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Social Responsibility

Responsible investment is a central tenet of our Firm’s fundamental values. We are of the opinion that we will only be successful over the long term if we act responsibly towards our investors, employees and partners. ESG factors have an important influence on the sustainability of investment returns and they can have a significant financial impact if not managed properly. Our commitment to socially and environmentally responsible practices is reflected in our overarching investment management philosophy, our approach and our daily business practices. Since being founded in 2001, a core focus of the Firm has reflected the fact that ESG factors are becoming more widely adopted and investors have a crucial role to play in the development of sustainable practices, principles and technology. Based on this conviction, Firm is committed to being a leader in the asset classes in which we specialise and these asset classes are firmly anchored in social and environmental responsibility.

Sustainability has been a crucial cornerstone of Aquila Group since our foundation in 2001

  • Since 2006, Aquila Capital has been certified as 100 % climate-neutral.

  • Following the launch of our first Kyoto climate protection fund for private investors in 2006, which had the aim of reducing CO2 emissions, two further climate protection funds were launched ensuring that more than one million tonnes of CO2 have been saved in total.

  • Aquila Capital is a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI).

  • In 2007 we launched the first Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified forest fund.

  • We launched the first United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) certified agriculture fund in 2008.

  • Professor Dr. Dennis L. Meadows – author of „Limits to Growth“ (1974) and Spiritus Rector of the Sustainability Movement worldwide – has been a member of the Advisory Board of Aquila Group since 2010.

  • KlimaINVESTGreenConcepts, Germany‘s leading sustainability agency, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Aquila Group. Since 2009, KlimaINVEST has been active across numerous sustainable initiatives, including:

    • Climate-neutral status development: Has provided services to over 300 companies, including energy suppliers, financial institutions, insurance companies, as well as numerous medium-sized enterprises and public institutions such as universities, cities and municipalities.

    • Green power proof of origin: Provision of a range of certificates (for example: according to TÜV Süd, TÜV Nord, TÜV Rheinland, ok-power or GSL test criteria).

    • Climate-neutral events: advising on CO2 emissions reduction in order to launch climate-related trade fairs, events and congresses.

  • Aquila Capital has been investing in renewable energies since 2009. Our Firm has completed 45 transactions across eight countries that have a total capacity of more than 1,700 MW and a transaction volume of approximately EUR 3 billion (as of October 2016).

  • Aquila Capital is a signatory of the London based CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project).

  • Aquila Capital is currently developing numerous ESG investment products, and we are also actively working on a database which will capture the carbon footprint of listed companies.

  • Aquila Capital is engaged in different social projects, and we make annual donations, in co-operation with our employees, to various local and international institutions.

Aquila Capital's commitment to ESG principles

As a responsible investment company, we consider sustainability standards and ethical criteria for all our business activities. These are reflected in in our Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) policy. Sustainability criteria are incorporated in investment decisions and when making capital allocations. We are adamant that we will achieve the investment objectives of our clients via co-operation with our stakeholders. Consideration of ESG principles are considered an important value driver for our Firm and this is embedded in our corporate culture. Aquila Capital has defined our own set of standards for ESG, based on official standards. These standards are considered when investment processes are implemented across the different asset classes for which our Firm offers clients investment solutions.

Our Sustainability Officer works with our management and investment teams to further develop our ESG approaches and represents our Firm in this area with stakeholders and associations.

In line with the increasing demand for transparency in the investment industry and wider community, Aquila Capital has become a signatory member of CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project). CDP is a non-profit organisation founded in 2000 that publishes environmental data of companies and municipalities and manages the world’s largest database for this information.

Incorporating ESG principles in investment processes

ESG principles are applied across all stages of each investment process. For Real Asset investments, this relates to the selection, acquisition and operational management of assets throughout their lifecycle. Employees spanning different teams use internationally recognised ethical, ecological and social standards when carrying out their relevant disciplines:

Sustainability action and environmental responsibility

  • We take responsibility for the social implications of our actions, with sustainability and environmental protection being a highest priority.
  • We act and initiate our investments in renewable energy infrastructure and real estate to achieve the aim of climate neutrality. Sustainability guidelines and standards guide our activities.

Awareness of the social responsibility of our actions

  • We follow the highest standards for the protection of human rights and the law of the Federal Republic of Germany directs us.
  • We are committed to these high demands for human rights issues in all the countries and regions that we operate in.
  • We demand these high standards from all stakeholders, including our employees, investors, shareholders, supervisory authorities and the general public.

Responsible and sustainable corporate governance

  • A strong sense of business ethics is of paramount importance to Aquila Capital and a Code of Ethics describes basic rules which each employee must follow. We strictly reject corruption and corrupt business practices.
  • We attach great importance to building sustainable relationships with our stakeholders (the public, authorities, suppliers and contracting parties). In order to manage conflicts of interest, our Firm has established rigorous control mechanisms.

Development and continually improved reporting processes

In addition to this, we seek to document and publish the results of environmental and social improvements as well as to promote ethical and social corporate governance policies. Corresponding reporting processes are continually improved and adapted.

 

Investment stageAudits and activities with regard to ESG principles conduct
Asset Sourcing and Analysis

Considers the ethical, social and corporate governance principles of Aquila Group in the sector and country relevant to an investment opportunity.

Asset Due Diligence

- Multi-faceted asset due diligence is conducted and considers an asset‘s compatibility with ESG principles, sustainability, climate neutrality and human rights.
- Ensures adequate transparency around ESG principles between our Firm and partnering providers.

Asset Acquisition

Only after all relevant ESG principles have been assessed will an asset be integrated into our portfolio.

Ongoing management

- Considers ESG principles as they relate to the continual maintenance and administration of an investment strategy or asset.
- Supplementary regulations will be enforced if local requirements appear lax.

Exit

- The transfer or sale of an asset occurs exclusively with partners who comply with responsible and sustainable operating principles.
- Due diligence is conducted on an investor‘s prior investment acumen and activities.

ESG principles as ongoing project

Ian Williams serves as our Firm’s representative for ESG related principles. Ian’s expertise and experience in this area give us the ability to incorporate ESG principles within our daily activities and to promote social responsibility and sustainable thinking at each level of the Firm.

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