Bridges' impact-driven approach enables us to identify investment opportunities where a transaction's potential to create value for society or the environment also drives financial value. Our 'top down' approach to identifying sectors and locations helps us focus our efforts on specific niche sectors, often before they are recognised by the wider market.
For example, Bridges has identified healthcare as an attractive property investment sector, owing to its 'needs-driven' characteristics created by an aging population and a lack of public sector funding to provide modern facilities for the elderly and those with specialist care needs. This shortfall in supply and quality of accommodation was matched by demand from private sector operators who were seeking new, purpose-built facilities primarily for private-pay residents. Bridges has built 14 care homes with our specialist partners, all let to the national care home operators on 30+ year leases with annual RPI increases. In addition, Birchgrove, a new model of assisted living accommodation and care for rent for the growing elderly population has opened its first site in Sidcup.
Loneliness and isolation are thought to increase the likelihood of mortality by over 25% in older people. By providing purpose-built assisted living units for rent in attractive developments, we believe we can help to address this challenge, while also alleviating some of the pressures on the NHS and the care home sector. The assisted living market in the UK is still undersupplied with a limited choice of accommodation and tenure types. By creating the Birchgrove model, Bridges hopes not only to provide these much-needed facilities but to play a catalytic role in proving the model and helping to develop the wider sector, thereby increasing provision. The developments will also include a range of environmentally-friendly construction initiatives where viable. They will also look to enhance the health & well-being of occupants through good design.
We track social, environmental and financial returns for each individual investment in order to manage performance towards our desired outcomes. The social and environmental outcomes sought will be specific to each investment but fall within one or more of our four impact themes (stronger communities, healthier lives, future skills, sustainable planet). Moreover, and in accordance with the Impact Management Project consensus investments that are made within ESG lens can be divided into three categories:
- Those who try to avoid harm to people and the planet (A - Avoid)
- Those who try to avoid harm and benefit all stakeholders (B - Benefit all Stakeholders)
- Those who in addition to the above try to deliver specific positive outcomes for underserved people or the planet (C - Contribute to Solutions)
Our funds strive to invest in category (B) and (C) only. In order to make sure that at least category B is reached, we follow specific procedures and/or test carried out internally.