From May 2018, each new portfolio company across the institutional funds and VCTs is subject to an ESG assessment at investment with progress reported on an annual basis. This includes an awareness assessment of ESG where such issues are regularly discussed and minuted at board meetings.
For companies within the Foresight Williams Technology EIS fund, Foresight is currently in the process of rolling out the ESG programme with the expectation that each new investment in that Fund will be undertaking assessments by the end of 2019.
Companies within the regional impact fund, MEIF ESEM Equity LP, are smaller and early stage with less ability to develop sophisticated corporate responsibility programmes. However, ESG issues relating to these companies are addressed in the Investment Submission documents providing Foresight with the opportunity to help the management team implement them as part of the 100 day planning exercise immediately post-investment The team also reports under the guidance provided by the British Business Bank, the single investor in the fund against a number of non-financial targets including job creation, non-financial advice and the introduction of new goods to the market, particularly those that contribute to a low carbon economy.