Bridges Fund Management (‘Bridges’) has a distinctive approach to responsible investing. Our vision is that our investments will bring social, environmental and economic benefits. This is referenced in our Responsible Investment Policy and detailed on our website. Bridges also has an Ethical Charter and Sustainable Property Policy, published on our website. Impact is the way we refer to responsible investment for property funds in fund placement documents.
We approach impact issues pre-investment using proprietary tools.
Building on our existing Impact Radar methodology, we assess the positive or negative effects our businesses have on people and/or the planet scoring across five dimensions of impact in alignment to the Impact Management Project (IMP):
- What – What outcomes do business activity drive? How important are these to the people (and planet) experiencing them?
- Who – Who experiences the outcome? How underserved are the stakeholders in relation to the outcome?
- How Much – How much of the outcome occurs in terms of scale, depth and duration?
- Contribution – What is the businesses’ / Bridges contribution to what would likely happen anyway?
- Risk – Which risk factors are material and how likely is the outcome different from the expectation.
These five dimensions provide a holistic view of an investment’s type and ability to generate impact, and help us analyse when selecting, engaging and tracking our portfolio.
We also have our own due diligence checklists which evaluate amongst other criteria ESG risks and return (opportunities) and track progress post-investment against these through specific ‘Impact Scorecards’ to inform timely management decisions as well as to report back to our investors, these are regularly reviewed (at least annually).
From an impact perspective, we engage with our portfolio advisers, managers and joint venture partners to manage environmental, social and governance risks, as well as identify opportunities to create additional value — opportunities we call "win-win" because they improve social or environmental performance in ways that also improve financial returns.
Extract from the latest property fund PPM:
As one of the original pioneers in impact investing, Bridges has been at the forefront of incorporating impact and ESG best practice into its core investment activities. The firm has been actively evolving its impact management approach, and it has always believed in the importance of share its learnings and experiences in order to develop the overall market.
Bridges first shared its methodology publicly in its Annual Report in 2012, and this has more recently culminated in the Impact Management Project, which has been created and facilitated by Bridges’ non-profit field-building arm, Bridges Insights. Now led by two Bridges members (Clara Barby and Olivia Prentice), the Impact Management Project is building a global consensus on how to measure and manage impact. It convenes a Practitioner Community of over 2,000 organisations to debate and find consensus on technical topics, as well as share best practices. They also facilitate the IMP Structured Network – an unprecedented collaboration of organisations that, through their specific and complementary expertise, are coordinating efforts to provide complete standards for impact measurement and management.
Over the past 12 months, Bridges has upgraded its impact assessment methodology to be aligned to the Impact Management Project (IMP). The IMP framework for impact assessment along the five dimensions of impact has been integrated into Bridges’ fund reporting to investors. This means that Bridges has assessed all the current investments in Fund III and Fund IV using the IMP impact assessment framework, which gives an impact management score to each investment along the ABC of impact (A for Avoid Harm, B for Benefit Stakeholders, and C for Contribute to Solutions), per the IMP framework. These impact management scores enable each fund to be given a scale by taking an average of the scores that is weighted by each investment’s equity investment level.