Gresham House Renewable Energy VCT 1 | ESG

ESG Policy

Policy as at:
11/04/2021

Overview

Gresham House is the investment manager of Gresham House Renewable VCT 1 plc and therefore the ESG information on this page and policies here reflect those of the investment manager.

Gresham House has a clear commitment to sustainable investment as an integral part of its business strategy. Sustainable investment considerations are applied across the investment process for all assets and involve the integration of ESG factors as well as the application of active stewardship responsibilities, including engagement and voting (where applicable). 

Our Sustainable Investment Framework is based on ten core ESG themes and is used as the basis for the ESG assessment during the due diligence stages before an investment decision is made, as well as being used as a way to structure engagement activity carried out throughout the holding period.

The asset class specific ESG Decision Tools builds on these themes by supporting the investment teams in identifying potential, material ESG risks that need to be managed and mitigated, and to help shape the due diligence process for individual companies prior to investment. The Tools also provides a way of summarising material ESG issues, which can then be tracked and monitored over time, and include actions that can be taken to mitigate those risks throughout the holding period.

Governance

At Gresham House, our approach to sustainable investment is embedded across our business and involves ESG analysis, active stewardship, and outcome measurement.

Our commitment is demonstrated through the integration of sustainable investment practices across our strategies, through our proactivity in seeking to make a positive social, economic, or environmental impact alongside delivering strong financial returns and by being a responsible and ethical employer.

Our approach to sustainable investment across each asset division is based on five core components:

01 Sustainable Investing Committee (SIC)

02 Sustainable investment commitments

03 Sustainable investment policies

04 Sustainable Investment Framework (SIF)

05 Asset class specific ESG Decision Tools

We are also members of a range of industry bodies which inform and support our sustainable investment approach, and work with some service providers who develop and implement certain aspects of our sustainable investment activities.

These aspects are all managed within our sustainability governance structure which includes our Board, Management Committee, and Sustainable Investing Committee. 

Investment process

Our New Energy investment strategy aligns with national and international goals to decarbonise energy generation and supports the move to a low-carbon economy as a transition to a net-zero scenario. It also supports local and national resilience in energy supply.

Our investments in assets are long term and, where possible, we improve the value and lifespan of assets though extension of permissions and licences and the adoption of technology that increases and/or optimises renewable energy output without materially increasing land use or environmental impact.

We integrate ESG considerations into the lifecycle of each investment as follows:

01 Preliminary due diligence

High level assessment carried out to identify material ESG matters requiring further investigation during the due diligence stage. If certain risks are unlikely to be manageable or mitigated, then we may choose not to proceed at this stage.

02 Due diligence 

Our ESG Decision Tool is used to uncover material ESG risks that need to be mitigated and monitored and to identify ESG opportunities that have the potential to drive value, now or in the future. Where necessary specialist consultants are engaged to support the diligence process and a summary of the ESG analysis is discussed with the Investment Committee.

03 Investment appraisal

Investment recommendations to Investment Committees include an assessment of material ESG risks and opportunities identified in due diligence which are then factored into the decision-making process. Appropriate risk mitigation approaches will also be referenced and assurance that the business is open to making improvements is sought.

04 Asset operation

We aim to construct and operate our projects with minimal disruption to local communities and the environment. Construction and operational contractors are subject to ongoing review. Compliance with planning conditions is stringently adhered to and monitored. We are currently assessing how we can enhance positive environmental and social impacts of our projects.

We facilitate educational programs and participate in community lead initiatives in order to contribute towards the local economy, help to improve biodiversity and keep an open forum of communication with community stakeholders.