On our portfolio as a whole, our ESG strategy is also to pool resources around some cross-cutting objectives we consider as strategic for African SMEs. This will result in shared actions at the portfolio level, with the aim to provide our investee companies with innovative and replicable ESG solutions.
From an environmental perspective, our strategic objective is for example to dissociate the growth of our companies’ revenues from the growth of their greenhouse gas emissions, and hence reduce IPAE’s portfolio’s impact on climate change. We indeed believe that climate change is a most critical issue for the African development and that energy efficient solutions can improve SMEs' competitiveness, electrical costs being particularly high in Africa. Our investee companies can play an active role in experiencing and sharing new solutions, that can be replicated in other contexts.
We assessed our portfolio carbon footprint in 2013, 2014 and 2015 to measure progress over time. We implemented concrete actions in our investee companies to promote energy efficiency processes and carbon offset programes. The African entrepreneurs welcomed with enthusiasm these actions, that helped them to adopt a greener path and reduce their costs simultaneously.
Internally, we are committed to set an example and have implemented or own action plan for our offices in order to reduce and offset our carbon emissions.
From a social perspective, we have finalized this year a feasibility study on the possibility to improve heath insurance systems withing our investee companies, to give investees access to better and pre-screened conditions. This feasibility study will result in the implementation of a technical assistance program towards investee companies, to help them implement or improve their health insurance systems for their employees.
We are currently building a a network of African entrepreneurs composed of companies that belong to I&P’s portfolio to promote the African entrepreneurship agenda and mostly that of SMEs and accelerate growth and performance of its members, both financial and societal. In this perspective, we focused the last annual training seminar of this network on human resources and social responsabilty towards employees.
Our impact measurement methodology, based on a set of quantitative indicators and detailed case studies, is also considered innovative in the impact measurement field. It was selected as a case study by EVPA and G8 impact measurement working group as explained previously.