News release

JLL Foundation supports 15 climate-impacting startups in its first year

Impact investments catalyze efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change and achieve a more sustainable future

June 21, 2023

Gayle Kantro

+1 312 228 2795

CHICAGO, June 21, 2023 – JLL Foundation, a non-profit founded and backed by JLL (NYSE: JLL), today published its inaugural Annual Report, recapping its activities for 2022 as an impact investor focused on climate change and the built environment.

In its first year of operation, JLL Foundation partnered with 15 entrepreneurial companies to further their mission of mitigating the impact of climate change. All 15 companies are actively reducing greenhouse gas emissions: 53% are reducing waste; 40% are decarbonizing the building sector; 33% are reducing water consumption, and 33% are making a social impact. Beyond climate change mitigation, these companies are building a clean economy, creating green jobs and construction, transforming food, packaging and agricultural systems, and innovating tech to measure impact and drive change.

Early-stage companies frequently run out of money in between funding cycles, either because the government funding process is too slow or venture capitalists see too much risk or not enough potential return. JLL Foundation takes a non-traditional approach to funding by providing zero-interest loans, grounded in the belief that small amounts of funding make a big difference to early-stage companies. 

Since receiving loans, companies have been able to accelerate climate-positive business timelines and goals to achieve tangible results. The loans granted to startups and early-stage companies in 2022 have also been influential in helping recipients secure additional funding from for-profit companies and other foundations.

“As impact investors, we have helped these companies survive and thrive by deploying catalytic capital and through their association with the JLL brand,” said Trish Maxson, JLL Foundation Chair. “By reinvesting returned funds, we are building a sustainable model that benefits all stakeholders.”

The Foundation’s mission closely aligns with JLL’s guiding principles for shaping a better world, which encompass climate action, healthy spaces and inclusive places. 

“We created the JLL Foundation to closely align with our purpose of shaping the future of real estate for a better world, with a particular focus on supporting new ideas to mitigate the harmful effects of climate change,” said Christian Ulbrich, JLL CEO. “The JLL Foundation is now actively demonstrating the critical value of carefully targeted impact investment early in the life cycle of inspirational new business models. It is fantastic to see the rapid progress being made by these 15 invested companies.” 

The impact of the Foundation’s loans varies based on the needs of each company. For instance, 15Rock, a climate risk management and advisory services firm was able to secure additional funding to complete an eight-month project in two weeks. Additionally, Kubik, a plastic-reducing technology company, accelerated its timeline toward establishing its first factory in Ethiopia, and Re:Dish, a reusables program that eliminates single-use disposables, was able to expand beyond the pilot stage and open the doors to other Fortune 500 companies as potential clients.

Ashley Etling, co-founder and CEO of retail packaging innovator LimeLoop states, “The JLL Foundation loan has been a great accelerator for us. JLL Foundation has built a community of people to elevate missions that genuinely do good in the world. It’s a great role model for other foundations.”

Read the inaugural JLL Foundation Annual Report here.

About JLL Foundation

JLL Foundation is dedicated to impacting climate change now and in the future. A non-profit founded and backed by JLL, one of the largest global real estate companies with a demonstrated commitment to sustainability, JLL Foundation’s goal is to be a catalyst for climate-impacting startups. For further information, visit foundation.jll.com.


About JLL

For over 200 years, JLL (NYSE: JLL), a leading global commercial real estate and investment management company, has helped clients buy, build, occupy, manage and invest in a variety of commercial, industrial, hotel, residential and retail properties. A Fortune 500® company with annual revenue of $20.8 billion and operations in over 80 countries around the world, our more than 106,000 employees bring the power of a global platform combined with local expertise. Driven by our purpose to shape the future of real estate for a better world, we help our clients, people and communities SEE A BRIGHTER WAYSM. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit jll.com.