Since the end of 2018, we have embraced a strategy primarily focused on sustainable progress. For the next five years, we are tightening this strategy. Our main goal? To create positive impact, by focusing on biodiversity, climate, social equality and investments in innovative ventures. Guus van Puijenbroek, Director Strategic and Family Matters, explains: “We acknowledge the challenges our world is facing and the need for transformative shifts within the building blocks of our society. But we also believe in the opportunities that these challenges offer. That is why we now choose an impact first investment policy.”
Our impact strategy will focus on 3 key challenges (biodiversity, climate, and social equality) and 6 transformative solutions. All our investments decisions will be guided by their potential to contribute to these transformative solutions and to address the key challenges that our planet and society are facing.
While the potential positive impact of an investment is a decisive factor, the financial return and risk profile remain an integrated part of the investment decisions. “In the past, finance held the primary focus and was assessed through an impact lens. Now, impact is at the forefront of every decision, assessed through a financial lens.”
With this new strategy, we take a step forward to contribute to much-needed solutions for our planet and society. “After our first five-year strategy on sustainable progress, we are now ready to take it up a notch. Zooming in on what we believe to be 3 crucial challenges and tackling them with specific solutions. Not only through our investments, but also with our philanthropy. We are matching our donation policy to these solutions as well. Ultimately, we strive with all our activities, our organisational-, capital- and investor impact, for returns measured in birds and bees, arctic ice and an equitable society where everyone has an equal vote.”
Focus is key
In our new strategy, we will make investments aimed at regenerative-, biobased-, circular-, net zero-, toxicity free- and inclusive solutions, both through funds and listed equity investments. New investments in ventures will focus on the same solutions, but in 5 specific domains: textile, agrifood, energy, built environment, and clean technology. For existing investments, we maintain the goals to support them into becoming sustainable frontrunners in their field.
Our real estate portfolio will focus on investments that meet our set Science Based Targets in 2028 or investments that have a societal function, such as affordable housing.
For new direct investments, we choose to invest in start-ups and scale-ups under the wings of VP Ventures. Bart van Eyk, Managing Director, elaborates: “Innovative starts-ups and scale-ups are the key to sustainable progress. However, they often have limited access to capital because traditional financiers find it too risky. Family offices can fill in a unique position here, especially with their long-term horizon. In cooperation with our partners, we want to focus on this opportunity and make a difference. That is why we founded VP Ventures.”
Using our business as a force for good
Since 2018, we have made the choice to focus on sustainable progress. An important factor in this was taking up an active role in improving the impact performance of our portfolio. Over the last five years, we have achieved firm results in improving the ESG- and impact performance of our investments. We transparently report on this progress through our annual Progress Reports, which helps us and our portfolio companies in our shared ambition to become frontrunners.
“If we want everyone to pivot to progress,
our actions and behaviour need to adhere to the highest standards.”
As a family office, we feel the responsibility to set an example by using our own company as a force for good. If we want everyone to pivot to progress, our actions and behaviour need to adhere to the highest standards. Since 2022, we hold a B Corp certification and have been recognized as a CO2 neutral company. Moreover, our CO2 targets have been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and in 2023 we signed the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge.
We strive to guide and inspire as many others as possible and mobilise them for this common cause. Guus van Puijenbroek: “ We will put even more emphasis on our active role as investor and will engage with the wider investment community on impact investing. This way, we hope to inspire as many people as possible to join us in our mission.”
Transparency and accountability
We will continue to report transparently on our goals and KPI’s, following the European Corporate Sustainable Reporting Directive (CSRD). Besides the contribution to biodiversity, climate and social equality, the impact will be determined in three areas: Organisational impact (the impact of our own activities, Capital impact (the impact of our investments) and Investor impact (the impact we can make by playing an active role in our investments and by engaging with the wider investment community). In July 2024, we will present the results of the 2018-2023 strategy in our newest Progress Report. These results will guide us in finalising our goals for the 2024-2028 strategy.
Partnerships and expertise
In the years ahead, we will deepen our impact strategy of 2024-2028 through partnerships and strengthening our own expertise. Our mission statement ‘Driven by Impact’ powerfully articulates this, Guus van Puijenbroek and Bart van Eyk explain: “The Sustainable Progress approach that we have built over the past years, has made this current acceleration possible. With our current team, capital, and network we want to improve the future for next generations. Off course we can’t do it alone, the challenges are simply too big and important to tackle ourselves. Therefore, we invite other investors and innovative companies to join us in realising this vision together.”