Investors are useful when they take an active part in the real economy. They hold the keys to understanding the implications of their investments, their meaning and their purpose. Sycomore’s mission – to make investment more human – is driven by our commitment to take human considerations into account when making our investment decisions, but also to work closely with companies, mindful of their realities. Our ambition is to allocate the capital we are entrusted with, to the most promising projects, not only from a financial point of view but also in terms of impacts on society and the environment. We believe an investment is “purposeful” only if it combines financial returns and a positive contribution to society and/or the environment. Contrary to popular beliefs, these two factors are actually closely related.
While it remains difficult to quantify this contribution, it is part of our mission as responsible investors: it ensures the credibility of our approach with our clients, and ultimately, with any investors. As early as
2015, we imagined a new metric for measuring environmental impacts (the Net Environmental Contribution®) and we are currently working on developing further indicators regarding corporate societal impacts.
We believe an investment is “purposeful” only if it combines financial returns and a positive contribution to society and/or the environment
In 2017-2018, we took part in the research work conducted by the French SRI label’s scientific committee on impacts. Based on the considerations raised by this task force and an in-depth review of literature, the committee will issue a report in the fall 2018 offering a precise overview of the current impact metrics available and further recommendations thereon. We are truly looking forward to this enlightening research which will help improve the consistency of impact-related approaches.
Until then, as we return to defining the use and the role of finance, this edition of the Responsible Way will attempt to outline what a “purposeful” investment is; it will also show how difficult it is to demonstrate, through impact metrics, how useful an investment truly is. However, it is urgent to act, as Bruno Le Maire emphasises: we must “put some meaning back into investing, having financial industry players addressing today’s major challenges”.
 Arjaliès, D-L., Chollet P., Crifo P., Mottis N., (2018) Mesure d’impact et label ISR : Analyse et recommandations, Report published with backing from the French SRI Label Scientic Committee.