Environmental, Social and Governance approach
Sustainability is high on the agenda today. Companies that offer sustainable solutions to societal challenges such as climate change or an ageing population undoubtedly have a solid starting point.
At Gimv we are fully aware of the social context in which we operate, indeed our roots already contained this DNA. Back in 1980, Gimv was founded to support Flemish companies in their growth and be a turbo-driver for Flanders’ socio-economic fabric. Today, societal challenges and trends form the foundation of our platform organisation and investment approach.
Our ESG approach in a nutshell
The core of Gimv’s ESG approach consists of 2 pillars:
- Gimv as a responsible company
- Gimv as a responsible investor
Both are inextricably linked: by operating as a responsible company, Gimv can also guide its portfolio companies in responsible entrepreneurship, contributing in this way to sustainable value creation.
Would you like to know more about our ESG approach? Welcome to consult our Responsible Investing Policy.
Curious about the efforts Gimv and its portfolio companies have already taken over the past year? Read more in our recent annual report.
UN Sustainable Development Goals & PRI
As an investment company, we want to create sustainable strategic added value that goes beyond the merely financial and seeks solutions for the major economic and social challenges facing us today. We are doing this together with our portfolio companies.
As of April 1st, 2021, Gimv officially became a signatory to the UN-Principles for Responisble Investment (PRI).
ESG in practice: examples in portfolio companies
French company Wolf Lingerie focuses with its We Act-plan its CSR efforts around 3 main pillars, being
(i) responsible sourcing with attention towards traceability, certification and carbon footprint,
(ii) eco-conscious & safe products including increased use of recycled materials and
(iii) societal commitments centered around body positivity and equality & well-being at work.
Breakthrough technology for a safer and greener environment
"After 10 years of research and innovation, Incendin has taken the lead in fighting and preventing fire in the most efficient and ecological way. A collaborative R&D effort by three former competitors has now led to a breakthrough in performance of water additives for portable extinguishers that avoid fluorine. We have fulfilled a vision for a safer and greener environment. With FFX® we have developed a range of sustainable and topperforming firefighting agents”, says Tom Paemeleire, CEO of Incendin.
As a company specialized in the development and production of advanced plastic solutions for the pharmaceutical, diagnostics and medtech industries, SGH Healthcaring is very well aware of the environmental impact of plastics. One of the starting points of the prevention of plastic pollution is the origin of the plastics used. Eskiss Packaging, SGH Healthcaring’s entity addressing the vitamins, minerals and supplements sector, develops and markets pill dispensers and containers made of bioplastic (sugar cane originated) or recycled materials (rPET) and is further investing in R&D with respect to the re-use of recycled materials. As part of its broader sustainability strategy, SGH Healthcaring has also recently heavily invested in the replacement of its injection molding machine park by new and energy-saving electrical injection molding machines.
For the fourth consecutive time Cegeka has been elected as Top Employer of the year. The award is an initiative of the Top Employers Institute, specialized in certifying excellent working conditions. The election of Top Employer of the year is based on criteria such as HR strategy, talent recruitment, diversity, well-being and career development. Cegeka ranked highest score (both in Belgium and the Netherlands) in the fields of business strategy, talent recruitment, core values, HR policy and leadership.
By 2030, the Elan law In France imposes a 40% reduction in energy consumption for buildings larger than 1000m² (for those providing third party activities). Acceo, a provider of inspection and certification services for building owners, took advantage of this opportunity to develop a specific offer with schedules and decision processes that allow owners or decision-makers to achieve these objectives.
A specialist in products for pets in our Connected Consumer portfolio, intends to double its growth by developing a greener and organic product offering, passing by eco-designed products, more animal welfare, and innovation in its brands. This CSR positioning includes e.g. the launch of ecological, cardboard-based, cat litter material as well as the withdrawal from sale products that hurt animals (such as whips or necklaces anti-bark).
Joolz is a good example of how comfort for babies can be combined with a positive effect on the environment. For example, the fabric of new designs is made from plastic bottles, the Joolz Essentials line is made from 100% organic cotton, the company offers a lifetime warranty and Joolz plants a tree in a Colombian forest for every stroller sold.
Alro Group was one of the first companies to work to ISO 14001 and to start its own recycling company - RECITECH. Based on its knowledge of waste stream processing, industrial cleaning and the management of water treatment plants, a team of specialists is working towards a closed-loop solution in its laboratory.
Contraload has integrated sustainability into its business model by offering ‘pallets as-a-service’. In addition, the company has committed to the goal of being 100% circular by 2022. That means using sustainable, renewable materials and repairing and reusing pallets.
The acquisition by Tosca - an American supplier of reusable packaging and supply chain solutions - in June 2020 is the logical next step for Contraload wrt the pursuit of outstanding service, innovation and waste reduction right along the supply chain.
Investing for the common good: a sustainable finance framework
In February 2021, Gimv developed the Gimv Sustainable Finance Framework under which Gimv can issue sustainable finance instruments allowing Gimv to match its funding with its strategy as a sustainable private equity investor. The alignment of the framework with the ICMA 2018 Green Bond Principles, the 2020 Social Bond Principles, the 2018 Sustainability Bond Guidelines and the LMA 2020 Green Loan Principles was validated by Sustainalytics via the issue of a second party opinion.
A client's perspective
Gimv was interviewed by Linklaters following its recent inaugural sustainable bond issue and how sustainability is affecting PE in general.
Gimv Compliance & ESG Office
Coordination of Gimv’s ESG approach is entrusted to the Gimv Compliance & ESG Office, which is best placed to facilitate maximum interaction between all actors, both inside and outside Gimv, and to ensure appropriate accountability.