Affinity believes that assessing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risks and opportunities in the investment process is essential to developing a sustainable long-term investment environment that aligns the interests of Affinity, our portfolio companies and our investors. We have had a Responsible Investment Policy (“the Policy”) in place since 2012, and we have been proud signatories to the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) since 2017.
The Policy embraces the six principles of the PRI and the ten principles of the United Nations (UN) Global Compact. Included in the Policy are sector-specific ESG considerations across nine target sectors, including food & beverage, retail, healthcare, education and manufacturing, and a negative investment list composed of prohibited sectors.
Throughout the investment process, our investment professionals are required to consider and assess ESG issues, and external consultants are engaged to assist in due diligence. The issues being considered include, but are not limited to, labour rights, human rights, employee relations, prohibitions on child and forced labour, equal opportunities and non-discrimination, and occupational health and safety compliance.
To respond to the threats of climate change, we have incorporated climate change-specific risks and opportunities into the Policy. This framework is largely based on the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Affinity’s investment professionals are expected to incorporate this framework when evaluating potential investment opportunities and when managing and monitoring existing investments.
Post-investment, we assist portfolio companies in developing, implementing and monitoring the progress of ESG initiatives within their organisation. For each portfolio company, there is at least one Affinity partner serving as a director, as well as one or two other investment professionals who serve as directors or observers. Our active ownership roles and representation on the Boards of Directors across these portfolio companies allow us to supervise managements’ commitment to addressing ESG issues.
Shinhan Financial Group has been included among the 2021 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations, becoming the only Korean company to earn a spot on the list for the ninth consecutive year. Cho Yong-byung, Chairman of the financial group, said, "Joining the Global 100 for nine consecutive years is the result of our efforts to promote various environmental, social and governance (ESG) management activities at the group level, including the Zero Carbon Drive. Shinhan Financial Group will continue to develop the ESG system as a leading financial group in Korea." The Global 100 is an annual sustainable management index announced by Corporate Knights, a Canadian media group and investment research organization. It marked its 17th anniversary in 2020.
SSG.com is the e-commerce platform of the #1 hypermarket and #2 department store chains in Korea. To reduce the environmental impact of disposable packaging materials, SSG is the first e-commerce player in Korea to use reusable cooler bags for its deliveries, which are more environmentally friendly than Styrofoam and cardboard packaging. SSG has also replaced chemical refrigerant with eco-friendly ice-packs made from water and paper.
MedicalDirector is Australia’s leading cloud-based clinical and practice management software and population health technology company. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, MedicalDirector has actively supported the Australian government's and healthcare community's efforts to combat COVID-19. To enable general practitioners (“GPs”) to conduct consultations seamlessly while minimising clinical risk, MedicalDirector brought different stakeholders together to provide a one-stop shop solution to accelerate the adoption of telemedicine in Australia.