2019 Sustainabilty & Operational Excellence Challenge Winner

The EMPEA Institute is proud to announce our 2019 Sustainability and Operational Excellence Challenge Winner and Finalists, who presented at the EMPEA Sustainable Investing in Emerging Markets Summit on 8 October 2019 in London.

2019 Challenge Winner:

  • Barn Investments for its investment in Strider, a Brazil-based agricultural company capable of providing reliable, real-time data on pest population and overall crop health to farmers in Brazil, thus considerably reducing pesticide spraying and subsequent overspending while improving operational profitability margins. Learn more about Stride, read the case study here.

2019 Challenge Finalists:

  • Actis for its investment in Ostro Energy, a renewable energy platform focusing on the construction of wind power and solar energy projects in India. By 2017, Ostro Energy completed its business plan ahead of schedule, having signed long-term power purchase agreements for wind and solar projects reaching 1.1 gigawatts (GW) in capacity—the equivalent of powering 1 million Indian homes – and reducing reliance on coal, thus avoiding over 1.4 million tons of CO2. Learn more about Ostro Energy, read the case study here.
  • Alta Semper Capital for its investment in HealthPlus Limited, a Nigerian retail pharmacy chain who that recognized a fundamental need to increase access to quality and affordable health care for Nigeria’s underserved populations. As of September 2019, after receiving an initial investment of USD10 million, HealthPlus was operating a network of more than 85 specialty health care and wellness centers across Nigeria with 750 employees. Read the case study here.

The audience members voted for the fund manager who they believed exemplified the best case study of outstanding sustainable impact from an operational, environmental, social and governance perspective, following presentations delivered by the top three Challenge finalists. This year’s judges included Natasha Buckley, Senior Manager, Private Equity Program at UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI); Shawn Cole, John G. McLean Professor of Business Administration, Finance Unit at Harvard Business School; and, Gayle Peterson, Associate Fellow, Said Business School, Oxford University and Director, Oxford Impact Investing and Social Finance Programs. Emerging market fund managers and global institutional investors attending this week’s summit made the final selection of the winner after hearing presentations highlighting key impact and operational metrics.

Flavio Zaclis, Founding Partner at Barn Investments remarked, “I think the audience selected Strider because they understood the tremendous impact that a small company is able to create in a gigantic market, and how the impact directly affects people’s lives in a positive way. At the end of the day, it really is about how private capital can contribute to society to make people’s lives better. I think Strider is the perfect example of how technology and private capital combined can enable significant impact on society and on our planet. I also believe that peers were able to relate to the tremendous amount of hard work, determination, and perseverance that is needed to create, grow, and disseminate new ideas in traditional markets such as agriculture.”