While traditional ESG investors primarily focus on how a company carries out its business activities and attempts to assess potential environmental, social, and governance risk factors, impact investing emphasizes intentionality, contribution to, and measurement of positive impact in addition to assessing ESG risks. As an impact investment manager, BlueOrchard therefore invests in companies or organizations with the explicit intent to contribute to measurable positive social or environmental impact, while also seeking a financial return.

At BlueOrchard, we align our impact measurement and management practices with the “five dimensions of impact” framework, as defined by Impact Frontiers, a collaborative defining best practices for integrating impact principles in the investment process. These dimensions include What, How Much, Who, Contribution, and Impact Risks. By considering these dimensions, we can comprehensively evaluate and manage the impact of our investments.

As we also consider effective ESG risk management to be crucial and complementary to impact measurement, positive environmental or social impact is in our view only truly sustainable when potential harm is simultaneously mitigated. Therefore, BlueOrchard’s proprietary impact management framework, “B. Impact”, measures and manages both potential ESG risks and expected positive impact associated with our investments.

In this article, we will elaborate on how we are implementing our B.Impact framework in practice, using our InsuResilience investment strategies as an example. The impact objective of these strategies is to contribute to climate change adaptation by increasing resilience of individuals and Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in developing countries against extreme weather events. Our goal is to improve access to and the use of climate insurance solutions.  Our portfolio companies range from insurance companies to insurtech businesses and crop businesses in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.

Impact measurement in practice

BlueOrchard measures a range of qualitative and quantitative impact Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) across the five dimensions of impact, conducting assessments at different time intervals, such as quarterly, annually, and ad-hoc.


Climate risk insurance provides a safety net to both individuals and businesses who are vulnerable to climate-related risks. It aims to enhance their resilience against the negative effects of extreme weather events, safeguarding them from potential poverty, minimizing losses, and preserving their assets. By doing so, it helps to strengthen their ability to adapt to the challenges posed by extreme weather events.

How much

The scale of impact is primarily measured through the number of climate insurance beneficiaries reached, for which the strategies have set an ambitious impact target and as of Q1 2024, the estimated number of overall impact beneficiaries exceeds 68 million. This KPI serves as a measure of the outreach of the strategies and their contribution to scaling up climate insurance solutions, particularly in nascent markets where the strategies operate. Other KPIs used to gauge the scale of impact relate to the sums insured, which reflect the value of assets protected from pre-defined weather events, as well as the premium paid per policy. In addition, the number of insurance claims filed and paid, along with the overall volume of insurance payouts, provide further insights into the extent of protection. Considering these KPIs collectively, it is also possible to gain an understanding of the quality of the product, as they offer indications of affordability and the ability to safeguard the livelihoods of the insured (e.g., cost of premium versus sum insured, claims filed versus claims paid). Skymet, a leading weather data provider in India, has contributed nearly 24 million of beneficiaries to the strategies by Q1 2024 due to the impact that the data it generates has on the development of climate insurance products in India.

Furthermore, to assess the depth of impact, which refers to the extent of change experienced by the end beneficiaries in terms of increased climate resilience, qualitative assessments are necessary. One approach is through “end client surveys” that evaluate the difference a specific product has made in the life of a beneficiary. For example, these surveys may examine the ability of farmers to repurchase seeds for crop regrowth or the ability of small shop owners to replace damaged inventory.  One of our latest investments is Pula, the largest developer of insurance solutions in Africa, who currently provides coverage to farmers in 17 countries, spanning 24 different types of crops.


KPIs in this dimension provide insights into which stakeholders are experiencing the targeted outcome and the extent to which they are underserved in relation to that outcome. The InsuResilience strategies specifically target the “poor and vulnerable” population, which is defined as individuals living on less than USD 15 per day and who either have income heavily vulnerable to extreme weather events or reside in countries that are vulnerable to climate change with low readiness to respond to the challenge[1]. In cases where income data is not directly available, proxies based on loan size, sum insured, size of land farmed, or other relevant metrics may be used.

Aside from income, gender represents a crucial dimension that needs to be systematically measured. Extensive research shows that climate change disproportionately affects women and girls, exacerbating existing gender inequalities and posing unique threats to their livelihoods, health, and safety. The specific needs of women require special attention and a differentiated product/service offering.

Lastly, additional KPIs such as location of end-clients (urban/rural) and ethnicity or race can be relevant factors in understanding the extent to which these individuals are underserved or not served at all. We examine all these KPIs holistically, a concept which is known as “intersectionality”.  For example, Igloo, a insurtech portfolio company in Southeast Asia, is pioneering the provision of crop insurance in Vietnam and natural catastrophe insurance in the Philippines to communities that have previously lacked access to such products.


Contribution assesses whether the efforts of an enterprise and/or investor have resulted in outcomes that are superior to what would have occurred otherwise.

BlueOrchard creates value through various means, including active board presence, a dedicated grant facility for technical assistance and premium support projects, and leveraging our unique expertise along the climate insurance value chain.

Firstly, BlueOrchard´s Private Equity team actively participates in the Board of Directors of every portfolio company across both InsuResilience strategies. This involvement allows us to provide strategic guidance, share industry insights, and contribute to the overall success of our investments. This also ensures that the impact objective of the strategies is firmly embedded in the business models of the companies. We believe that investments that enable or provide climate insurance products profitably are more likely to sustain impact, even after our exit.

Secondly, in addition to financial backing by the InsuResilience strategies, every investee is eligible to receive support from a dedicated Grant Facility funded by public entities. This facility provides Technical Assistance (TA) and Premium Support (PS), which focus on the development and distribution of climate insurance products and the support of innovative climate insurance products of the strategies’ portfolio companies during their launch phase, respectively. If an investee is not already utilizing TA or PS, we work closely with them to explore and negotiate such grants.

Lastly, BlueOrchard´s extensive network and expertise in the climate insurance value chain enable us to make valuable introductions. We connect investees with re-insurers, provide access to high visibility reports and on-the-ground impact evaluation studies, and link them with other active investors. Our aim is to promote the exchange of best practices and foster collaboration across the entire value chain. For instance, Pula is partnering with another portfolio company of the InsuResilience strategies, Vanguard, a Ghanian insurance company, to develop a new parametric product focused on cocoa in Ghana. Our Grant Facility provides committed premium support for this initiative.

Through these value-creating activities, we aim to increase access to and use of climate insurance products. By doing so, we ultimately seek to bolster the resilience of individuals and MSMEs in developing countries against the adverse consequences of climate change.

Impact risks

This dimension assesses the likelihood of failing to achieve the targeted impact and the severity of the consequences for stakeholders if the impact does not materialise. Impact Frontiers has defined nine impact risks, but within the context of our InsuResilience strategies, the most significant ones are alignment risk (e.g., climate insurance representing only a small portion of a business activity), external risk (e.g., dependence on national subsidy programs), and drop-off risk (e.g., impact not being sustained after our investment exit). These risks are taken into account in the pre-investment impact assessment, using BlueOrchard’s proprietary “B.Impact” tool.


With their presence across the entire climate insurance value chain, the InsuResilience strategies are well positioned to support the creation of, access to and use of climate adaptation solutions, thereby improving the resilience of poor and vulnerable households as well as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to the adverse effects of climate change.  The InsuResilience strategy is leading the way to deliver quantifiable impact outcomes alongside market financial returns in climate insurance which should help to expand investment in what we believe is one of the most underserved climate investing sectors.  The unrelentless focus on increasing the penetration of climate insurance in emerging markets has resulted in a differentiated investment strategy which has positioned InsuResilience as a preferred partner for companies in the climate insurance value chain.

[1] Such countries are classified as having a “high need” or “moderate need” based on the ND-GAIN Country Index.




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