Investment firm BlackRock, which claims to be the world's largest asset manager, has launched its first circular economy fund with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation amid joining the organisation as a global partner. 

The Fund aims to drive investments in businesses already contributing to or benefiting from, the transition to a circular economy. 

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation provides BlackRock with expert insights and guidance on circular economy principles and practices, which are used by BlackRock to inform the investment methodology of the Fund.

"The transition towards the circular economy is already happening, and now finance is vital to accelerate this shift," the Foundation said in a statement. "The circular economy is increasingly adopted as a powerful framework to address the world's most pressing challenges. Industry leaders are recognising that they have the power to shift to circular solutions through innovation, reinforced by changing consumer trends and supportive regulations.

"Given the size and urgency of the global issues, we now need to accelerate the shift and scale circular solutions rapidly. To do so, the finance sector needs to be onboard to provide capital and services, and engage with companies."

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation considers the partnership and fund as "important milestones towards" its broader agenda of unlocking the power of finance and investments to scale the circular economy.

Looking ahead, it plans to increase its work in this area over the coming months and years, working with global partners BlackRock and Intesa Sanpaolo, as well as other financial institutions and stakeholders. The Foundation will support them to accelerate the transition by allocating capital, providing services, and engaging companies on the circular economy.

On its new global partnership with BlackRock, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation said it brings together the power of investment and the value creation opportunity of a circular economy. Doing so, it aims to accelerate the transition and play a role in addressing major issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution.

Established by Dame Ellen MacArthur in 2010, the Foundation has since emerged as a global leader in putting a more rapid transition to a circular economy on the agendas of decision-makers in business, government, and academia.

In July, it launched a new 'Learning Hub' to help explain the circular economy and its impact on a number of industries, including fashion.