Arowana Impact Capital
• Investment set to accelerate growth across the Philippines and ASEAN region
• Green Antz converts plastic waste to sustainable construction materials
• Green Antz to grow recycling to approx. 25 kilo-tonnes of plastic waste a year
• Green Antz workforce of 150 to expand with the investment
SINGAPORE, 28 March 2022 – Arowana Impact Capital (AIC), the impact investing arm of award-winning global B Corp investment group, Arowana, is pleased to announce the completion of a cornerstone investment in Green Antz, producer of eco-friendly construction materials operating in Southeast Asia.
Green Antz converts plastic waste from commercial establishments and communities into value-added construction materials, such as bricks and pavers. Green Antz does this through its network of EcoHubs across the Philippines, which serve as collection sites, production facilities, and recycling education centres.
This strategy enables Green Antz to tackle Asia’s burgeoning plastic waste problem, whilst offering cost-effective and environmentally responsible alternatives to traditional building materials.
Addressing the plastic waste problem in Southeast Asia
Asia generates the highest volume of plastic waste leaking into the world’s oceans. Because of poor waste management, the Philippines is the region’s worst polluter, having produced 36% of the eight mega-tonnes of global plastic waste that ended up in oceans in 2021.
In addition, seven of the ten rivers that expel the most plastic pollutants into these waters are in the Philippines.
With the Arowana Impact Capital investment, Green Antz aims to further reduce plastic waste by 1% by 2025 through a strategy of recycling approximately 25 kilo-tonnes of plastic waste a year. It also intends to embark on a regional expansion strategy to service other markets across ASEAN.
Champion of the circular economy business model
As one of the pioneering practitioners of sustainable business in the Philippines, Green Antz champions the circular economy business model. By using a “Shared Value” approach, they engage with community partners, conglomerates, and multinational companies for the collection of plastic waste whilst centralising the production of construction materials within the EcoHubs.
Green Antz also collaborates with corporate partners to develop and execute waste management solutions, including the implementation of a plastic credit scheme.
To date, Green Antz has established a total of 36 EcoHubs and over 100 community and corporate partnerships in the Philippines. As a result, the company has diverted 284 tonnes of plastics from landfills, created more than 150 jobs, and improved the livelihood of local communities.
AIC chair, Terry Alan Farris, said: “Poor plastic waste management is costing countries like the Philippines north of US$790m a year. Whilst traditional models of reusing plastic offer a good start, communities need to move towards repurposing plastic waste into value-added products, such as the construction materials produced by Green Antz. Not only will communities be able to tackle plastic pollution, but they will also contribute to value creation through game-changing strategies in the circular economy.”
Rommel Benig, CEO, Green Antz, said: “This partnership with Arowana is a significant milestone for the whole Green Antz family as it will propel our organisation to the next level with better capabilities, more innovations, and wider reach.
“We are extremely excited to work with an organisation that is passionate about addressing environmental and social issues. We look forward to working with Arowana as we jointly pursue the circular economy model to create greater and lasting impact.”
Kevin Chin, Founder and Board Member of AIC, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Green Antz on an important mission to help address the plastic pollution problem in the Philippines and across Southeast Asia. Whilst COVID-19 lockdowns have caused some of the world’s most significant disruption over the last two years across ASEAN, we have been greatly impressed with the resilience of the Green Antz leadership team and its business model. Green Antz has continued to deliver profitable growth and significant impact as measured against the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Importantly for us and our co-investors, this is the type of business model that meets our triple bottom-line criteria of People, Planet, and Profit. We very much look forward to supporting Green Antz on their mission.”
About Green Antz
Green Antz is a pioneering practitioner of the circular economy in the Philippines. Established in 2014, the company collects plastic waste and upcycles them into construction materials and other recycled products. Instead of ending up in landfills and clogging our riverways and coastlines, the repurposed plastic waste generates income for many marginalised communities. Taking the lead from its founder, Green Antz aims to be a force for good by redefining resource use to support sustainable urbanisation.
About Arowana Impact Capital
Launched in 2019, Arowana Impact Capital (AIC) focusses on impact investing in Southeast Asia. AIC’s core purpose is to help build people, build companies, and build value through sustainable investment practices across the ASEAN region.
In focussing on the four key areas of livelihood creation, access to education and healthcare, sustainable urbanisation, and financial inclusion, AIC is helping to contribute towards the successful achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Arowana is a global award-winning B Corp certified group that is focussed on building and scaling up sustainable enterprises. Our investments and operations encompass electric vehicles, renewable energy, vocational and professional education, technology and software, venture capital, and impact asset management. Our long-term mindset and entrepreneurial expertise enable us to provide financial, operational, and technological support to those who aspire to build future-proofed impactful companies.
Terry Alan Farris