Environment, Social, & Governance (“ESG”)
At IHS, we recognize that environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations are critical to the long-term success of our investments. That’s why we have adopted a structured approach to managing ESG risks and opportunities across our investments.
Our ESG policies are designed with an overarching view of meeting the expectations and requirements of various investors, pension funds, private institutions, foundations, and government entities. The policies are tailored towards affordable housing and are based on a number of local and international principles including the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, as well as national environmental and social legislation and applicable international best practices. We incorporate ESG criteria into our investment decision-making process, enabling us to identify and mitigate risks, reduce development costs, and improve project sustainability.
Our commitment to ESG principles is a powerful tool for creating positive social impact and promoting environmentally sustainable growth. By supporting the national and global objectives of the National Development Plan (NDP) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we are helping to build a better future for communities across Africa.
To ensure that our investments meet the highest international standards, we implement the guidelines of the International Finance Corporation’s (“IFC”) Performance Standards for Social and Environmental Assessment, as well as the European Investment Bank’s (“EIB”) Environmental and Social Standards in all our projects. This ensures that our investments not only deliver strong financial returns, but also create lasting social and environmental benefits for the communities we serve.
IHS is a pioneer in the delivery of climate-friendly affordable housing in Africa. In IHS Fund II, through the IFC EDGE program, IHS delivered the first green-certified residential project in Africa and has continued to deliver green affordable housing since. More information on IFC’s EDGE program can be found at www.edgebuildings.com.
In addition to creating positive social impact through our communities, IHS is committed to providing ongoing support and funding for various social development programs. Our initiatives include learnerships and employment opportunities for women and persons with disabilities, mentorship and job creation for previously disadvantaged entrepreneurs, as well as students. We believe in transparency and accountability and provide quarterly and annual social impact reporting to track the performance and impact of our closed transactions. At IHS, we are dedicated to not only providing affordable housing solutions but also to improving the lives of individuals and the communities we serve through meaningful social development programs.
IHS is committed to and places great importance on maintaining strong governance and transparency to keep investors informed. Our internal processes are clearly structured to ensure transparency and accountability, with key approval rights given to investors. This includes regular site visits, detailed quarterly reports, annual advisory committee meetings, financial statements audited by one of the “big four” international audit firms, and internal and third-party valuations of all investments. These measures ensure that IHS maintains its reputation for excellence and integrity, and that investors have confidence in their investments.
At International Housing Solutions, we focus on developing sustainable communities that make a significant difference in the lives of their residents.
An independent social impact study, conducted by the University of Cape Town, found that the high-quality and well-located housing developed by our first multi-investor fund (“SAWHF”) had had a profound impact on the lives and overall welfare of the residents. Over 72% of the households polled said their lives had improved significantly.
- The investments created a significant number of jobs, the vast majority of which were filled by previously disadvantaged individuals and 10% by women.
- Over the life of the fund, the study estimated that 100,000 jobs would be created, many of which are expected to become permanent.
- Almost all of the previously disadvantaged workers employed by our projects were unskilled and came from the local communities in which our developments are located.
- The fund investments have unlocked major public sector funding through infrastructure, subsidies and guarantees.
- Over three-quarters of the fund capital was invested in low-income areas.
- The impact of the fund equates to jobs for more than 4,000 people at present, of whom 85% are considered previously disadvantaged and 10% are women.
- An independent report estimates that 100,000 jobs will be created over the life of the fund, of which 5,000 per annum are expected to become permanent.
- Almost all of the previously disadvantaged workers who were employed in our projects were unskilled and came from the local communities in which our developments are located.
Economic Growth & Development
- The SAWHF has investments valued at more than $230 million, and we have unlocked major public sector funding through infrastructure, subsidies and guarantees.
- 82% of our funds are invested in low-income areas.
Environmental & Affordability
- All of the IFC EDGE certified projects delivered by IHS contribute to significantly lower energy and water consumption by occupiers. As a minimum, an occupier will consume 20% less water and energy when compared to the base case without the green interventions.
- This 20% lower consumption of water and energy also results in a significant financial saving of occupiers which, on average, over a 12-month period can equate to one-month’s bond or rental payment.