Can Investors Safeguard a Company'S Impact Mission?


credit: USACE on Flickr

When Tony's Chocolonely's, a Dutch chocolate maker, was sold to a Belgian investment firm last year, the company introduced a "golden vote" to make sure the sale didn't violate the firm's impact mission.

"We introduced a golden vote for an independent foundation which could block decisions deemed to violate the company's impact mission," says Willemijn Verloop, a supervisory board member at Tony's Chocolonely.

"If they don't listen, we will place media advertisements in all 17 countries where Tony Chocolonely's chocolate is sold," she tells Quartz.

"If that still doesn't work, we can go to court."

Tony's Chocolonely says it will do just that if the investment firm doesn't follow through on its promise to pay cocoa farmers in Africa a fair living wage.

The golden vote is just one way investors can protect a company's impact mission, but it's not enough, according to Verloop.

"Once they acquire a firm, investors have a strong incentive to renege on previous impact pledges to cut costs and increase profit margins," she says.

"Therefore, it is vital to vet potential investors or buyers in a company and make them sign up to Read the Entire Article


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