Catella Residential Investment Management (CRIM) has launched the world’s first “energy-positive” residential building impact fund to invest in towers developed by Elithis Groupe.

Berlin-based CRIM has set up Catella Elithis Energy-Positive Fund (CEEPF) with a plan to invest €500m in Elithis towers across cities in France. Vistra Fund Management worked with Catella as host alternative investment fund manager.

CRIM said the first energy-positive buildings to be invested by CEEPF are already under agreement in the cities of Bordeaux, Clermont-Ferrand and Nancy.

The fund has a further 20-25 additional sites that have been identified across France with current work in progress in cities including Mulhouse, Brest, and suburban areas near Paris, the manager said.

According to CRIM, other European cities in markets including Germany, the Netherlands and the UK, will follow in new fund strategies as part of a wide-ranging 10-year investment programme targeting a total investment volume of €2bn in developing 100 Elithis Towers across Europe.

Xavier Jongen, CRIM’s managing director, said: “Our new impact fund is a trail-blazing global first for Catella in partnership with Elithis. These towers outperform the EU’s 2050 net carbon zero target operationally by using technologies which render them energy-positive from the start and they can be built at market-standard construction costs.”

CRIM has already initially invested in the development of two Elithis energy-positive towers in the French cities of Saint-Etienne and Dijon for the Catella European Residential Fund III and an institutional mandate.

Thierry Bièvre, Elithis Groupe’s president and founder, said the Elithis Tower residential design is the first in the world to link the delivery of operational carbon neutrality to the provision of affordable rents, while not affecting investors’ returns.

“This model provides a globally scalable ESG solution for the two greatest current crises of our times, climate change and widening social inequality, that are increasingly playing out in the earth’s environment and political polarisation.

”Our partnership with Catella in their new impact fund provides investors with the ability to really make a difference in residential real estate, the asset class that is bigger than all other investments combined, from fixed income to equities, because whether it’s rental or owner-occupier, it’s what eight billion of us humans call home,” Bièvre said.

To read the latest edition of the latest IPE Real Assets magazine click here.