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Fengate makes sustainability progress on two fronts

Fengate Asset Management is pushing forward its sustainability efforts on two fronts — an equity...

IMAGE: An Inflector employee

Fengate Private Equity has made an investment in hazardous materials management and building hygiene services company Inflector Environmental Services. (Courtesy Fengate Asset Management)

Fengate Asset Management is pushing forward its sustainability efforts on two fronts — an equity investment in building hygiene provider Inflector Environmental Services and the completion of BOMA BEST Gold certification for its 1.7 million square foot office portfolio.

The minority investment in Inflector was made through Fengate Private Equity.

Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Ottawa, Inflector deals in hazardous materials management and building hygiene services. It also provides mould, soil and site remediation; selective demolition and emergency response services to a variety of industries.

It employs over 500 people in five offices across Canada.

“We continue to proactively look for opportunities within the broader environmental services sector,” Deian Kutev, a principal of investments and private equity at Fengate Private Equity, told SustainableBiz in an email interview. “Following a few initial discussions with the Inflector leadership team, we were impressed with the successful company they have built and how motivated everyone from top-down was to continue to grow the business.

“We recognized that Inflector’s platform today is primed to benefit from a number of industry tailwinds, both organically and through M&A, and know that our team will be able to help them capitalize on those opportunities.”

Kutev joined Fengate in 2015 and helped launch its private equity fund in March 2017 — beginning with a $300 million investment into the Cricket Energy Group of Companies, an Ontario-based providers of residential and commercial energy services and solutions.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

The minority equity investment

In July, Inflector acquired Halifax-based EnviroBate Inc., established in 2005 as a provider of environmental contracting and demolition services. Fengate’s equity investment will be used to further support Inflector’s pipeline of both organic as well as M&A-focused growth opportunities.

“Our new institutional partners understand our business and the environment we operate in. They share our vision that investing in our employees will allow for the long-term success of our business through broadening our geographic footprint and expanding our service offering,” Jeffrey W. Clarke, president and CEO of Inflector, told SustainableBiz in an email interview.

“Keeping workers, and the general public, safe from dangerous hazardous exposures remains our priority, and our new strategic partnership will provide us with the necessary capital and tools needed to meet this objective on a grander scale.”

The Inflector investment was made on behalf of the LiUNA Pension Fund of Central and Eastern Canada (LPFCEC). Established in 1972, LPFCEC is a multi-employer pension fund with approximately $10 billion in assets and over 100,000 members.

“Inflector is creating safe working and living environments by providing an essential service focused on the removal of asbestos and other hazardous materials. The company is prioritizing health and safety and continues to work proactively to solve public health and safety concerns and remedy various environmental problems that are likely to exist for decades to come,” said Joseph Mancinelli, chair of LPFCEC, LiUNA International vice-president and regional manager for Central and Eastern Canada.

BOMA certifications, TOBY award

The most recent recognitions from the Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada (BOMA) are for 1835 Yonge Street in Toronto, 1111 and 1122 International Boulevard in Burlington as well as 2010, 2020 and 2060 Winston Park Drive in Oakville.

Fengate’s office portfolio includes 2265-2275 Upper Middle Road East in Oakville, which was recently presented with BOMA’s national award for The Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY) in the Suburban Office Park – Mid Rise category.

BOMA BEST is Canada’s largest voluntary environmental assessment and certification program for existing buildings.

The portfolio also includes the Concorde Corporate Centre buildings at 1-3 Concorde Gate and 12 Concorde Place in Toronto and 1315 North Service Road East in Oakville.

Initiatives which led to the Gold certifications include LED lighting replacements, smart water management, e-waste recycling, wellness and sustainability webinars, and tenant design criteria outlining required sustainable materials for the buildings.

Fengate no longer purchases non-LED lighting for any of its properties. All products used for cleaning its properties bear the UL ECOLOGO certification — meaning the chemicals used have a reduced environmental impact.

The firm also utilizes Toronto-based Peak Power‘s building insight platform to track energy consumption and predict optimization.

The portfolio is managed on behalf of Fengate’s institutional investors, which includes LPFCEC.

Fengate’s WELL ratings

In April, Fengate’s office portfolio also earned the WELL Health-Safety Rating from the International WELL Building Institute. The IWBI, founded in 2016 in New York City, certifies aspects of the built environment that have an innate impact on human health.

“The pursuit of these certifications and awards signify Fengate’s pride in managing these properties on behalf of our investors,” said Jaime McKenna, Fengate’s managing director and group head of real estate said in a statement on the certifications.

“The BOMA Gold and WELL Health-Safety seals displayed across the buildings in our office portfolio are testaments of our property management team’s dedication to provide our tenant community with safe, sustainable, and engaging work environments.”

Fengate, an alternative investment manager, has more than $6 billion in capital commitments under management, focusing on infrastructure, private equity and real estate strategies. It has offices in Toronto, Oakville and Houston.

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