ESG investment initiative of the year, Africa: Adenia's stake in Red Lands Roses

Mauritian private equity firm Adenia Partners won the prize for ESG investment initiative of the year in Africa for its investment in Kenyan rose producer Red Lands Roses.

Adenia acquired a majority stake in Red Lands Roses parent company Altilands in October 2021.

It identified Red Lands as a high contributor to gender equality as it has the following standards:

  • The company was founded by a woman, Isabelle Spindler;
  • The founders seek to attain gender balance within management;
  • The majority (55%) of company employees are women;
  • The company already had a gender policy and a formal gender committee; and
  • Has a grievance mechanism for gender bias and gender-based violence.

Adenia's investment in Red Lands was an "important milestone" for the private equity firm as it sought to include gender equality as one of its impact pillars.

Red Lands is one of several Adenia portfolio companies to design a detailed gender action plan that covers recruitment, remuneration and training.

Adenia retained the company's founder, Spindler, as managing director and recruited a female CEO, Disha Copreaux.

The private equity firm also set up a board made up of more than 50% women.

In the coming years Adenia aims to campaign against gender-based violence through training employees on how to recognise and prevent female genital mutilation and increasing female participation in senior roles at Red Lands.

It will also support work-life balance for staff through:

  • Promoting a healthy diet for staff families using vegetables produced in the company garden;
  • Advocating for the use of bicycles by female employees;
  • Promoting sport for female employees at the workplace;
  • Educating male employees on childcare, domestic duties and other household tasks in order to alleviate the burden on women with housework after company work; and
  • Educating female employees who cannot read and write.