The verification process, which was conducted by impact investment consultancy firm Tideline, looked at the processes, policies and tools in place within the impact management (IM) system and assessed its alignment to each of the Principles, using a proprietary methodology.
Overall, the BlueOrchard IM system was found to have a high level of alignment with many of the Principles. In particular, Tideline noted that the fund has clear and well-defined social and environmental impact objectives and has effectively integrated impact considerations into its investment process. The fund has a clear narrative on its contribution to the achievement of impact and a thorough approach to the identification and management of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks, driven by its results measurement framework.
Launched in April 2019, the Operating Principles for Impact Management represent a new standard for impact investing, developed in collaboration with industry leaders and other stakeholders. BlueOrchard was among the first signatories when the Principles launched last year and was part of the consortium of global public and private organisations involved in their development, with Deputy CEO and Chief Impact and Blended Finance Officer, Maria Teresa Zappia, serving on the Advisory Board.
Maria Teresa Zappia, Deputy CEO and Chief Impact and Blended Finance Officer at BlueOrchard, said: “BlueOrchard has been committed to contributing to the development of consistent industry-wide tools and best practices for impact management throughout its 20 year history. We were proud to participate in the development of the IFC’s Principles and to be one of the first signatories. We had already aligned our impact management practices to the Principles, and so for us, this formal verification of the BlueOrchard Microfinance Fund and its alignment with them is the logical next step. We are delighted to have worked closely with Tideline throughout the verification process and have appreciated their guidance and expertise as we have worked with them on the assessment and disclosure of our alignment to the Principles.”
Neil Gregory, Chief Thought Leadership Officer IFC, said: “The Operating Principles for Impact Management represent an industry standard for what constitutes impact investing, bringing greater transparency, credibility and discipline to the field. In an environment where the market is becoming more crowded and ‘impact washing’ is a valid concern for investors, it is more important than ever to be able that we take a consistent approach across the industry to defining, managing and measuring impact.”
Christina Leijonhufvud, Managing Partner at Tideline, said: “Tideline is delighted to count BlueOrchard among its first clients for impact management verification. We worked closely with BlueOrchard to review the tools and processes comprising BOMF’s IM system and assess its degree of alignment with the Impact Principles, and found a high degree of alignment across many of the Principles. We hope the verification findings will help to inform BlueOrchard’s ongoing efforts to contribute to industry best practices in impact management.”
The full verification disclosure statement can be accessed here.
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About BlueOrchard Finance Ltd
BlueOrchard is a leading global impact investment manager and a member of the Schroders group. The firm is dedicated to fostering inclusive and climate-smart growth in emerging and frontier markets, while providing attractive returns for investors. BlueOrchard was founded in 2001, by initiative of the UN, as the world’s first commercial manager of microfinance debt investments. The firm has built a distinct track record in offering premium impact investment solutions, including credit, private equity, and sustainable infrastructure. Being an expert in innovative blended finance mandates, the firm is a trusted partner of leading global development finance institutions. BlueOrchard has invested to date more than USD 6bn for sophisticated global private and public clients, enabling tangible social and environmental impact. For additional information, please visit: www.blueorchard.com.
About Tideline Advisors LLC
Tideline is a certified, women-owned advisory firm in impact investing. Since its founding in 2014, Tideline has become a recognised leader in impact measurement and management, focused on the design and verification of IM systems with leading asset owners and managers. In 2020, Tideline established a subsidiary with a separate, dedicated team focused on impact management verification.
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