October becomes one of the first lending platform to sign the UN PRI. Fully committed to responsible lending, the Fintech joins a strong global community of 2,500 signatories including most of October’s institutional investors.
Responsible lending for European SMEs
In 2016, the UN launched the Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI) to foster responsible investments practices. The objective for financial companies is to include environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria into their investment decisions and practices.
October becomes one of the first lending platforms to sign the UN PRI, joining a strong global community of 2,500 signatories, including most of October’s institutional investors community.
The scope of the UN PRI ranges from environmental concerns such as climate change, resource depletion, waste, pollution, deforestation, to social impact including human rights, working conditions, training, and governance issues such as bribery and corruption, executive pay, board diversity, political and lobbying.
Systematic ESG scoring and reporting
Responsible ESG lending seeks to quantify risks that cannot be measured by traditional financial metrics. Every project on the October platform will be systematically screened for relevant environmental, social and governance criteria. Good practices put in place by the potential borrowers will be assessed by October. These criteria will be taken into account in the final scoring of the projects. Specific ESG data will also be included in portfolio reporting post-lending so October can measure progress made such as job creations or teams diversity.
Since its launch, October has already supported an ecosystem of companies representing more than 26,000 jobs in France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands (source October). Each new loan granted has a strong impact on the growth and sustainability of this ecosystem.
Many of the companies financed on the platform have the same sensitivities. For instance, Olmix Group, is a company committed to protecting the environment by producing natural additives for nutrition, animal hygiene and plant nutrition. To carry out its project, the “HealthSea foodTech”, the company received a financing from October for a new algae production line which could be used a a replacement of antibiotics.
“Signing the UN PRI came naturally as we already follow ESG indicators in-house and have been since the beginning of our operations sensible to the type of projects we finance”, explains Olivier Goy, founder of October.
ESG starts at home and October, as a company, will be systematically reporting on its environmental, social and governance best practices. As a tech player, October is an almost zero paper company. All our contracts are signed electronically saving more than 1,500kg of woods (source Docusign). In line with its mission to support entrepreneurs, October has recently signed a pledge to accelerate women entrepreneurs financing through the SISTA initiative in France.