Responsible investing in action
Technology sector initiatives
Technology can be a catalyst for sustainable change, underpinning attractive, investable business models.
Environmental – cutting emissions across data centres
Contabo is a leading cloud infrastructure provider for developers and SMEs.
Contabo owns and operates three data centres, which are the largest contributors to the company’s carbon emissions. In 2021, the company conducted an initial carbon footprint assessment, focussing on where it has the biggest impact, namely Scope 2 emissions and the energy use of its data centres. Once the baseline emissions were understood, energy intensity reduction targets were set.
projected reduction in Scope 2 emissions
The changes subsequently implemented, including the switch to renewable energy, are projected to reduce the company’s Scope 2 footprint by 50%. And in 2022, Contabo aims to better understand its environmental impact by conducting a further carbon footprint assessment, which would encompass Scope 3 emissions.
Social – offering solutions to online privacy concerns
Seedtag the leading in contextual advertising platform in EMEA and Latin America.
Growing concerns around online privacy, along with the transition away from third-party cookies, have set the stage for the fast expansion of this advertising vertical.
Our investment in Seedtag and its AI-based contextual technology supports the transition to a society where the privacy and safety of the user are at the core of online marketing campaigns.
Seedtag’s product innovation is fast reshaping the contextual advertising industry. Knowledgesharing is important too, and recently the company shared a six-part podcast that explained every facet of contextual advertising. Seedtag lives up to its values, with a collaborative, fun and diverse culture.
Governance – coordinating ESG strategies across 12 business units
Grupo Primavera is the largest independent provider of business software in Spain and Portugal.
Bringing together nine businesses across Spain and Portugal (with some operations in Angola and Mozambique), Grupo Primavera is focused on building a community of valued customers. In order to do that, a harmonised approach to ESG is necessary.
Ensuring harmonised governance and management of material ESG issues has been a priority since the Group was formed in 2021. A senior-level team reporting to the board has been formed to ensure consistency, while an ESG committee was established at Group level, comprising individuals working across the various business units and operational teams.
Consumer sector initiatives
Consumer products present one of the most tangible opportunities to drive change from an ESG perspective.
Environmental – R&D investment into sustainable materials
North Sails offers high-performance products for the world’s sailors and yachtsmen.
North Sails is on a journey to become an ‘Ocean Positive’ brand by pursuing meaningful ocean regeneration and protection.
Three focus areas have been identified which will help achieve this goal: reducing emissions, producing responsible products and ocean advocacy.
of plastic tape will be saved annually as a result of North switching to paper tape for packaging
Several R&D projects related specifically to sustainable materials are also underway, and a multi-year sustainability action plan is being developed.
Social – career-enhancing training and coaching for employees
Dexters is London’s leading independent Chartered Surveyors and estate agents.
Dexters are London’s only major firm of residential Chartered Surveyors, and the only estate agent in the UK, to be certified as an ‘employer-provider’ able to offer employees nationally recognised development programmes and industry-specific qualifications, along with the on-the-job coaching that has made Dexters so successful.
The company’s apprenticeship and training programme, Dexters Academy, provides Ofsted-accredited training, and is a key part of Dexters’ ‘spend your career with us’ culture. In 2021, approximately 90 students participated in the 15 month programme.
Governance – developing and implementing a supplier code of conduct
Windstar is Germany’s leading over-the-counter consumer healthcare platform.
Better procurement and supply chain management are helping Windstar grow in a more responsible and transparent way. The company appointed a head of procurement in December 2021, and following an initial ‘boots on the ground’ assessment to identify supply chain challenges, a three-pronged action plan was established.
This plan includes: development and implementation of a formal supplier code of conduct; formalisation of a supplier audit programme; and a review of logistics practices to improve efficiency. Ultimately, the plan should deliver improvements within the supply chain, efficiencies in quality assessments, and reduced environmental impact.
Education sector initiatives
Managing the social aspects – particularly quality – of an educational institution is the key to creating long term value.
Environmental – thoughtful and sustainable waste disposal
ICP Education is one of the largest nursery operators in the UK, serving nearly 6,000 children at 49 nurseries across England.
The business is at the start of their sustainability journey, assessing the areas where their operations have the greatest environmental impact. The company has already begun working with Greenbottoms, a specialist nappy waste disposal provider, to address their largest waste category in a more thoughtful and environmentally conscious way.
Social – launching a scholarship programme for students from vulnerable groups
IU Group’s (IU) mission is to make education accessible to everyone.
With over 20 years of experience as an international university, Through their digital education platform and scholarship programmes, IU empower students to grow, regardless of social background and nationality. The scholarship programmes specifically target students from vulnerable groups to provide them with a high-quality education. IU uses technology to reshape the education value chain and remove geographical barriers to entry, offering one of the largest vertically integrated education platforms globally.
pledged scholarships for students in non-OECD countries
In 2021, the Group became one of the founding members of Study Access Alliance programme to provide 100,000 scholarships to students in non-OECD countries. As with all IU scholarships, the aim is to close the gap in access to higher education across the globe.
Governance – rolling out teaching and environmental KPIs across campuses
ACE Education (ACE) is a private vocational higher education platform in France and Spain.
To improve transparency and management of education quality, ACE has developed an intranet which enables the company to monitor the performance of each of its schools on selected quality KPIs – these include NPS scores for both teachers and students, among several other metrics.
The company also aims to incorporate environmental KPIs for each campus. Progress is tracked on a continuous basis via dashboards showing campus-specific and aggregate data. The intranet offers ACE the opportunity to actively manage performance, provide students and staff with latest feedback, and communicate new initiatives. It’s also an effective way to track certain data required by the French government.