CDC Group plc Case Study | Environmental, Social & Business Integrity Masterclass for Board Directors

CDC Investment Works client case study by Kina AdvisoryWho

CDC Group plc (CDC) is the UK’s development finance institution. Its mission is to support the building of businesses throughout Africa and South Asia, to create jobs, and to make a lasting difference to people’s lives in some of the world’s poorest places. CDC invests in sectors where growth leads to jobs – financial services, infrastructure, health, manufacturing, food and agriculture, construction and real estate, and education.

What

CDC has developed an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) learning journey and workshop programme principally focused on the practical implementation of operational ESG considerations in emerging market Private Equity funds and portfolio companies. The programme modules include climate change considerations, gender value chain approaches, E&S management systems and effective human resource approaches.

CDC sees board-level oversight training, focused on skills and risk management structures, as a useful and necessary complement to the programme, helping Boards refine how to set the tone on E&S and business integrity from the top down. Therefore, as part of the programme, CDC has engaged Kina Advisory to collaborate on the development and delivery of an Environmental, Social and Business Integrity (ES&BI) Masterclass for board level professionals.

How

The one-day Masterclass is delivered through presentations and a comprehensive case study covering topics including global trends and agendas in sustainability and ESG and what this means for Boards and senior management; the role of the Board in setting the company’s sustainability agenda and in establishing the right culture, values and ethics to deliver a sustainability agenda; and the composition and structure of the Board, including oversight models for ESG practices. Based on and interspersed between the presentations, the Participants work on a comprehensive two- or three-part case study to identify E&S and business integrity risks and how best the Board can manage such risks.

Each Masterclass is fully interactive, and practical examples are used, mainly from Kina’s own experiences of working with businesses and from other real-life cases. Participants are also encouraged to share examples of challenges they have faced and solutions they have developed. Prior to and in preparation for Masterclass each participant receives a questionnaire asking for information about their experience of sustainability and ES&BI issues and whether there are any additional matters they would like the Masterclass to cover.

Result

Since the development of the Masterclass in 2017, Kina has delivered Masterclasses on behalf of CDC to its portfolio companies and fund managers in Dubai, Johannesburg, London, Lagos, Mumbai and Nairobi. Over 200 investment and board professionals have now attended the course. Feedback from participants has shown that as a result, they are have the tools to build executive level understanding and practical knowledge of how corporate leaders set and drive sustainability agendas that support profitable and efficient businesses.

“The module delivered by Kina has received strong positive feedback, not least because of the personal and practical experiences brought by the team. In terms of impact, participants have spoken of increased awareness and confidence on how boards might set the tone on ESG matters and in some cases, creation of new committees (or adapting existing ones) to ensure that enhanced sustainability focus is included within remit of board oversight”

Guy Alexander, Manager Environmental, Social & Governance – Impact
CDC Group plc

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