Our ESG policy

This environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) policy sets out the approach taken by Octopus Renewables (“us” or “we”) on behalf of Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust (ORIT) to identify and manage ESG matters applicable to ORIT. The policy is set by the ORIT Board of Directors and reviewed annually.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure consideration is given to the wider stakeholder impacts and risks inherent in our investments and decision making. ORIT’s investment mandate lends itself to climate mitigation, but our intention is to also avoid harm and to do good for the environment and communities as we go.

ESG strategic goals

Our current ESG strategic goals are to:

  • Mitigate climate change
  • Manage risk across the portfolio
  • Protect and enhance the local environment
  • Create jobs and support local communities
  • Drive good ESG practice with contractors and suppliers

ESG principles

We will endeavour to meet our ESG strategic goals by incorporating the following principles throughout our business. We will:

  1. Be good citizens. We will comply with all applicable laws and respect international good practice. We will uphold high standards of business integrity and honesty. We will act in good faith, albeit enforcing contracts robustly where necessary to protect shareholders, officers, the community or the environment. We will not directly or indirectly offer, pay, solicit or accept bribes in any form.
  2. Provide safe and healthy working conditions for officers and contractors. We will encourage whistleblowing and maintain open communication channels between officers / contractors and management. We will act when needed to keep people safe.
  3. Carefully mitigate any potential impacts to the local environment, taking proactive action to improve biodiversity on and around renewable energy farms where possible. We will focus our attention on sites where there is robust local support for such issues, particularly from the landowner(s).
  4. Encourage contractors to a) train and employ local workers for construction and on-going maintenance of the renewable energy farms and b) take on apprentices and support skills building job creation in line with our contracts with them.
  5. Consider the impact of any operations on local communities and proactively seek strong social licence for all our operations. In some cases, this may include sharing some of the benefit of the operation with local stakeholders.   We will seek to ensure that potentially adverse health and safety, environmental and social effects are appropriately assessed, monitored and addressed.  
  6. Promote fair treatment of all ORIT and Octopus Renewables officers, irrespective of matters such as race, gender, nationality, disability, political or religious beliefs.   We will seek to avoid the risk of indirectly supporting modern slavery or human rights abuses.   We will use our influence to encourage similar commitments from our main contractors.
  7. Strive for a high standard of governance and robustly implement controls and risk management frameworks.

Octopus Group has signed up as a UN PRI signatory, which commits to the following principles for Responsible Investment:

  1. We will incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.
  2. We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.
  3. We will seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
  4. We will promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry.
  5. We will work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the Principles.
  6. We will each report on our activities and progress towards implementing the Principles.

Responsibilities

Matt Setchell and Chris Gaydon are responsible for the management of ESG issues and the implementation of this ESG Policy, reporting to the ORIT Board of Directors.  They are supported by the wider Octopus team and will engage appropriate expertise when necessary or desirable.

Related policies

In addition to the ESG principles, ORIT and Octopus have several policies and processes that support our commitment to ESG matters.   These include:

  1. Octopus equal opportunities policy
  2. Octopus modern slavery policy
  3. Octopus whistleblowing policy
  4. Octopus conflicts policy

If you have any questions about our ESG policy, please contact us.