledge integrator and facilitator.
About the Foundation for Future Generations
This is an independent foundation focused on the transition to a sustainable development model. As a platform for transformative philanthropy, the Foundation enables its partners and donors to invest in future generations. Every year, the SE'nSE Fund, housed within the Foundation, supports promising start-ups with a high (potential) positive impact on the environment and sustainable operation by providing seed capital. The Foundation operates in an extensive national network of both impact investors and innovative green entrepreneurs, and has involved its network in the validation of the predefined criteria.