Crises shine a light on what is really important – people and the planet we all share. In today’s volatile and uncertain world, challenges are everywhere. The invasion of Ukraine has wreaked a terrible human toll, as well as dire consequences for millions of livelihoods. Meridiam wholeheartedly stands with Ukraine and its people. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have intense negative effects on people and countries around the world, disproportionately affecting the poorest and most disadvantaged communities, particularly in emerging markets.
As I am writing this, the UN has just released its most recent IPCC report, part of its biggest update to climate science findings since 2014. Critically, it concludes that it is no longer possible to fully adapt to some of the impacts of global warming, citing irreversible losses among some warm water coral reefs, coastal wetlands and rain forests. And climate change is an accelerating threat that risks damaging the environment irreparably. Global priority investment in sustainability and resilience has never been more essential.
It is glaringly obvious that we – as individuals and investors – need to do everything in our power to reduce inequalities and create fairer and more sustainable systems. Capital is a powerful tool for making a difference, and one that Meridiam is – since our founding – committed to using to its fullest effect.
Many are coming around to this way of thinking. Institutional investors, including pension funds, increasingly want their investments to generate environmental and social positive benefits as well as a financial return. Policymakers are also pushing for more. New rules, namely the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation and the EU taxonomy, place Europe at the vanguard of sustainable investing by bringing increased transparency and a shared language to the space. They will also support concrete climate change goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement and the EU’s aim to become the first net zero continent by 2050.
Since Meridiam’s inception, our mission is to invest in and develop sustainable infrastructure that improves the quality of people’s lives. That focus remains steadfast, and is constantly evolving and improving.
All of our new generation funds meet the standards for Article 9 of SFDR, the highest classification for sustainability, meaning that they have environmental and social objectives at their core.
We have defined Five Pillars* that guide our investment strategies. And we have created methodologies that measure our impact towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals in quantifiable terms. They are the factors that define and differentiate Meridiam and ensure that our investments translate into real impact.
Our firm and its ability to have impact is also expanding. For example, our investment into SUEZ gives us greater capabilities in water and sanitation services, that we will seek to scale up in regions including Africa and the Middle East where they are needed most.
Meridiam is also investing more and more in critical public services, including digital infrastructure. Our investment is helping ensure that rural communities and emerging markets can access high-speed internet and so enjoy the economic and societal benefits that connectivity can bring.
To reflect our evolution and our ambition for the future, Meridiam updated its branding in October of last year. Our new identity underpins our commitment to the SDGs and our over arching sense of purpose as a mission-driven company. For people and the planet – they are at the heart of everything we do.
* Deliver resilient infrastructure & develop sustainable cities, Accelerate energy transition, Avoid & reduce emissions, Promote good work conditions, inclusion, diversity & gender equality, Protect & enhance biodiversity