Reflecting our straight-up, pragmatic and accountable approach, we do not want to approach ESG as simply a tick box exercise or words on a page. We look to set actionable initiatives with our portfolio companies to improve their ESG practices over the period that we are partners and beyond.
We have an ambition for a carbon-neutral portfolio, we do this through a 4 step process:
1. UNDERSTAND THE BASELINE
To do this we first engage with an independent specialist to understand the current emissions of the business. This establishes the baseline for us to improve from.
2. ESG POLICY
We will work with management to define an ESG policy with priorities and targets.
3. IMPROVEMENT INITIATIVES
With company management or external consultant, we will look at strategies to improve the company’s CO2 footprint. This can be done through changes in the production process or switching to suppliers of green energy, as an example. We then look to offset emissions with carbon credits or reforestation initiatives through Land Life Company and Carbon Neutral Australia.
4. REVIEW ANNUALLY
This involves re-testing the business to measure the reduction in CO2 emissions each year to test the effectiveness of the initiatives implemented.
With regards to community and social issues, we believe it is important to improve the community profiles of the companies that we invest with. Given our focus is on South East Queensland growth companies, we work with management and encourage the companies to make a positive contribution to the communities where they operate. Commercial value is created through making a positive impact in the community. This also has a follow on impact to increased employee attraction and performance as these companies become more aligned to our increasingly socially responsible society and become preferred companies to work for.
We understand at the stage RoBne invests in companies, typically founder built and owned, good governance may not yet be a high priority. Over the course of our investment, we look to make incremental improvements with the current board to improve governance structures and processes, tighten up board meetings and enhance business performance.