News Latest News

Cox Investment Turns Trash to Energy

Cox Enterprises is investing in a company that uses revolutionary technology to convert trash to renewable energy and construction materials – an idea that could potentially slash greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the glut of global waste.

The $10 million investment commitment will enable Sierra Energy to further develop its cutting-edge technology, which uses oxygen and steam to heat virtually any type of waste to 4,000 degrees. At this temperature, all waste breaks down into one of several core components: gas that can be used for energy, stone or molten metal that can be used in construction. The process does not produce any emissions, and all its outputs are marketable.

“Sierra Energy is a great example of pioneering new technology that can positively impact our communities and our planet,” said Alex Taylor, president and CEO of Cox Enterprises. “We believe in investing in like-minded businesses that share our vision for a brighter future and leaving things in better shape for the next generation.”

Cox Enterprises is a private, family-owned company with a long-standing commitment to building businesses that support local communities and the environment. Our investment in Sierra Energy is part of a $33 million round of initial investment led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures – a billion-dollar fund to finance breakthroughs in energy technology. It is also part of a broader strategy to build a multi-billion-dollar business that addresses sustainability challenges, while also driving profitability, growth and diversification of our business.

Besides renewable energy production, Cox Enterprises is also interested in investing in energy efficiency, sustainable agriculture and water.

“We are making strategic investments in the cleantech sector to build a business that drives positive environmental change,” said Steve Bradley, assistant vice president of cleantech strategy and investments. “We are excited about our partnership with Sierra Energy because they are addressing a massive planetary problem in an innovative way.”

Since 2007, Cox Enterprises has invested nearly $400 million in sustainable businesses and technologies. This marks the fourth investment in this space since 2018, including investments in Carbon Lighthouse, Nexus Fuels and Brightfarms.

Cox Enterprises’ own sustainability commitment includes sending zero waste to landfill by 2024 and becoming water and carbon neutral by 2044.

“We are very excited to work with partners like Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Cox who invest in innovative technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale,” said Mike Hart, Sierra Energy’s CEO. “The world is drowning in trash which, when landfilled, is a leading generator of methane, a greenhouse gas that is 86 times more harmful to our climate than CO2. Our FastOx gasification technology can efficiently and cost-effectively convert this trash into electricity, hydrogen, renewable natural gas, diesel, ammonia, and a variety of other valuable end-products. When you combine our technology with recycling and other waste diversion strategies, you have the solution to the world’s waste problem, as well as a valuable source of renewable energy.”