As an investor for impact we understand finance to be transformational, and define it as directing money so that it benefits people and the environment over the long term.
Triodos Organic Growth Fund invests in the much-needed transition towards ecologically and socially resilient food and agriculture systems. It provides long-term mission-aligned private capital to leading European organic and sustainable food businesses that have a clear commitment to increasing consumer awareness and the market share of organic and sustainable food products.
Our role and efforts in this complex web of change can only be captured in quantitative metrics and indicators to a certain extent. We believe that impact investing moves beyond providing capital and requires a strong intention and a holistic and long-term approach. We build long-term relationships with our portfolio companies and other stakeholders and play an enabler and inspirer role. With this approach, Triodos differentiates itself from other capital providers.
To explain our vision and the extent to which we’re delivering on it means sharing stories that illustrate the whole picture. These stories provide the essential context and background for our activities. They illustrate our ‘theory of change’.
The information and data for the impact report are collected on an annual basis, in close cooperation with the portfolio companies. For each of the portfolio company a set of key impact indicators is determined. Furthermore, the portfolio companies report how they contribute to each of the three pillars – Balanced Ecosystems, Healthy Society and Inclusive Prosperity – that contribute together to ecologically and socially resilient food systems.
In addition, the impact report contains a range of indicators reflecting the entire fund portfolio, such as hectares of organically farmer land, number of organic meals served, and organic turnover in euros.
Part of the whole story
The quantitative indicators are a part of the whole story. This means that indicators such as hectares of organically farmed land, number of farmers reached and number of healthy and organic meals served are not goals in themselves; they are pieces of information that are part of the broader picture. They give a sense of the impact we achieve through the capital that we have invested. For that reason, we don’t set specific goals for indicators or compare them to last year figures, because a higher number doesn’t necessarily mean more impact. For instance, financing a relatively small player in the organic food sector which drives innovative and ground-breaking approaches to increase market share could mean more impact than financing a larger company in a mature market.
This publication aims to assess and communicate the impact of the Triodos Organic Growth Fund investments in a transparent and meaningful way.