Impact and sustainability
Impact investment is hard-wired into COFIDES’s genes.
Impact investment, including its methods and monitoring, is one of the Company’s primary tools for meeting the shared goals laid down in Agenda 2030. Where project impact is deemed part of investment, strategy guidelines for shared action can be established to generate positive and mensurable social and environmental benefits, in addition to suitable returns on equity.
Positive impact as the centre of COFIDES’s activities
The Operating Principles for Impact Management constitute the structure needed for investors to ensure that full account is taken of the implications of the financing awarded across the life of an investment.
That approach has helped chart COFIDES’s track record of responsible financing in which growth, profitability and defence of natural and social environments are mutually compatible in the context of Spanish company internationalisation. COFIDES’s protocols include environmental and social assessment procedures as part and parcel of the due diligence assessment conducted for each operation, from initial analysis and approval through conclusion of financial support.
The Principles rest on the most significant initiatives introduced by the impact investor community, most prominently:
- Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN)
- The Impact Management Project (IMP)
COFIDES supports Spanish company internationalisation by providing oversight services to ensure the process is conducted with suitable and responsible management and contributes to the socio-economic growth of host countries while also favouring the Spanish economy itself. Both aims have a beneficial impact on achievement of the universal goals defined in the 2030 Agenda.
Impact in host countries
COFIDES fosters the establishment of partnerships with the private sector to finance projects that generate beneficial and lasting effects on host countries. The company has been measuring the impact of the projects it finances for the last 15 years. In that time, it has implemented in-house policies and action, participated in international initiatives and worked with other global actors to progress towards achievement of global development goals.
Within the bounds of sustainable finance in which the ‘do no harm’ premise is incorporated as a vector spanning across all endeavours, COFIDES’s business contributes to essentially seven SDGs.
To attest to its commitment to the 2030 Agenda, for the second year running the company included a series of sustainability goals in connection with employment, responsible manufacturing, infrastructure, climate change abatement and capital flows to emerging and developing countries as part of its own corporate objectives.
In 2020 COFIDES issued its first statement on alignment of its investments and processes with the Operating Principles for Impact Management. The content of that disclosure statement was the target of an internal audit and the first statement and audit on alignment with such principles since 2019 when COFIDES adhered to the Investing for Impact: Operating Principles for Impact Management initiative.
Moreover, in the context of the EDFI, COFIDES participated actively in the ‘Harmonisation Initiative on Responsible Financing and Impact Measurement’ working group set up to harmonise the measurement of investment impact in the central SDGs: employment, climate change, gender and inequality.
Impact in Spain
With the crisis induced by COVID-19, in 2020 COFIDES was obliged to revisit its strategy and adapt to Spanish companies’ needs, with a view to minimising the impact of the pandemic on employment and the portfolio delinquency rate. That translated into restructuring, with payment deferrals as the chief flexibility measure.