Playing a key role in our daily lives, providing livelihoods for one-third of the global population, the Ag & Food sector accounts for more than 10% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) across developing countries and almost 30% of GDP for the world’s least-developed countries.
In 2018, agriculture added USD3.3 trillion to the world economy, up 50% from 2008 . Over 2.5 billion people work in the agricultural sector, many residing in rural areas, emerging markets, or both.
With the global population estimated to growth to 10 billion by 2050, requiring an increase of 70% in food production adding further pressure on the use of natural resources combined with increasing risks related to climate change. Addressing these challenges through our investments has become one of our major priorities.
To support an inclusive and sustainable growth in this sector, Aqua Capital commits to the adoption of rigorous ESG and Positive Impact (ESG+I) principles.
Aqua Capital’s ESG and Positive Impact (ESG+I) vision is to generate value for all its stakeholders by enhancing sound governance, and positive environmental and social impact in its portfolio companies. We seek to contribute to the sustainable development of our sector, including the promotion of diversity within our workforce, a responsible production, an efficient use of natural resources, while also addressing food security challenges.
Our ESG+I Strategy and Approach
At Aqua Capital we believe that the adoption of rigorous ESG+I principles will allow us to build enduring relationships with our partners and customers, while driving additional value creation for our investors.
We identify, manage, improve and exit investments to generate superior financial returns while positively contributing to the environment and to the society.
Our “ESG Approach as Risk Mitigation” goes hand-in-hand with our more holistic approach that includes “Sustainability and Positive Impact as Value Creation”. We differentiate ourselves by integrating these two critical sustainability factors into the investment cycle. We promote ESG risk management within the Aqua-managed funds portfolio companies, and accompany them to create sustainable value.
Aqua Capital Commitment to ESG+I
Aqua Capital is committed to ESG+I a process of continuous performance improvement in how ESG factors are embedded into the firm’s operations and investment activities. Our ESG Policy, Management System and E&S Action Plans are implemented throughout the investment process, from pipeline construction to exit, and are aligned with international benchmarks (IFC Performance Standards, ILO, and UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights) and measurement metrics (IRIS+ and GRI).
Our Proactive Positive Impact Agenda
Aqua Capital portfolio companies must be impactful in creating sustainable economic development with the goal of providing superior returns to investors.
The key pillars of our Positive Agenda are:
Diversity and Inclusion
At Aqua Capital we aim to go beyond just measuring indicators related to the number of women in the total work force, ratios of wage parity, promotion by gender and number of women on boards. We are setting ambitious objectives, including improving sourcing and recruiting of women within Aqua Capital and its portfolio companies, increasing representation of women on boards, and offering job opportunities to underrepresented minorities. Our Diversity and Inclusion agenda started with the implementation of an anti-bias training at Aqua Capital and our portfolio companies and continued with our internship program focused on inclusion and racial equality. We aim to improve periodically.
Aqua Capital is a member of the 2X Challenge initiatives initiated by major development financial institutions to promote gender-lens investing.
Resource Efficiency and Fight Against Climate Change
We are focused on promoting resource efficiency projects within the Aqua-managed funds portfolio companies, with the objective to save key natural resources, such as water, to limit and recycle waste for the production of by-products and clean energy, to use more sustainable packaging and help our companies decrease GHG emissions.
Through our proactive approach, we contribute to the sustainable development of the Ag & Food sector while, at the same time, generating accretive value for our stakeholders.
Our contribution to SDGs
At Aqua Capital we seek to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals defined by the United Nation (UN SDGs) for achieving a better and more sustainable future for all by 2030 and beyond. The UN SDGs for which our contribution is the strongest are.
Though our direct actions, Aqua-managed funds portfolio companies are producing more with less, and increasing their volumes of production above the industry average, contributing directly and/or indirectly to the increase in food production.
Via our proactive Positive Agenda, we are promoting best practices in terms of gender balance, recruitment and retention policies and female representation on the boards of Aqua-managed funds portfolio companies.
Decent work and economic growth
Through the proactive management of Aqua-managed funds portfolio companies, we generate growth and create quality jobs, of which the vast majority in rural areas, contributing to the development of the rural economy and avoiding exodus towards large cities. 100% of our full time employees get health plans, and over 50% life insurance, meal and transport vouchers.
(SDGs 9 and 12)
Innovation is part of the daily business life for the majority of Aqua-managed funds portfolio companies. From the development of bacteria and fungi to promote plant growth to the production of innovative yeast-derived additives to replace antibiotic in animal feed, involving major partnerships with local university, and technical assistance to our clients to produce more with less inputs and food tech R&D, Aqua-managed funds portfolio companies contribute to a more sustainable and healthier food production.
Responsible consumption and production
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
Our fight against climate change embraces the promotion of resource efficiency projects within our Aqua-managed funds portfolio companies, assistance to measure and reduce their GHG emissions and carbon footprint, as well as to produce and support the use of biological fertilizers throughout our distribution networks.
Aqua Capital’s ESG+I Awards
Aqua Capital is the most awarded private equity firm in ESG/Sustainability in Latin America.
→ Operational efficiencies
→ Sustainable water managment
→ Investments in energy efficiency
Social & Gov
→ Best aquaculture Practices (”BAP”) certification
→ Implementation of a state-of-the art sanitation control
→ Retrechtment plan with the closure of the old plant
→ ISO 14.001 and ISO 45,001 certifications
→ GHG inventories, reporting and improvement
→ Best practices in Chemical managment
2020 ESG Award
2021 Environmental Responsibility
Our Broader Involvement
in the Community
Since 2017, Aqua Capital is a corporate sponsor of the Black Jaguar Foundation, one of the largest reforestation projects in Brazil aimed at the reforestation of a corridor of 2,600km between the Cerrado Savannah and the Amazon in cooperation with farmers.
While reforesting or maintaining the original vegetation in the corridor, the Black Jaguar foundation supports farmers to ensure they comply with national regulations with regards to preservation of permanent protection areas and legal reserves.
Additional benefits of implementing the restoration project in their properties include improvements in soil quality, microclimate, biodiversity, natural pollination and water availability.
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