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In brief: Mentha buys out thermal insulation company serving shipping, industrial and utility sectors

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Published: 14 June 2024

Plus, GRI disclosures | BlueMark annual report of best practices and trends in impact management | Fifty-Five to Stay Alive: new climate solutions lexicon is published

BlueMark has published its fifth annual report analysing best practices and trends in impact management. | designer491 on iStock

Amsterdam-based private equity firm Mentha has invested into Thermatras, a company specialising in thermal insulation, marking the first investment through Mentha’s impact buy-out fund. Mentha would not disclose the size of the investment, which will be used to buy out  the majority of the founder.

Impact Investor recently covered the launch of the fund, which Mentha claims is the first impact buy-out fund to target the Benelux region. The fund will have a portfolio of 10 to 12 small to medium-sized enterprises in the Benelux region and Denmark once fully invested, targeting companies with revenues between €5m and €100m.

Based in Barendrecht, close to Rotterdam, Thermatras measures, produces and installs blankets on technical equipment used in the shipping, industrial and utility sectors to reduce heat loss.

The made-to-measure blankets are made from fibreglass and synthetic fabrics, filled with insulative material, with the choice of fabric adapted to the application.

Edo Pfennings, partner at Mentha Impact, said: “We are very excited about this partnership. Thermatras is an excellent company operating in a clearly growing market where growth goes hand-in-hand with further CO2 reduction by reducing heat loss.”

Consultation launched in major review of GRI labour-related standards

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the international independent standards organisation, has launched a consultation as part of a first phase of disclosures in a major review of all of its labour-related standards.

The GRI, which helps businesses, governments, and other organisations understand and report on their impacts on issues such as climate change, human rights and corruption, is seeking to provide greater transparency on employment practices and working conditions by proposing a suite of changes in relation to policies on employment relationships, pay and working hours, and how businesses handle significant changes for workers.

A global public comment period is open to feedback until the 4 October 2024 on redrafted versions of three standards; GRI 402: Labor/management relations, GRI 401: Employment and GRI 202: Market presence.

The consultation is being guided by an expert group comprising tripartite representation of workers (International Trade Union Confederation, Global Unions Federations), employers (International Organization of Employers) and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Two further consultation stages are planned over the next 12 months for working life and career development, followed by workers’ rights and protections. In total, updates will be made to 11 GRI standards.

BlueMark publishes annual report of best practices and trends in impact management

Independent impact verification and intelligence provider BlueMark has published its fifth annual report analysing best practices and trends in impact management.

Making the Mark V includes data and insights based on 111 verifications of impact management practices for investors managing a combined $234bn (€216bn) in impact assets under management. The firm said this was equivalent to about 20% of the total impact investing market as measured by the Global Impact Investing Network.

The report suggests that impact due diligence practices are maturing, with 65% of investors conducting pre-investment assessments of impact risks and 42% establishing impact targets at the time of the investment. Additionally, a majority of investors (75%) now regularly assess their potential contribution to impact before making an investment. According to BlueMark, this indicates a growing sophistication in impact screening and analysis early on in the investment lifecycle.

Other findings reveal that more than half of impact investors (55%) are adopting robust practices to measure and manage ESG risks, while advanced impact performance monitoring and review practices were also found to be on the rise, with 35% of verified investors actively seeking data from stakeholders regarding the outcomes they are experiencing. The sophistication of impact data collection and utilisation is also improving, with 51% of investors leveraging insights from their impact performance data to refine their strategies.

Impact investors were also found to be increasingly prioritising impact at exit, with 64% of verified investors having policies or frameworks for this purpose.

Investcorp and The Super Climate Association publish new climate solutions lexicon

Global investment manager Investcorp has partnered with The Super Climate Association, the non-profit platform for investor collaboration on climate and sustainability, to launch The Climate Solutions Lexicon, Fifty-Five to Stay Alive.

The lexicon is a glossary of terms to help investors, business leaders and policymakers get to grips with today’s climate solutions sectors. Its name echoes the phrase ‘1.5 to stay alive’, which has become the rallying cry of small island states whose very existence is threatened by climate change.

The authors said the lexicon highlighted what they believe to be the 55 most important solutions to keep global warming within 1.5°C  and avoid the most severe impacts of climate change. A few of the terms cited in the lexicon include blue carbon solutions, direct air capture and sustainable aviation fuels.  

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