Welcome to Kartesia’s inaugural online Sustainability Report! We are immensely proud of our work in developing a sustainable yet profitable business and hope to outline some of this work in this report. It is Kartesia’s vision to be recognised as one of the leading investors based on both the returns we deliver to investors and through a responsible approach to investing their capital.
We firmly believe that companies with high environmental, social and governance standards are typically better run, both at a fund management and portfolio company level, have fewer business risks and ultimately deliver better value. Responsible investment has been and always will be central to our investment philosophy, across our range of strategies, but we will continue to strive for even better results on ESG and sustainability in all our investments and business activity.
We have taken big steps in recent years and are confident that the appointment of Coralie De Maesschalck as full-time Head of CSR & ESG in 2021 combined with the deep expertise of our new strategic partner CANDRIAM will mean we can continue to build on our existing sustainability practices.
As a PRI signatory since May 2014, we have committed to uphold the six Principles for Responsible Investing and embedded responsible investing policies in our investment philosophy
Damien Scaillierez, Managing Partner
Kartesia’s sustainability approach
Since inception, we have been working hard to improve our sustainability credentials and reporting at Kartesia, including several initiatives taken over the last months. In November 2020, we launched the Kartesia for Women initiative.
The objective is mainly to inspire women to join the private debt industry, especially in investment roles. As of June 15, 2021, Kartesia’s total workforce was 59 employees of which 37% are women (24% in the deal team), a ratio by far superior to the European private debt industry average.
Kartesia is also committed to carbon neutrality. Indeed, we have been a carbon neutral company since 2018.
Responsible investing at Kartesia
At Kartesia, we consider the assessment and management of ESG issues as a key component of the application of its values and have anchored responsible investment into our investment philosophy and process.
As part of Kartesia’s ESG engagements, we assess the carbon footprint of all our corporate loan investments and encourage all our primary portfolio companies to perform a yearly ESG reporting exercise, by answering a questionnaire that we have designed internally.
This questionnaire is based on the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (“SFDR”), part of the EU Sustainable Action Plan, and is updated on an annual basis. We use it as a tool to monitor ESG performance at portfolio level and to identify potential actions to be taken to improve said performance.
SUSTAINABLE FINANCE DISCLOSURE REGULATION (“SFDR”)
Candriam Academy explains this new regulation, aiming to reorient capital flows towards a more sustainable economy
We operationalise ESG within Kartesia, meaning that all staff members take responsibility for our values. For us, it is about fully integrating ESG into the organisation rather than treating it as a separate department or a marketing tool. Therefore the investment team is highly engaged on this topic
Clémence Girard-Jeannet, Associate
In accordance with its corporate responsibility objectives, Kartesia has implemented an active engagement policy, aimed at improving the ESG performance of invested companies.
Kartesia strongly believes in its power to ignite change and accompany invested companies in their contribution to a better society, on a healthier planet.
Together with the management team at GroGlass we have assessed the production process to optimize energy consumption, implemented employee satisfaction & engagement surveys through the pandemic and strengthened the board, ensuring we are creating value through non-financial contributions as well.
Gaëtan Valcke, Investment Manager
INTERNATIONAL COOKWARE: A KARTESIA BEST-IN-CLASS COMPANY
In 2020, Kartesia participated in the acquisition of International Cookware Group and its subsidiaries (the Group) alongside its management team.
Kartesia provided the entire unitranche financing as well as the majority of the equity, becoming the new reference shareholder of the leading kitchenware manufacturer under the Pyrex® brand in EMEA.
In December 2017, Kartesia employees voted to replace the year-end corporate gift with a donation to a project benefiting underprivileged children.
Since then, we donate to several non-profit organisations on an annual basis.
Alongside this annual donation, Kartesia set up several sponsorship and philanthropy initiatives such as the annual Kartesia volunteering day, the donation of furniture and refurbished smartphones to people in need and the long-term sponsorship of Institut Curie.
RENOVATION WORKS AT ST FRANCIS SCHOOL
In 2020, we donated to The Refugee Next Door (“RND”). The Refugee Next Door ASBL is a Belgian non-profit organization active in Uganda.
In 2007, RND started building the St Francis School in the slums of Masese (Jinja District), with the aim of providing an education to the most vulnerable children and freeing the time of their parents to focus on generating an income for their family.
Since 2007, they have built an additional new classroom each year.
With this increase in size, new lavatories became a necessity for the school and Kartesia was delighted to be able to provide the financial support to help with their installation and improve sanitation at St Francis.
We look forward to continuing to grow sustainably throughout the rest of 2021 and working closely with portfolio companies to improve ESG credentials.
One of our main priorities will be the application of the EU Action Plan for Sustainable Investment across our strategies and we will certainly keep all of our stakeholders’ partners updated on developments in this area
Coralie De Maesschalck, Head of CSR & ESG