EDL undertook an energy efficiency project in this building
University-of-the-West-Indies-Arthur-Lok-Jack-Graduate-School-of-Business where EDL implemented an energy efficiency project

The negative economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is tangible all around the world: governments have put forth historic economic relief packages and are focusing on coping with the public health crisis. At the same time, the immense looming challenges of the global climate crisis have taken a backseat for many governments and businesses as they are trying to overcome the current situation. Businesses are quickly learning to adapt to the new normal of living and working with a virus that is likely to remain with us for the near-term future. Innovation to meet shifting market demands is key to overcoming the healthcare, economic, and climate crises. Examples of companies that started producing face masks, ventilators and other critical health care equipment, instead of their usual products, have been reported widely and have proven that business flexibility is crucial in times of economic hardship. Deetken Impact has seen this first-hand through Energy Dynamics Limited (EDL), one of its investee companies located in Trinidad & Tobago, a country in which cases have surged to new highs in August, and where the government already reacted by imposing new measures to contain the spread of the virus. Other nations across the Caribbean have seen similar increases of cases in August, which followed the opening of those countries’ borders and relaxing restrictions.

Digicel building in Kingston, Jamaica is another energy efficiency project by EDL
Digicel building in Kingston, Jamaica – another energy efficiency project by EDL

This is not the first time that EDL adapts to a crisis. Historically, EDL had focused on selling, installing, and maintaining heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in the Caribbean. The fall of oil prices in 2014 hit EDL’s customer base hard and demand for HVAC systems fell, forcing EDL to rethink its business model. Relatively high grid electricity prices in most Caribbean countries led EDL to develop an ESCo (Energy Service Company) model. ESCos implement energy savings opportunities through renewable energy installations or energy efficiency measures, which are financed through the energy savings created by the implementation, which can be quite large in countries with high grid electricity prices. EDL implements its energy efficiency measures through its’ “Corporate Utility Management Program” (CUMP), offered in Trinidad, Jamaica, and elsewhere in the Caribbean.

COVID-19 is having a major impact on the way we work and live across the globe. Like climate change forced us to rethink our energy systems, COVID-19 is forcing us to rethink indoor air quality and to adjust social norms to keep people safe. Among many other adjustments the current pandemic requires changes to indoor air ventilation and circulation systems. Many businesses, schools and other organizations are dependent on indoor spaces and yet mounting evidence points to the fact that so-called “super-spreader events” have largely taken place indoors, especially in poorly ventilated buildings, and have been  based on aerosol transmission. COVID-19 can be airborne indoors via aerosols, as acknowledged by the WHO at the beginning of July, even if it is primarily transmitted through respiratory droplets and touching. The transmission through aerosols is less of an issue in outdoor areas, as virus particles are quickly dispersed and diluted, according to researchers at the University of Minnesota. Indoor transmission via aerosols can be reduced through proper ventilation and filtering, which may help businesses and schools safely reopen. 

C-MIST duct inspection by EDL technician
Duct inspection by EDL technician for COVID-19 resilient high efficiency filter C-MIST installation

Early in the pandemic, EDL recognized an opportunity to leverage its building HVAC system expertise and to evolve its CUMP product, which already included indoor air quality considerations, to help companies make work environments safer in the context of COVID-19. EDL is now including in its energy efficiency and HVAC projects, new COVID-19 resiliency measures including the installation of highly efficient filters in HVAC systems (calling the product C-MIST), in accordance with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), which recommends filters with a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating of at least 13 or HEPA filters. EDL has designed its offering based on careful research and through consultation with key government stakeholders. For example, EDL had the opportunity to present and discuss its service with government ministers in Jamaica to inform the development of standards for the safe reopening of economic activities that enable people to return to safe work and school environments. The product has also gotten the attention of the private sector. A Jamaican Business Process Outsourcing company has recently agreed to incorporate filtration and ventilation measures as part of an HVAC system retrofit to make their office more COVID-19 resilient. Their voice and non-voice contact services are labour-intensive and require many employees that are constantly speaking, which emits more aerosols than simple breathing, in indoor spaces. The installation of an efficient ventilation and filtering system will help to decrease the risk of transmission in their work environment.

We at Deetken Impact are committed to supporting innovative approaches like the one EDL has developed, and we’re very excited that they have also received the support of IDB Lab as part of their program to support emerging entrepreneurs in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region to overcome the challenges of the pandemic, which will allow EDL to roll out their new services in the Caribbean in the coming months.

The year 2020 will be remembered by many for the global COVID-19 outbreak, an acute crisis, but also a pivot point and an opportunity. EDL’s energy efficiency measures and small-scale renewable generation systems offer a relief to companies coping with the COVID-19 crisis and high grid electricity prices at the same time. And through their business model innovation, EDL is driving climate action and supporting additional sustainable development goals (SDGs) by simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions, decreasing business operating costs, and contributing to addressing the health and economic challenges caused by COVID-19. EDL is contributing to the effort to “build back better” and offering a greener and more sustainable recovery. 

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Magali Lamyin, Director of Communications and Development for Deetken Impact

MAGALI LAMYIN

Director of Communications and Development

 

Magali brings extensive market intelligence, business development and marketing experience from her work at the Central Bank of Mexico, the Canadian Institute for Market Intelligence, and the IESE-PWC e-Business Centre in Barcelona. She also co-led national marketing campaigns for businesses in the hospitality and early childhood education sectors for almost a decade before joining Deetken. In her current role, she is responsible for leading Deetken Impact’s communications, marketing and branding strategy. She is also involved in the due diligence process for project selection with an emphasis in Mexico.

Magali holds a BA in Economics from Mexico's ITAM and a Master's degree in Economics from the University of British Columbia.

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Jose Lamyin, Managing Partner Deetken Impact

JOSE LAMYIN

Managing Partner

 

José has extensive experience as a business advisor for clients throughout Canada, Europe and Latin America in mining, telecommunications, and finance. Prior to co-founding The Deetken Group, José worked for Teck Cominco in Peru and Canada and Deutsche Bank in London (UK). José has spearheaded much of the strategic growth of Deetken Asset Management since inception and is currently focused on investment selection.

José received his BS in Engineering from the University of British Columbia and MBA from IESE School of Business (Barcelona). Born in Peru, José is fluent in English and Spanish.

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Alexa Blain, Managing Partner Deetken Impact

ALEXA BLAIN

Managing Partner

 

Alexa is responsible for finance, operations and investor relations at Deetken Impact. She brings over 10 years of experience in financial consulting and asset management, with specific expertise in company and investment analysis, business valuation and securities/corporate finance. Prior to joining Deetken, she spent three years with African Alliance, a pan-African financial services group, where she focused on expanding the firm’s retail financial services operations as well as on the origination and negotiation of new capital. In addition, Alexa has six years of asset management experience with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the Macquarie Group and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

Alexa is a CFA Charterholder. She has also completed an MA in Financial Economics and an Honours BA in Economics, both at the University of Toronto.

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Fernando Alvarado, Head of Deetken Impact Sustainable Energy

FERNANDO ALVARADO

CEO

Honduras Renewable Energy Managers (HREM) and Caribbean Renewable Energy Managers (CAREM)

 

Fernando Alvarado leads the General Partner and Investment Advisor of two clean energy and energy efficiency project finance and venture capital funds: Honduras Renewable Energy Financing Facility (H-REFF) and Caribbean Basin Sustainable Energy Fund (CABEF), which he structured and runs with a combined target capitalization of $100m.

Development Investment Banker with 28 years of international credit and investment experience and 18 years of direct experience assessing diversified renewable energy portfolios in Latin America & the Caribbean. He has participated in more than 50 syndicated credit and investment transactions for renewable energy projects in excess of $250 MM. He led the creation, structuring, fundraising, legal closing and portfolio construction of several specialized renewable energy funds.

Costa Rican, based in San Jose, Mr. Alvarado has an MBA in Banking and Finance cum laude from Universidad de Costa Rica.

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Carl Black, Portfolio Manager Deetken Impact

CARL BLACK

Portfolio Manager

 

Carl is a Portfolio Manager with Deetken Impact focused on analyzing and working with MSMEs, social enterprises, and renewable energy developers in Latin America and the Caribbean. His main responsibilities include supporting business development, managing technical assistance projects, leading investment due diligence, and monitoring portfolio performance. Prior to joining Deetken Impact, Carl worked for five years as a consultant, advising public sector clients an non profits in Canada and financial services companies in Latin America. He started his career at the Bank of Canada, where he researched issues related to household and business credit. 

Carl completed an Honours BA in Economics at the University of British Columbia. He also holds an MSc in Economics & Development from the University of Oxford, where he earned distinctions in quantitative and development economics.

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Cristobal Aguirre, Investment Analyst at Deetken Impact

CRISTOBAL AGUIRRE

Investment Analyst

 

Cristobal has over 6 years of experience in the asset management industry, where his responsibilities have ranged from asset allocation and portfolio management to risk analysis and software development. Before relocating to Canada, Cristobal worked as a senior investment analyst in AFP Habitat—Chile’s largest pension fund—where he led the tactical asset allocation and macroeconomic research for emerging markets.

Cristobal is a CFA Charterholder, and completed a BA in Economics at Universidad de Chile.

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Chad Parsons, Senior Investment Analyst at Deetken Impact

CHAD PARSONS

SeniorInvestmentAnalyst

 

Chad has worked as a consultant in business and technology for 20 years – often helping clients with their business transformation initiatives.    He has worked with start-ups, government, and established businesses to further their product and service offerings with a balanced approach.   After pursuing a research degree on leveraging technology for social and economic development; Chad has found a valuable alignment of his background with Deetken’s innovative impact investments. 

Chad completed a BS in Engineering from the University of British Columbia and has a MSc with distinction from the University of Manchester (UK).

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