ESG case studies

Driving positive social impact in our communities 

The Macquarie Group Foundation (Foundation) drives social impact work for Macquarie Group, supporting its people, businesses, and communities to build a better future.

Recognising that many people around the world face systemic barriers to employment, the Foundation focuses on breaking down these barriers and building effective pathways to employment. Around the world the Foundation supports just over 30 employment focused grant partners, each driving meaningful change by helping underrepresented people overcome barriers to employment, education, and training. Macquarie volunteers further support these organisations by participating in mentoring, training, knowledge sharing and employability programs.

To expand the scope and scale of the Foundation’s social impact in this area, Macquarie Group allocated $A20 million for social impact investments, in addition to its philanthropic grants program. Together, these funds support non-profit organisations globally to create more equitable employment opportunities for underserved communities.

As well as supporting community organisations, the Foundation is partnering with Macquarie’s Operating Groups to have a greater social impact through shared valued initiatives, which align commercial value with social impact.

The Green Jobs program, created in partnership with Generation UK, is a compelling demonstration of shared value and has yielded strong results in its first year. Across five cohorts of learners, 86 people were enrolled, 53 have graduated and 33 have been placed into green jobs, with the placement rate at 6 months at 74 per cent.1 In FY2023, the Foundation also made its first global employment focused grant to Generation, which will support over 2,000 people into decent work in the green, technology and health sectors in Australia, the UK, France, Brazil and India.

Building inclusive and affordable housing

The scale of the need for inclusive and affordable housing has continued to increase post the COVID-19 pandemic and the rising cost of living across the globe. In Australia, MAM has supported the launch of new investment platforms to build sustainable, community-based build-to-rent housing at an attainable price. All projects will incorporate a targeted component of housing intended to create positive social impact, focusing on three groups: key workers, people living with a disability and women over the age of 55 at risk of homelessness. MAM also supports specialist disability accommodation for tenants eligible under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

In the UK, MAM is tailoring long-term finance to the needs of the not-for-profit housing builders and providers, supporting growth aspirations for much-needed housing.

Through Goodstone Living, a MAM-established real estate platform in the UK, we are creating next generation residential communities to meet growing tenant demand, with a focus on decarbonisation initiatives (including embodied and operational carbon reduction targets) and social value creation (including local sourcing of labour and materials).

Supporting digital connectivity

Macquarie is enhancing connectivity for communities through a number of projects globally.

MAM is investing in infrastructure that underpins innovation in the world’s rapidly evolving digital economy – supporting the development and operation of broadcast, towers, fibre, cable, wireless networks and data centres. In 2022, MAM-managed businesses reached more than 168 million people through communications infrastructure. This includes the accelerated rollout of fibre at KCOM to provide ultra-fast broadband to poorly connected communities across the North of England, and through MAM’s investment in INEA which is helping to ensure that all Polish people – irrespective of where they live – have the opportunity to benefit from the growing digital economy.

In Denmark, alongside its co-shareholders, MAM is actively supporting the country’s largest digital infrastructure provider, TDC NET, with upgrading and expanding its network while also strengthening partnerships through telecommunications services company Nuuday to raise digital awareness. For example, the ‘Parents in the Digital World’ initiative, delivered by Nuuday in collaboration with Børns Vilkår, the organisation behind the national children’s helpline, combats cyber bullying by helping parents understand their children’s digital lives and equip them with tools to engage with their children about positive and safe behaviour online.

As principal shareholder, Macquarie Capital has supported the expansion of Spanish fibre business Onivia’s rural fibre-to-the-home network, helping to eliminate the digital infrastructure gap between rural and urban areas of Spain.

In the Philippines, Macquarie Capital is continuing to invest in enhancing digital connectivity. We committed 100 per cent equity to support investee company PhilTower’s acquisition of up to 1,350 towers from Globe Telecom. This is enabling expansion into local communities that could benefit from better mobile network access, a key economic driver for the Philippines.

Supporting energy security

While the world is facing an energy crisis, Macquarie plays an active role in helping clients manage energy price volatility, with the goal of maintaining energy supply to households and economies.

Our CGM business works with power generators and upstream producers, refineries and processing plants, large industrial energy users, as well as suppliers and distributors across the world. Our role is to help clients navigate price volatility across a variety of markets, including carbon, gas, liquified natural gas (LNG), power, crude oil and fuels, and biomass. The marked rise in volatility and prices has significantly increased client hedging activity this year. Increasingly, we are looking to provide access to the market for independent producers. For example, we are growing our support for independent producers of solar renewable power, as well as independent gas-fired flexible generators, providing them with efficient credit solutions and access to liquidity in the market.

Further supporting energy security in Germany, Macquarie Capital and WaveCrest Energy have invested in the ‘Deutsche Ostsee’ LNG import terminal. The project will play a critical role in supplying natural gas to Germany with capacity to supply up to 5.2 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year, equivalent to 5 per cent of German domestic gas consumption in 2021.2 Deutsche Ostsee was developed by Deutsche ReGas and is Germany’s first privately funded LNG terminal.

Helping emerging markets with their energy transition

Macquarie is a founding member of the Climate Finance Leadership Initiative (CFLI), a private sector led initiative which looks to support emerging markets and developing economies’ transition to a low carbon economy. CFLI Colombia was launched in April 2022 and focusses on low-carbon transportation; sustainable infrastructure; nature, resilience, and adaptation; and renewable alternatives. Macquarie co-chairs the CFLI India country pilot. Macquarie is also a founding member of two private sector working groups in support of Just Energy Transition Partnership country platforms launched this year in Indonesia and Vietnam.

Furthermore, Macquarie is leading the development of a new blended finance platform, with the UN’s Green Climate Fund (GCF), to drive the adoption of EVs across India, helping reduce the country’s CO2 emissions and improve urban air quality. The platform aims to introduce unique leasing and financing solutions that reduce the high upfront capital expenditure associated with EVs, tackle impediments around EV charging infrastructure and manage uncertainty around commercial EV performance.

Working with the UK Government through the UK Climate Investments (UKCI) joint venture, MAM has supported almost 1 GW of greenfield onshore wind and hydro projects in South Africa using a proprietary Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) finance instrument. The projects aim to promote BEE involvement in renewable energy development and asset management and to increase access to clean, reliable and affordable energy as part of South Africa’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

Enhancing biodiversity

MAM’s Head of Agriculture and Natural Assets, Elizabeth O’Leary, is a founding member of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD). Through our contribution to the development of the TNFD framework we aim to support the shift in global financial flows towards nature-positive outcomes.

Biodiversity and ecosystem services underpin our society and economies. Exacerbated by climate change, biodiversity loss is accelerating globally. We are evolving our approaches to consider biodiversity and climate change in our investment activities.

MAM participates in a number of agricultural carbon, biodiversity and conservation projects across Australia at both the State and Federal Government level.

Paraway Pastoral Company (Paraway), one of Australia’s largest pastoral operators and the operating company of the Macquarie Pastoral Fund, currently manages a number of ongoing biodiversity and conservation projects across its portfolio, including projects registered with the Emissions Reduction Fund and the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust.

Paraway is operating five live projects aimed at protecting and restoring critical habitats along sensitive river ecosystems, which includes the construction of fences to exclude livestock from riparian areas, replanting native vegetation, conducting weed and pest control in the conserved areas, and the creation of alternate water-points for livestock. Paraway is also installing permanent monitoring to track the recovery of native fauna and flora in the protected areas.

Funding the circular economy

The circular economy reflects a need for society to rethink its approach to the use of products and raw materials, prevent waste and pollution while supporting the regeneration of natural systems. This is an area of focus for our own operations as well as an area of past and future investment opportunity.

Macquarie’s investment in recycling facilities supports the transition to a circular economy. In the US, CGM formed Circularix, a joint venture with HPC Industries, to produce recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) at scale, reducing plastic pollution and the need for virgin plastic production.

MAM has been an active investor in the waste industry globally since 2008. In December 2022, a fund managed by MAM completed the acquisition of DTG Recycle, the Pacific Northwest’s largest recycler of construction, demolition, industrial, and manufacturing waste. DTG strives for a zero-waste future by collecting waste that would otherwise have gone to landfill and transporting, processing, and manufacturing it into innovative recycled commodities or recovering materials for beneficial re-use. Another of MAM’s waste sector investments, Beauparc Utilities, an Irish waste management business, is transitioning to be a low-carbon and circular economy company by processing materials from collectors, including its own residential and commercial collection business, towards reusable products and supplying waste to cement kilns and energy-from-waste facilities.

  1. As at 31 March 2023.
  2. German domestic gas consumption in 2021 amounted to 93.6 billion cubic meters.