On the occasion of the publication of our latest mission report for the financial year 2021, we look back at our journey from Ksapa’s adoption of the quality of ‘mission company’ to the publication of this report.
Ksapa was one of the very first companies to opt for the quality of a ‘company with a mission’ in the summer of 2019, a few weeks after the Pacte law was passed and ahead of its application decree published in January 2020.
Our desire to be an accelerator of environmental and social progress to the best of our ability is thus at the core of our DNA – and is experienced as such by all our teams. Being a mission-driven company is therefore very much at the heart of our activities and our collective dynamics.
The publication of our 2nd mission report is therefore an opportunity to look back on our journey and the implementation of this process – in particular the in-depth work undertaken with our mission committee on the key notions of formalising objectives and measuring impact.
Reminder – the Pacte law
As a reminder, the PACTE law (2018) introduced changes regarding the integration of environmental & social issues into activities.
In particular, it introduces 3 levels of gradation in the integration of ESG risks and positive impacts in companies’ activities:
- a minimum level of consideration of the environmental and social impacts of activities, for all companies,
- the possibility of adding a raison d’être to the articles of association of companies wishing to become involved in issues of common interest
- the status of mission-driven company, which goes further and completes the raison d’être by setting a mission, associated objectives and a mechanism to support their achievement.
Being a mission-driven company therefore requires :
- Incorporating a ‘raison d’être’ into the legal statutes
- Specifying “the methods for monitoring the execution of the mission” – in particular through a “mission committee”, which is separate from the corporate bodies […] and must include at least one employee. The committee shall be exclusively responsible for this monitoring and shall present an annual report attached to the management report.
- To have a third-party and independent body verify the effective performance of the mission
- To have the status of a ‘société à mission’ registered by the clerk of the commercial court. Indeed, the ‘société à mission’ does not constitute a new legal form in its own right; it is a quality and not a form of company.
Rationale for Ksapa
When we adopted the quality of a mission company, there was no access to existing examples, best practices, or even governmental instructions (the application decree was not published until several months after our choice to be a mission company).
Therefore, focusing on the spirit and the matter of the Pacte law, we chose a relatively broad ‘raison d’être’, representative of our desire to contribute to the acceleration of social and environmental progress… but also of various activities around consulting and advisory services, and solutions for transforming value chains, notably using the levers of digital and impact-linked finance to aim for scale, which is one of our primary intentions. We also wanted to share our views on the necessary transformation of the economy, and above all on the means to achieve it, to serve as a sounding board going beyond our own capacity for action… while remaining comprehensible and humble about our capacity to contribute to the magnitude of the collective challenges we are faced with today.
Thus, our statutes state:
“Furthermore, the Society’s raison d’être is defined as follows: to promote, on the widest possible scale in relation to its resources, economically efficient activities and systems that enable social, societal and environmental improvements, with a view to sustainability – and this through the activities described in this article but also through the sharing of the values carried by the Society and the points of view arising from them within the framework of public debate.”
Although it is only mandatory for companies with more than 50 employees to set up a mission committee, we have chosen for our performance to be evaluated and assessed by a mission committee.
Our articles of association state that:
“An evaluation committee will be set up within the Company and will regularly, and at least once a year, analyse the proper fulfilment of its raison d’être in the course of its activities.”
This choice was necessary because we wanted to surround ourselves with professionals and experts. We also wanted them to come from diverse backgrounds – representative of our desire to bring together different professional fields and commitments, as demonstrated for example by our webinars where stakeholders from large companies, development institutions, financial institutions, leading universities or legal professionals are invited.
Our committee members are as follows:
- Isabelle Baillet – headed the General Real Estate Credit and Public Economy Markets activities at Société Générale
- Etienne de Bryas – Partner of RSM France and founder of MBV et Associé
- Amandine Hersant – Managing Director of ONG Planète Urgence
- Dominique de Margerie – Former Chairman of the Management Board of Esfin Gestion (Crédit Coopératif)
- Isabelle Nicolai – University Professor of Economics, Innovation and Sustainable Development, Director of the Master’s degree in “CSR management and organisational performance” at the Leonardo da Vinci University
- Margaux Dillon – Employee (Senior Consultant) appointed by the Ksapa team
The intervention of this committee has also been reinforced by the appointment of an Independent Third-Party, in this case RSE France represented by Gérard Schoun, who will conduct an audit and verify the comprehensibility of the mission report every 2 years, according to the quantitative and qualitative elements gathered.
This is all the more important for Ksapa as Ksapa’s mission is really the reason behind its initial founding, and consequently at the core of its DNA. Moreover, from the company’s first financial year, we have set up a collective profit-sharing scheme, allowing a significant share of the profits to be shared within the Ksapa team. As a symbolic sign of the alignment of collective efforts and our raison d’être, the share distributed to employees is increased when the mission committee validates the successful completion of the mission for the corresponding financial year.
Working on our objectives
After extensive discussions with our mission committee about the link between purpose and mission, the committee asked us to translate our activities into simple, understandable mission objectives that are representative of our impact. It is a question of being able to trace, within the framework of a broader raison d’être, the specific elements that make it possible to demonstrate our impact, while respecting the characteristics commonly accepted in international standards: intentionality, additionality and measurability. It is also a question of setting minimum objectives and/or objective trajectories.
Thus, we have worked with the committee on a series of indicators representative of our various activities, enabling us to gauge both the combined efforts and the impact we can generate. These indicators are detailed for each of our activities, whether remunerative or not, it being specified that all our contractual commitments are aligned with our mission.
For example, one of the commitments made in our statutes is to participate in public debate. We publish blog articles, reports and briefing papers, sometimes in academic journals or media such as the Council on Business & Society or the World Business Council on Human Rights. We also organise webinars where audience and stakeholders from different spheres and backgrounds can meet and exchange views. We are also regularly invited to speak at international conferences and trade fairs, or to publish our views in other media. Finally, several of us are involved in teaching and academic activities at universities.
Therefore, we have chosen two types of indicators for this dimension of our activities:
- Indicators showing our collective effort to mobilise and participate in the public debate: the time spent collectively to produce these contents (around 10% of our time) and the number of these contents in particular
- Indicators representing our impact: growth of our audience (web, social networks, newsletter, etc.), invitations and republications by different media, etc.
Given the diverse nature of our missions and clients, it was not easy to find indicators representing our impact: how can we measure the number of people reached or the geographical area when we are sometimes involved in large-scale impact projects, and sometimes in the definition and implementation of ESG policies that guide our clients?
We have therefore opted for a survey from our clients, which is systematically carried out 6 months to a year after the end of our contractual services, to measure whether our recommendations have been implemented, but also whether our clients feel that they have contributed to progress in their social and/or environmental policies.
Our SUTTI initiative aims to accelerate the transformation of agricultural value chains from the last mile: by working with various private (corporate & investors), public and civil society stakeholders for the more-than-500 million small-scale farmers that make up the world’s less than 2 ha farms, the vast majority of whom have no access to vocational training. The SUTTI solution is made up of 3 modules – technical assistance (project design and management), low-tech digital solutions and impact finance – and our goal is to reach 1 million beneficiaries in 10 years, which we have started with different programmes, notably in Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
To translate our main objective of providing skills training, social inclusion, income growth and diversification of revenues, along with improvement in environmental aspects, we have chosen the following indicators, which translate into target trajectories for the goal of reaching 1 million beneficiaries within 10 years:
- Number of direct and indirect beneficiaries, including the proportion of women and young people, key beneficiaries in rural and agricultural areas
- Number of hours of training provided, both face-to-face and digitally through our SUTTI Digital Suite solution, enabling the dissemination of content as well as data collection from farmers
- Increased revenues – including increased productivity on the main commodity grown and diversification of income from an activity offered by us
Thus, by following year by year, and if necessary modifying these elements, Ksapa’s teams as well as its mission committee will be able to achieve its missions and adapt our activities accordingly.
Download the 2021 mission report from here, and feel free to send us your feedback!
20+ years of experience in investment & asset management.
Raphael Hara works on relationships between finance and sustainability, in particular through the development and management of impact investment funds and projects.