Interview: CDC’s Kumar on responsible investment

Ritu Kumar, an in-house ESG expert at CDC Group, told sister title Private Healthcare Investor why the UK development finance institution was compelled to update its ESG toolkit launched in 2012. 

Why did CDC feel it was important to make this toolkit?  

Kumar: We’re mandated to invest in a sustainable manner. We had an ESG toolkit prior to 2012 but it had, we felt, lived its life. Last year we knew we had to refresh the toolkit but in doing so wanted to make it online and more user-friendly. It’s really a living document that can be continuously updated.

The toolkit is primarily targeted at fund managers because we felt it was the most cost-effective way to reach out to a wider audience and provide them with information and guidance on implementing ESG management systems.

How will this toolkit help guide your direct investments in healthcare?   

We can tailor the guidance in the toolkit to most sectors, including healthcare. Earlier this year we invested directly in two hospital chains in India: Narayana and Rainbow.

Just this month we did a workshop with Narayana, which operates 21 hospitals all over India, to identify environmental and social factors that need to be better managed by hospitals. We also took that opportunity to agree on metrics for the hospitals to measure and track which can become an effective management tool for monitoring and reporting.

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