16 January 2024
Paris, 16 January 2024 – SOFIAC, a company offering an innovative investment solution aimed at accelerating the energy transition and decarbonization of French companies, announces an investment of €60 million from Mirova, an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers dedicated to sustainable finance, ADEME Investissement and Fondaction.
In order to achieve its climate objectives, France must proceed with the rapid decarbonization of its buildings and industry. Building operations represent 18% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the national level and 47% of French annual energy consumption: The sector’s GHGs will have to fall by about 45 MtCO2 by 2030 to meet France’s target decarbonization trajectory1. On the industry side, France’s roadmap to fight climate change sets a GHG emission reduction trajectory of 35% by 2030 and 81% by 2050 compared to 20152.
Originally designed in Quebec, Canada, by Econoler and Fondaction, SOFIAC supports companies in the tertiary and industrial sectors in their energy transition by taking charge of 100% of the investments required to increase the energy efficiency of their buildings, aiming to significantly reduce their energy expenditure and to achieve ambitious GHG reduction targets set out in their environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy. In addition, SOFIAC offers to manage the entire development and management of projects: audit and modelling, selection and monitoring of technical agents in charge of the implementation of the project and the commissioning of equipment, training of staff, independent monitoring of performance. The support model proposed by SOFIAC allows companies to focus on their development while generating additional positive cash from the beginning of the partnership thanks to the energy savings achieved.
This €60 million investment aims to replicate SOFIAC’s success in Canada in France by structuring the company in the territory and developing an extensive network of contacts to serve as many projects as possible.
Christophe Béchu, Minister for Ecological Transition and Cohesion of the Territories, says: “France has set ambitious targets as part of its national low-carbon strategy: the building sector must reduce its GHG emissions by 49% and industry by 35% by 20303. The mobilization of private and public investors such as Mirova, ADEME Investissement and Fondaction is essential to achieve these objectives, and the financing of innovative solutions such as the one proposed by SOFIAC is a positive signal in favor of energy efficiency and decarbonization of businesses in our territories. This is also the meaning of the Integrated Future Investment Programme in France 2030, which aims to finance innovative infrastructure projects in the field of energy and ecological transition alongside private actors.”
Stéphane le Gentil, Director General of SOFIAC in France, comments: “SOFIAC was born from the desire to eliminate all financial, technical and operational obstacles faced by private companies in the development and implementation of energy efficiency and decarbonization projects. Thanks to the involvement of our financial partners, Mirova, ADEME Investissement and Fondaction, SOFIAC becomes the largest energy efficiency and decarbonization initiative for the private sector in France.”
Raphael Lance, Director of Energy Transition Funds at Mirova, adds: “We are delighted to make this investment a reality alongside ADEME Investissement and Fondaction, with whom we share the objective of making SOFIAC the reference investor partner for companies in France. Energy efficiency is a major driver of the energy transition and SOFIAC, with its success in Canada, has all the necessary assets to deploy its activity on the French market and thus contribute to the acceleration of the decarbonization of companies in the territory.”
Karine Mérère, Managing Director of ADEME Investissement, said: “Together, we are driving innovation to accelerate the deployment of energy efficiency projects in France. SOFIAC offers an integrated model that goes beyond the traditional third-party investment model and offers a turnkey solution to players wishing to accelerate their decarbonization. We are very pleased with this structuring partnership with Mirova and Fondaction, with whom we share a common vision for a more sustainable energy future.”
Marc-André Binette, Deputy Chief Investment Officer at Fondaction, and Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Fondaction Asset Management continues: “We are very proud, as an investor and fund manager, to deploy this innovative and comprehensive solution on the French market. The SOFIAC model was developed in collaboration with Econoler and with the support of the Government of Quebec, has proven itself here, in Quebec and in Canada. Today, SOFIAC contributes to solving major environmental and societal challenges by aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
Pierre Langlois, President of Econoler concluded: “Econoler designed SOFIAC’s unique model based on its internationally recognized experience in designing financing mechanisms tailored to energy efficiency and the use of the performance contract. We are proud to see the SOFIAC model deployed in France today and we are delighted that French companies can benefit from it in order to accelerate their energy transition and decarbonization.”
1 Source: Accelerate the decarbonization of the building sector, Government
2 Source: France 2030, Decarbonisation of industry, Government
3 Compared to 2015 levels
SOFIAC develops, manages and invests in major energy decarbonisation and renovation projects for the benefit of companies in the tertiary and industrial sectors. SOFIAC’s innovative business model enables companies to reduce energy costs, meet their ambitious GHG emission reduction targets and increase profitability in the short, medium and long term without making any financial contributions. For more information, visit sofiac.eu/en
Designed by Econoler and Fondaction, SOFIAC is managed by Ecofonds, a joint venture formed by Econoler and Fondaction Asset Management. Ecofonds acts as manager of SOFIAC in France.
Mirova is a management company dedicated to sustainable investments and an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers. Through conviction management, Mirova’s goal is to combine long-term value creation and sustainable development. Pioneers in many areas of sustainable finance, Mirova’s talents aim to continue innovating in order to offer their clients solutions with high environmental and social impact. Mirova has been active in the energy transition infrastructure sector for 20 years and has financed more than 1000 projects for a total of over 7.3 GW of potential generation capacity across Europe and Asia. Reaffirming its position as a major European player in renewable energy, storage and low-carbon mobility, the company has recently completed the raising of €1.6 billion for its fifth energy transition infrastructure equity fund.
Mirova and its affiliates manage €28.4 billion and €3.4 billion for energy transition infrastructure investments as of September 30, 2023. Mirova is mission-driven company, labeled B Corp*.
*The reference to a ranking or a label does not prejudge the future performance of the funds or its managers
Portfolio management company – French Public Limited liability company
Regulated by AMF under n°GP 02-014
RCS Paris n°394 648 216
Registered Office: 59, Avenue Pierre Mendes France – 75013 – Paris
Mirova is an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers.
Natixis Investment Managers’ multi-affiliate approach connects clients to the independent thinking and focused expertise of more than 15 active managers. Ranked among the world’s largest asset managers1 with more than $1.1 trillion assets under management2 (€1.1 trillion), Natixis Investment Managers delivers a diverse range of solutions across asset classes, styles, and vehicles, including innovative environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies and products dedicated to advancing sustainable finance. The firm partners with clients in order to understand their unique needs and provide insights and investment solutions tailored to their long-term goals.
Headquartered in Paris and Boston, Natixis Investment Managers is part of the Global Financial Services division of Groupe BPCE, the second-largest banking group in France through the Banque Populaire and Caisse d’Epargne retail networks. Natixis Investment Managers’ affiliated investment management firms include AEW; DNCA Investments;3 Dorval Asset Management; Flexstone Partners; Gateway Investment Advisers; Harris Associates; Investors Mutual Limited; Loomis, Sayles & Company; Mirova; MV Credit; Naxicap Partners; Ossiam; Ostrum Asset Management; Seventure Partners; Thematics Asset Management; Vauban Infrastructure Partners; Vaughan Nelson Investment Management; and WCM Investment Management. Additionally, investment solutions are offered through Natixis Investment Managers Solutions and Natixis Advisors, LLC. Not all offerings are available in all jurisdictions. For additional information, please visit Natixis Investment Managers’ website at im.natixis.com | LinkedIn.
Natixis Investment Managers’ distribution and service groups include Natixis Distribution, LLC, a limited purpose broker-dealer and the distributor of various US registered investment companies for which advisory services are provided by affiliated firms of Natixis Investment Managers, Natixis Investment Managers S.A. (Luxembourg), Natixis Investment
1 Cerulli Quantitative Update: Global Markets 2023 ranked Natixis Investment Managers as the 17th largest asset manager in the world based on assets under management as of December 31, 2022.
2 Assets under management (“AUM”) of current affiliated entities measured as of September 30, 2023 are $1,179.7 billion (€1,114.3 billion). AUM, as reported, may include notional assets, assets serviced, gross assets, assets of minority-owned affiliated entities and other types of non-regulatory AUM managed or serviced by firms affiliated with Natixis Investment Managers.
3 A brand of DNCA France
French Public Limited liability company
RCS Paris n°453 952 681
Registered Office: 59, avenue Pierre Mendès-France – 75013 Paris
Natixis Investment Managers is a subsidiary of Natixis.
ADEME Investissement was created in December 2018 as part of the Future Investment Program and now integrated into France 2030, led by the General Secretariat for Investment. A company 100% owned by the State, it aims to finance innovative infrastructure projects in the field of energy and ecological transition with private actors. Its vocation is to overcome the difficulties of financing the so-called “first commercial” units. It has an envelope of 400 million euros. To learn more: ademe-investissement.fr/en
The France 2030 investment plan:
More information at: gouvernement.fr
Fondaction has been the forerunner for more than 25 years and is the investment fund of those who are mobilizing for the positive transformation of the Quebec economy. To make our economy more efficient, fairer, more inclusive and greener. As a workers’ fund, Fondaction represents tens of thousands of savers and hundreds of companies committed to advancing Quebec. It manages a net asset totalling C$3.50 billion as of November 30, 2023, invested in hundreds of companies and in financial markets, favouring investments that generate positive economic, social and environmental impacts in addition to a financial return. Fondaction contributes to maintaining and creating jobs, reducing inequalities and fighting climate change. For more information, visit fondaction.com or our LinkedIn page.
Econoler is an internationally renowned firm with more than 40 years of experience in the design, implementation, evaluation and financing of energy efficiency and renewable energy programs and projects. Over the years, Econoler has been involved in the development and implementation of approximately 4,000 projects in more than 160 countries. Econoler has, among other things, developed an internationally recognized expertise in the design and implementation of financing mechanisms adapted to different markets with a view to implementing energy efficiency projects. Whether through adapted credit lines offered to banks, guarantee programs, specialized funds, carbon financing or innovative programs for all sectors, Econoler has developed a very high level of expertise to support all actors wishing to set up or offer this type of mechanism. For more information, visit econoler.com/en or our LinkedIn page.