Making a difference
When we make an investment, we aim to add value by offering more than what would be provided by mainstream investors. The guidance we offer on environmental, social, and business integrity issues is integral to this support. By providing practical, hands-on support to help businesses achieve good environmental, social and business integrity standards, we can support businesses become stronger, which in time helps them become more attractive to other investors.
Working with investees to add value
To ensure our investees are aligned with international good practice, we require them to adhere to our Code of Responsible Investing. The Code is made up of six schedules that set out our environmental, social, and governance requirements. We understand that, in the countries in which we invest, it can be difficult to meet international standards straight away, so we’re always willing to work with investees to develop action plans to meet those standards within a reasonable timeframe.
Beyond the Code, we proactively identify opportunities to improve the sustainability of the businesses we invest in. For example, we work with businesses to build their capacity to manage environmental and social issues, including to improve job quality for employees, to use resources more efficiently, and to become more climate resilient. To help build skills in these areas, we provide regular training sessions for fund managers and have an online Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Toolkit – a free archive of digital resources.
Supporting businesses to become resource efficient
We provide a resource efficiency facility for investees to develop measures to reduce energy and water consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions. The objective of the facility is to help address market failures, particularly where the benefits of resource efficiency interventions are undervalued or not fully recognised by the private market. It is being used to improve energy efficiency and reduce water consumption in our investees in India. There are a number of similar projects in Africa in the pipeline.
Improving job quality
We work with investees to improve job quality for their employees. Our focus areas include delivering training on occupational health and safety standards, working with investees to improve reporting of accidents, improving working conditions and and identifying ways to manage risks in supply chains of portfolio companies. We ensure that core ILO conventions are adopted and followed in all our investments.
Advancing women’s economic empowerment
As an investor, we have the potential to influence positive outcomes for both businesses and for women if we consider, enable and invest in gender opportunities across this value chain. So, we work with businesses and funds we invest in to introduce measures to support women’s economic empowerment.
Technical assistance and grant funding
In addition to investment capital, we manage a pool of funding, provided by UK Aid from the UK Government, that can be allocated to support potential and current investees, as well as to address wider challenges within our markets. The CDC Plus facility provides technical assistance and grants to support investee companies reach commercial sustainability, scale and deliver greater impact. Beyond investee companies, the facility provides grants to work with industry stakeholders and partners on programmes and projects that address critical challenges within our markets with the objective of unlocking additional developmental value.