Ground Control, a UK company providing grounds maintenance and landscaping services, has announced a £5 million fund to invest in early stage companies and social enterprises that are helping the environment. The Evergreen Fund will be financed by five percent of Ground Control’s annual profits. “Launching the fund is a natural extension of our belief that business can and should be a force for good when it comes to environmental responsibility, especially during such a critical period for conservation and climate change,” says Ground Control co-founder Kim Morrish. Criteria for potential portfolio companies remain more or less the same as with a traditional VC: proven business and revenue models, competitive market advantage, and a vision to scale. However applicants to the Evergreen Fund must also show a measurable, positive impact in one of these areas: reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing natural resource efficiency, protecting the natural environment, protecting biodiversity, or promoting environmental sustainability.
Investments ranging from £10,000 to £50,000 will be awarded at seed stage and later, and the fund will be meted out over the next five years as the company adopts perpetual investment, reinvesting its profits into new sustainable ventures. Founded in Essex in 1973, Ground Control serves over 50,000 sites in the private and public sectors, including three of the UK’s largest supermarket chains. The company has won several awards for its eco-conscious approach, such as the Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2016. Co-founder Sam Morrish commented, “From the very start, a passion for nature and commitment to sustainability has been central to what Ground Control does every day."