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Cordiant

PRI reporting framework 2020

You are in Strategy and Governance » Innovation

Innovation

SG 18. Innovative features of approach to RI

18.1. Indicate whether any specific features of your approach to responsible investment are particularly innovative.

18.2. Describe any specific features of your approach to responsible investment that you believe are particularly innovative.

Innovative Approach to Gender Impact Measurement & Management

Cordiant’s investment mandate, the type of capital we provide, the markets the firm operates in, and the types of organizations we invest in are different than many strategies. Those markets are developed enough to have the first basic levels of risk reduction Gender Criteria off the radar (this is like comparing bottom tier to middle tier markets). This is for us, an opportunity to diverge from traditional direct gender lens engagement strategies and objectives.

Through this innovative approach, in which the team addresses a range of barriers faced by women and affected communities, it allows us to most effectively leverage affected community’s opportunities for women. As such, we seek to consider how business operations can impact men and women by engaging with them on this particular aspect. The goal is to have a gender-responsive process that addresses locally-driven solutions, and ultimately involving the provision of (and coordination with) technical assistance providers.

 

Our engagement with companies starts when potential financing opportunities are identified and meet broader client financing requirements and to maximize progress towards impact needs and financial goals of the company. Then, focus the alignment with primary element of the investment process, from pre-screening to investment due diligence, approval, monitoring and reporting.

Through the investment process, the important thing is to gain an understanding of the local capacities of the borrowers to innovate and to address gender equality. This will become an additional screen, and not a direct actionable element that takes over the main fundamentals that drive our investment & development impact strategy. In order to do so, it is vital to elaborate a broader approach, so that the team incorporates, where applicable, the relevant gender considerations.

 

1. Cordiant is involved in a high impact strategy.

Indeed, through its ESG & Impact ESMS, Cordiant demonstrate high willingness and capacity to invest for both to create meaningful Impact and to work in the best possible way, given its mandate, for the benefit of women (and girls’) stability, resiliency, and viability. Our gender smart approach involves an emphasis on reaching business-as usual companies in local markets where we are active, which have the specific potential to develop linkages between productivity, growth, while economically empower women. We seek to drive impacts by improving equal access and control over basic services (i.e. water, energy, IT connectivity). The gender themes we support include;

  • Increasing equality in agriculture
  • Improving connectivity and access to information technology for women & children
  • Reducing reliance of households on kerosene, and other harmful fuels as energy sources
  • Improving gender equality in governance processes
  • Improving gender equality in workplace conditions
  • Improving gender equality in Supply Chains
  • Ethical and Equitable Sourcing Standards & Market Linkages
  • Helping strengthen women-SMEs and local value chain: Women as farmers, processors, distributors

As part of its Gender-Smart Strategy, Cordiant focuses on the realignment of incentives, behaviors and functions of the borrower’s local communities so that the local market (and the companies themselves) can operate more efficiently. This is mainly done by focussing our assessment on strategic areas that have the potential to deliver greater impacts. This includes the level of CSR the company is looking to engage in, and the logical barriers preventing engagement.

 

2. In terms of ESG Risk Management, business operations (i.e. ESG policies and practices) can affect women both directly and indirectly.

As such, Cordiant recognizes the use of ESG factors and data as a gender integration tool to assess underlying downside risks & risk reduction opportunities.

​The goal of the integration of gender factors within our ESG risk management system is to use gender as a tool to increasing opportunities for borrower to decrease overall risks, while also allow for Cordiant to increase its overall portfolio financial performance. As a means to do so, the team assess the extent to which identified and applicable gender risks are factored into the business plan and operations of the company.

3. After agreeing upon a potential borrower’s financial, ESG and Impact goals, and applying best practice, Cordiant works with the owner of the company to develop an E&S Action Plan that includes all necessary measures to mitigate adverse outcomes

Establish a Formal Gender Policy:

  • Clearly articulate the E&S objectives and principles that guide the company
  • Provide a framework for the E&S assessment and management process
  • Specify that the company will comply with the local and international applicable laws and regulations and, where appropriate, with international standards (e.g. IFC Performance Standards)
  • Specify the individuals who will be accountable and responsible for the implementation of the policy
  • Be communicated to and available to all levels of the organisation
  • Approved by a representative of the senior management team and dated
  •  

Establish Practical and Efficient Operational Controls (i.e. ESMS)

  • A system to Systematically Identify Gender E&S Risks and Impacts
  • Management Programmes: Alignment with gender issues for each applicable IFC Performance Standards

 

Establish Organisational Capacity and Competency

  • Gender Responsibilities

 

Establish a formal governance mechanism

  • Making a member of a company’s board responsible for ESG
  • Creating an ESG sub-committee
  • Appointing a management committee for ESG.
  •  

External Grievance Mechanism & Stakeholder Engagement Plan:

  • Implement and maintain a procedure for external communications
  • Receive and register external communications from the public
  • Screen and assess the issues raised and determine how to address them
  • Provide, track, and document responses
  • Adjust the management programme, as appropriate

Internal Grievance Mechanism:

  • Implement and maintain a procedure for internal communications
  • Receive and register external communications from the public
  • Screen and assess the issues raised and determine how to address them
  • Provide, track, and document responses
  • Adjust the management programme, as appropriate

E&S Occupational Health, Safety Risk Management System: Process Elaboration

  • Management commitment and employee involvement

Hazard prevention and control: Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan

  • Employee safety training

Work Related Activities Incidents:

  • Systematic Application of the Procedure for Investigation, Monitoring and Reporting of OHS Incidents

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