The Growth Potential of Private Investments

The private investment landscape is changing as the world becomes more globalized and technology innovations cause disruptions across all sectors of the capital markets. Alongside the vast investment opportunities resulting from these developments, expanded growth in emerging markets1 is causing investors to look beyond U.S. borders:

  • Population growth is stagnating in developed countries. Global demographic growth is concentrated in emerging markets with the world’s largest group of future consumers—approximately 5 billion people—residing in East Asia, South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.2
  •  Similarly, emerging markets are expected to grow GDP three times faster than developed markets and are projected to contribute two-thirds of global GDP by 2030.3

Technological advancements and new business models capitalizing on global demographic and economic growth characteristics are largely found in one of the following six sectors: sustainability and energy access; health and wellness; education; food and agriculture; financial inclusion; and community development and housing. 

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Additionally, new trends and strategies are beginning to form around impact investing as next-generation consumers are more conscious of environmental and social consequences of their purchasing behavior. Impact private equity is a burgeoning market with an estimated 500 fund managers focusing on strategies that target environmental or social outcomes.

This paper seeks to analyze the intersection of private investments promoting sustainable prosperity and provide a deeper understanding of the growth trajectories and investment trends within the sectors shown above.

Global Private Investments Landscape

Private investments are not traded on public exchanges and typically are illiquid. Performance of private investments relative to investments which trade on the public markets, as well as the potential diversification benefits, however, continue to attract investors with long time horizons. For this paper, “private investments” refer to private equity buyouts, growth and venture capital, private credit, infrastructure, natural resources, and private real estate investments.

Assets under management (AUM) in global private investments have now grown to $5.8 trillion,4 which would be equivalent to the third largest global economy, trailing only the United States (GDP $21.5 trillion)5 and China (GDP $14.1 trillion).6

Given the long-term nature of private investments, it is important to have a perspective on forward-looking opportunity expectations. A recent Preqin survey of fund managers delved into investor expectations resulting in two main takeaways. First, assets will likely grow significantly: AUM is expected to grow to $14 trillion by 2023 (+59% vs. 2017). Second, the number of players will likely grow significantly: By 2023, 34,000 fund management firms are anticipated (+21% vs. 2018).8

The survey reveals that investors expect to shift to more global opportunity sets, as shown in Figure B. The best opportunity set currently (blue) is concentrated in developed markets, with 61% of fund managers allocating to North America. This is contrasted by emerging markets, where 23% of fund managers believe emerging markets represent the best current opportunity versus 46% who believe emerging markets will present the best opportunities in 2023 (orange).

In the global private investments space, impact investing has gained increasing traction and attention over the past decade. Impact investing, a phrase coined in 2007, is defined as investments made with the intention to generate positive and measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.10 A proliferation of strategies is now available for investors, from low-cost ETFs, mutual funds and “green” bonds in the public markets, to strategies in private markets.

An estimated 500 private equity firms operate strategies that are intended to have a measurable environmental or social benefit. Traditional private equity fund managers, such as TPG, KKR, Bain Capital and Partners Group, raise billion-dollar impact funds to invest at scale. Other newer managers may operate smaller funds focused on a specific sector or geography. In total, approximately 270 fund managers self-identify with impact as part of their overall investment thesis.11 However, other fund managers target products and services, end markets or customers tied to impact investing, even if impact is not core to their self-defined strategy.

What Do We Mean By Growth Trends?

Bullish investor sentiment for emerging markets is logical given that demographic and economic growth rates continue to outpace those of developed markets. As such, investor demand for niche strategies capitalizing on these growth trends is becoming more mainstream.

Population growth in developed countries is stagnating. According to the World Bank, the world’s largest group of future consumers lives outside developed markets. Populations in East Asia, South Asia, and Asia Pacific comprise more than half of that in the entire entire world, as shown in Figure C.13 Sub-Saharan Africa has remained the fastest-growing region in the world, with an annual population growth rate of 2.74% since 2000 as shown in Figure D.

Similarly, emerging markets are expected to grow GDP three times faster than developed markets, as shown in Figure E. Using projections from the International Monetary Fund, emerging markets are expected to generate two-thirds of global GDP by 2030.15

Despite the explosive growth rates outside of developed markets, the investment case for developed markets remains intact. Developed economies have historically experienced lower rates of currency volatility and geopolitical instability. Oftentimes, developed markets offer access to investments in innovation, research and development at a scale unobtainable in emerging markets. Given capital markets are developed and provide ample infrastructure to support trade deals, the exit environment for developed countries remains compelling and relatively stable. Thus, a balanced approach to the global opportunity set is prudent.

Segmenting The Market

Private companies, underpinned by widespread adoption of technology, are flourishing in an effort to provide products and services to a burgeoning global population. Technological advancements have created new industries, such as renewable energy, and innovative businesses, such as tech-enabled education platforms. Market mapping and landscape analysis show the sectors most likely to best deploy technology and capitalize on growth trends include: sustainability and energy access; health and wellness; education; food and agriculture; financial inclusion; and community development and housing. 

The markets and investment opportunities in each sector are growing, with sustainability and energy access having received the greatest capital investments in 2017.17

The following section highlights compelling opportunities in each of the six sectors. Technology plays a large part in creating investment trends in most sectors, and underlying all of the sectors is an inherent ability to generate positive impact, either environmentally or socially.

1. Sustainability & Energy Access (Portions of the text below were published by World Economic Forum Global Agenda.)

The rise of attention on climate change has led to increased focus on renewable energy opportunities. Technological advances in wind and solar now make renewable energy cost-competitive with traditional forms of energy generation. However, despite decreasing costs, renewables have not reached grid parity in most developed markets. Grid parity occurs when a source of energy can generate power at a cost less than or equal to the price of power from the electricity grid. Within renewable energy, grid parity is achieved when the cost of building renewable energy plants is equal to or less than conventional forms of energy, such as fossil fuels.19 In an effort to increase investment into renewables, governments have offered subsidies to those building wind and solar plants. As shown in Figure G, new construction of alternative energy plants — wind, solar, or hydro — is now cost-competitive with existing conventional generation, especially with government subsidies.

Given the lack of existing power infrastructure, renewables have reached grid parity in many emerging markets. This allows private investors to build large-scale renewable power plants at competitive rates without government subsidies. Development of large, utility-scale renewable energy generation in emerging markets is a potentially lucrative trend as the cost of energy is comparable to conventional sources, cash flows are often transparent due to long-term power purchase agreements and competition is still relatively limited.

Equally formidable is the rise of decentralized renewable power technology. While the number of people living without access to electricity has dipped below the 1 billion mark, many still live without electricity, predominately in emerging markets, and many are not connected to a traditional grid.23 Technology now allows for the rise of community grids, microgrids and decentralized solar systems, which have the potential to bypass the need for traditional electricity distribution and transmission. 

Additionally, rapid technological advancements in battery storage, metering infrastructure, sensors and monitoring data will need to happen before widespread adoption of renewable energy.24 However, these developments also offer potential areas of opportunity for investment.

Renewable energy and the associated service areas are only one sub-sector within sustainability and energy access. Increasingly, capital is also invested in businesses with a sustainability or resource-efficiency angle as investors and business owners also recognize the opportunity to reduce costs and enhance operational efficiency. For example, DocuSign, a company that offers electronic signing of documents, dramatically decreases paper usage and ultimately contributes toward a more sustainable economy. After remaining privately held for 15 years, the company went public last year with its share price increasing from $39.73 at the April 2018 IPO to a high of $63.95 in mid-June 2018.25 Similarly, the privately held company TemperPack has produced an innovative line of compostable and recyclable packaging and insulation materials. The company recently raised $22.5 million to fund expanding operations, demonstrating investor belief that companies generating plastic waste, such as Jet.com, will increasingly turn to solutions like TemperPack.26

Private equity continues to fund the innovative opportunities that will combat climate change. From funding the technological advancements behind renewable energy and backing the rise of electric vehicles, to innovative ways of tackling sustainability and resource efficiency, the private markets provide capital at scale with more patient time horizons than the rest of the capital markets. Investors who are able to take the illiquidity risk of the private markets could play a large part in this fight.

2. Health & Wellness (Portions of the text below were published by World Economic Forum Global Agenda.)

As birth rates decline in high-income countries and life longevity increases, the overall age of population rises, leading to a rise in businesses focused on improving health and wellness outcomes. In 2017, the global population over the age of 60 was 962 million people, which is expected to double by 2050 to nearly 2.1 billion.27 This represents a meaningful future need for increased healthcare services, drug discovery and tech-enabled healthcare products.

In addition to aging populations, increased wealth has led more people to consume meat-heavy diets, while urbanization has led people to lead more sedentary lifestyles.28 Collectively, these factors equate to an increase in the incidence and mortality of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). 29

As shown in Figure H, NCDs such as cardiac diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes represent 63% of all annual deaths. They are among the top killers in developed markets, and their effect on emerging markets is beginning to take shape.

At the same time, drug development costs have skyrocketed to over three times from 10 years ago. It now costs drug manufacturers an estimated $2.6 billion to develop a new prescription medicine.31 The growing cost paradigm has discouraged public or nonprofit sectors from investing, yet also represents an opportunity for scales of efficiency. Given the rise of incidence of NCDs globally, significant opportunity exists for investment in drug discovery and development. For example, Loxo Oncology, a company seeded by private capital, focuses on the development and commercialization of highly selective medicines for patients with genomically defined cancers. As a testament to investors’ willingness to fund ongoing drug development, the company was recently acquired by Eli Lilly and Company for $8 billion in cash. 32

Across developed and emerging markets, attractive investment opportunities reside in consumer health, including the rising trend of health and wellness centers, and potentially, licensing and distribution of drugs. Wearable technology companies are now commanding attractive valuations: FitBit has a valuation of $1.25 billion, and Garmin, a valuation of $15 billion.34 Technology is also beginning to reshape business-related services in health and wellness, such as human resources, scheduling and patient tracking technology.

3. Education (Portions of the text below were published by World Economic Forum Global Agenda.)

Education can be a powerful means to close achievement gaps and lift communities and people from poverty.35 As literacy rates rise around the world, corporations and individuals are increasingly aware of the link between education and income. As shown in Figure I, a person in the U.S. with only a high-school degree earns a median weekly salary of $712. This median increases to $1,173 for persons with a bachelor’s degree and more than doubles to $1,836 for persons with a professional degree.36

Limitations of the Current Model

Simultaneously, the cost of education has also increased. Over the past 10 years, the average price of tuition and fees at U.S. four-year private colleges and universities has jumped over 44% to $39,529 per year in 2015-16, up more than $11,000 from 10 years ago, when tuition was at $27,333,38 as shown in Figure J. While public institutions can be more affordable, costs here too have increased, rising 58% from $12,108 in 2005-06 to $19,189 in 2015-16.39 The financial commitment of education can be untenable for the majority of families seeking an education in the U.S. Americans now owe over $1.5 trillion in student loan debt spread among 44 million borrowers.40 

Private investments into the education sector can spur innovation in providing quality education outcomes and democratizing access to education-related products and services.

In a world that is becoming increasingly digitized and data-driven, students, teachers and parents alike are expecting to use technology to improve learning outcomes and enhance engagement. The use of data, predictive analytics and artificial intelligence technologies allow learning experiences to become more digitized and personalized. From a teacher standpoint, companies like Abl Schools and Class Dojo are bringing data and digitalization into the classroom through parent-teacher communication apps, and digital curriculum, grade books and tutoring platforms. From a student standpoint, learning personalization technologies, like the unique learn journeys by India’s BYJU’S, leverage big-data analytics to create personalized experiences.42

Increasingly, higher costs of education are spurring a movement to stimulate higher education institutions to offer more digital access.43 The move toward digitalization, known as the “massive open online course”(MOOC) market, has gained much investor attention in the past decade as institutions work to disaggregate degrees into smaller, less expensive certificates.44, 45 Coursera, the largest of the MOOC platforms, raised $103 million recently and was valued at more than $1 billion.46 Decreasing costs also come in the form of online lenders, such as CommonBond and SoFi, who are developing low-cost financing platforms for postgraduate students at the world’s leading schools. By using technology to simplify the process and eliminate the “middle man,” companies are able to offer less expensive and cumbersome financial aid services. Other companies, such as Future Fuel, focus on building out infrastructure to make student loan repayment and refinancing easier for enterprises, platform providers and users.

4. Food & Agriculture

As a rising middle-class desires higher-quality food, agriculture systems worldwide should become more productive and less wasteful. Global supply chains need to be built out or improved. For example, greenhouse gas emissions related to food production should be addressed.

Global needs can be compared simultaneously with consumer demand. As populations increase in wealth, people seek more expensive protein-based diets.47 Increasingly, consumers are also seeking awareness and information on food sourcing and production.48

These macro trends have led to an influx of capital to the food and agriculture market. Private investment trends in this sector include agricultural sustainability practices, increasing current yields and food innovation.

A key area in agricultural sustainability is food waste, which refers to the discarding or alternative use of food that is safe and nutritious for human consumption.49 This can range from “ugly foods”50  to nearly expired, unused or leftover foods. Combined, over one-third of global human food production is wasted, amounting to about 1.3 billion tons per year.51 As shown in the chart below, most food loss and waste across the supply chain come from the consumption, production, and handling and storage sectors. Profitable, privately held companies, such as Selig Sealing and Unipac, create products that lengthen product shelf life and provide evidence of tampering.

Reducing food loss and waste could drastically alter the food and agriculture landscape while meeting many environmental and greenhouse-gas emissions goals. Additionally, rethinking food production lessens pressure on the need for arable land, as seen through vertical farming, indoor farming, hydroponics, and aeroponics. Fridheimar, a family-owned greenhouse in Iceland using geothermal technology, produces 370 tons of tomatoes throughout the year.53 Indoor farming has a plethora of sustainability bonuses, including a lower-carbon footprint and reduced use of pesticides.54 Investors are growing attuned to this trend, and recently, a 130,000 + square-foot greenhouse in Minnesota sold for $11 million.55

Agricultural technologies (“agtech”) seek to make farming more sustainable and cost efficient through practices like water-drip irrigation and precision farming. In an effort to maximize current yields, many institutions are investing into the research and development of drought- and flood-resistant seeds. Lastly, food innovation includes development of clean-meat technologies and genetic editing. The former seeks to grow meat in laboratories to both decrease the environmental footprint and animal slaughtering, while the latter seeks to grow longer-lasting and/or more resilient produce. 

5. Financial Inclusion

Globally, innovative financial products and services are being launched to serve the technologically savvy individual. The ability to continuously democratize access to banking, personal financial management, credit, savings and insurance is underpinned by internet usage and mobile phone adoption. Internet users have multiplied over seven-fold since 2000. In 2000, 400 million people used the internet; today, over 3 billion people worldwide use the internet, as shown in Figure L.

The staggering growth of internet users constituted the fastest mass adoption of any technology. However, that record was eclipsed by the uptake of mobile subscriptions once technology advanced to offering miniaturized digital devices. In 1998, 20% of the developed world and 1% of the emerging markets had a cellphone.57  As shown in Figure M, mobile subscribers in emerging markets now outnumber those in the developed world, with mobile penetration rates surpassing 75% as of 2016.

This uptick of internet usage and mobile penetration, coupled with underlying demographic and economic growth drivers, represents a vast opportunity for products and services catering to varying customer segments. Innovation spans across all sub-sectors, including, but not limited to, savings, payments, credit and insurance. In the United States, capital from traditional private equity and venture capital investors is flowing into companies that target smarter savings options, such as MoneyLion and Acorns. Emerging market investors have been backing insurance providers such as StarHealth and BIMA, who use a simplified mobile model that builds credit data through cellphone usage histories in order to gain a large customer base.

6. Community Development & Housing

Alongside demographic growth, the global urban population has skyrocketed to 4.2 billion in 2018 (55% of the world population), compared to 751 million (30%) in 1950.59 Simultaneously, a growing need for community development and housing has emerged. Worldwide, shortages of quality affordable housing have become a pressing issue. 

Multifamily residential properties remain an attractive investment. However, much of the capital flowing into the asset class has focused on new supply of so-called “Class A” luxury units, while more affordable housing requires much-needed maintenance and repair. Additionally, more than one-third of all U.S. households face housing cost burdens, defined as paying more than 30% of income to housing.60 However, most units delivered to the market are Class A and Class B units, which target higher socioeconomic tiers.61 Class C housing, historically less expensive, has seen very few new units in the past decade. In addition to the new supply increasing property values, real estate investors are buying formerly affordable properties and upgrading the units to drive increasing rent revenue.

As a result, tenants seeking affordable housing are increasingly pushed further away from the center of metropolitan cities. However, investors are beginning to pay attention to a segment of the real estate market known as “naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH)” or “workforce housing.”62 Workforce housing appears a more attractive investment given its historically lower turnover and vacancy rates throughout economic cycles, as compared to the higher end of the market. The volume of units and speed of leasing, due to undersupply, can offset the lower margins and produce a suitable risk-adjusted return.

While the above analysis highlights the nuances and potential opportunity in the domestic real estate markets, the international opportunity set functions similarly. In addition to building and maintaining quality housing units on the back of increasing urbanization, myriad new businesses and community developments catering to the needs of urban dwellers are now emerging, including food and grocery delivery services, shared gyms and fitness classes, and ride-hailing services. While these services have traditionally been reserved for domestic markets, they are now relevant and in-demand abroad as well.

Capitalizing on Growth Trends

Opportunities to invest in global economic and demographic growth trends are abundant. The rise of technology and innovative business models allows investors to capitalize on trends developing in the following six sectors: 

  • Sustainability & energy access
  • Health & wellness
  • Education
  • Food & agriculture
  • Financial inclusion
  • Community development & housing 

Investors are looking beyond U.S. borders for growth opportunities, as the world’s highest rates of demographic and economic growth reside outside of developed economies. While select trends and potentially lucrative opportunities within each sector are highlighted in this paper, this investment opportunity set is vast, as technology creates new industries and business models. Concurrently, each of these sectors is defined by an undercurrent of achieving social change as business models that seek to have environmental or social impact are maturing for private investment.

 

You may also be interested in Private Investments: Reassessing the Landscape

 

1 “Emerging markets” was first coined by economists at the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in 1981. An emerging market is one in which the country is becoming a developed nation and determined through many socio-economic factors. They are often going through rapid economic growth because of changes in markets, technology, business culture and social practices. (International Finance Corporation and Knowledge@Wharton).
2 World Bank. Annual Population Growth. 2018.
3 International Monetary Fund. World Economic Outlook (October 2018), Real GDP Growth.
4 McKinsey & Company. “Private markets come of age. McKinsey Global Private Markets Review 2019.” p.15.
5 Country GDP is shown as of October 2018 provided by the International Monetary Fund.
6 Country GDP is shown as of October 2018 provided by the International Monetary Fund.
7 McKinsey & Company. “Private markets come of age. McKinsey Global Private Markets Review 2019.” p.15.
8 Preqin. “The Future of Alternatives.” 2019.
9 Preqin Fund Manager Survey. June 2018.
10 Global Impact Investing Network. “What is impact investing?” https://www.thegiin.org/.
11 Sostheim, J.; Apfel, H. “Sources of Impact Capital: A deeper dive into LPs committing to impact funds.” PitchBook. 22 March 2018.
12 World Bank. Annual Population Growth. 2018.
13 Ibid.
14 World Bank. Annual Population Growth. 2018.
15 International Monetary Fund. World Economic Outlook (October 2018), Real GDP Growth.
16 Ibid.
17 “PEI Crucial Questions for Impact Investors.” Private Equity International. Global Impact Investing Network. KPMG.
1 February 2019.
18 “PEI Crucial Questions for Impact Investors.” Private Equity International. Global Impact Investing Network. KPMG. 1 February 2019.
19 “What is Grid Parity and Why Does It Matter?” Climate Reality Project. 29 March 2016.
20 Definitions: “CCS” is defined as Carbon Capture and Sequestration. “CC Gas” is defined as “Combined Cycle Gas.” Regional variation in levelized cost of electricity for new generation resources entering service in 2023 (2018 $/MWh).
21 U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2019. The levelized cost of electricity is the net present
value of the unit-cost of electrical energy over the lifetime of a generating plant.
22 Solar PV refers to solar photovoltaic technology. Solar photovoltaic cells convert sunlight directly into electricity. “Solar Photovoltaic Technology Basics.” US Department of Energy. 16 August 2013.
23 L. Cozzi; O. Chen; H. Daly; A. Koh. “Commentary: Population without access to electricity falls below 1 billion.” International Energy Agency. 2018 October 30.
24 M. Scott. “When Will Renewables Become The Dominant Source of Energy? It May Be Sooner Than You Think.”
Forbes. 2018 February 19.
25 D. Olsen. “These VCs could win big in the DocuSign IPO.” Pitchbook. 28 March 2018.
26  A. Wilson. “Sustainable Packaging Startup TemperPack Raises $22.5 Million To Take On Styrofoam.” 10 January 2019.
27 United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2017). World Population Ageing 2017 - Highlights (ST/ESA/SER.A/397).
28 Onywera, Vincent O. “Physical inactivity is hurting the health of people in countries like Kenya. There’s a solution.”The Conversation. 23 February 2017.
29 Onywera, Vincent O. “Physical inactivity is hurting the health of people in countries like Kenya. There’s a solution.” The Conversation. 23 February 2017.
30 Global Health Estimates 2016: Deaths by Cause, Age, Sex, By Country and by Region, 2000-2016. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2018.
31 J.A. DiMasi; H.G. Grabowski; R.A. Hansen. “Innovation in the pharmaceutical industry: New estimates of R&D costs.” Journal of Health Economics 2016; 47:20-33.
32 Loxo Oncology. 2019. <https://www.loxooncology.com/> Loxo Oncology focuses on developing medicines that selectively and potently inhibit a single cancer-driving molecular target. Targeted therapies block cancer from growing and spreading by interfering with specific genes or proteins necessary for tumor growth. This approach differs greatly from the traditional weapons against cancer, such as surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Precision medicine has led us to the understanding that many types of cancer need to be treated at the genomic level – treatment chosen based on a patient’s specific genomic alteration.
33 A. Lucas. “Eli Lilly to buy Loxo Oncology for about $8 billion in cancer drug bet.” CNBC. 7 January 2019.
34 Google Finance. Fitbit and Garmin Ltd. Market Capitalization as of May 28, 2019.
35 B. Braverman. “Private Equity in the Education Sector Shows Growth.” Impactivate: The Impact Investing Exchange. 1 November 2018.
36 Torpey. E. “Measuring the Value of Education.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey. April 2018.
Note: Data are for persons age 25 and over. Earnings are for full-time wage and salary workers.
37 Torpey. E. “Measuring the Value of Education.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey. April 2018. Note: Data are for persons age 25 and over. Earnings are for full-time wage and salary workers.
38 U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2018). Digest of Education Statistics, 2016 (NCES 2017-094), Chapter 3.
39 U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2018). Digest of Education Statistics, 2016 (NCES 2017-094), Chapter 3.
40 Friedman, Z. “Student Loan Debt Statistics in 2019: A $1.5 Trillion Crisis.” Forbes. 25 February 2019.
41 U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2018). Digest of Education Statistics, 2016 (NCES 2017-094), Chapter 3.
42 BYJU’S. 2019. <https://byjus.com/>.
43 “How Youth Plan to Fund College.” Annual Survey, 8th Edition. College Savings Foundation. 2017.
44 edX. https://www.mooc.org.
45 D. Lederman. “MOOC Platforms’ New Model Draws Big Bet from Investors.” Inside Higher Ed. 22 May 2019.
46 I. Lunden. “Online learning startup Coursera picks up $103M, now valued at $1B+.” TechCrunch. April 2019.
47 “Availability and changes in consumption of animal products.” World Health Organization. Global and regional food consumption patterns and trends. <https://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/3_foodconsumption/en/index4.html>.
48 C. Siegner. “1 in 4 US consumers discuss responsible food sourcing online.” Food Dive. 19 July 2019. < https://www.fooddive.com/news/1-in-4-us-consumers-discuss-responsible-food-sourcing-online/559096/>.
49 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​“Food Loss and Food Waste.” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2019.
50 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​“Ugly foods” are crops and produce that have been removed based on quality or appearance criteria, including specifications for size, color, weight, blemish level and Brix (a measure of sugar content). Off-grade fresh produce can often spoil and adds to a significant increase in food waste. Source: D. Gunders, Natural Resources Defense Council. “Wasted: How America is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill.” August 2012.
51 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​“Food Loss and Food Waste.” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2019.
52 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​WRI analysis based on Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2011. J. Ranganathan; R. Waite; T. Searchinger; C. Hanson. “How to Sustainably Feed 10 Billion People by 2050, in 21 Charts.” World Resources Institute. 5 December 2018.
53 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​S. Harper. “The Greenhouse Where Tomatoes Grow in Iceland.” Atlas Obscura. 13 June 2018.
54 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​E. Björnsdóttir. “Greenhouses.” Invest in Iceland. 2019.
55 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​C. Janiec. “Equilibrium unit buys US greenhouse for $11.3m.” Agri Investor. 14 January 2019.
56 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The World Bank. 2019. World Development Indicators. Individuals using the Internet (% of population). <https://www.data.worldbank.org>
57 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The World Bank. 2019. World Development Indicators. Mobile Cellular Subscriptions. <https://www.data.worldbank.org>
58 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Ibid. <https://www.data.worldbank.org>
59 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​“World Urbanization Prospects: The 2018 Revision.” United Nations.
60 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. “The State of the Nation’s Housing 2017.” 16 June 2017.
61 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​“Population Facts.” United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division. December 2018. No. 2018/1.
62 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Ibid.

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