Paragon +Impact is a global expert tech company specialising in digital impact analysis with a mission to reduce the complexity of ESG and sustainability reporting. We empower organisations to make more informed decisions in order to manage their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risks, achieve their impact goals and ultimately contribute to Agenda 2030, whilst communicating their performance in a sophisticated manner.
In order to achieve this, our team of sustainability experts combined with our tech partners have created a unique and powerful cloud-based impact assessment tool, namely the Paragon +Grading tool.
The Tool is built upon fundamental global frameworks and delivers a robust impact grading methodology that is powerfully aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other relevant ESG principles. Our vision is to catalyse a world that is guided by expert impact data and supported by frontier cloud-based intelligence to enable verifiable impact on people and planet, alongside financial returns.
Paragon +Impact presents our Paragon +Grading Tool, which offers a powerful methodology that expertly guides you through holistic SDG and ESG impact analysis. It is a uniquely designed data-driven approach, supported by a bespoke Google Cloud Platform (GCP) online software, that delivers a novel digital solution to intelligently measure, manage and report on organisational impact performance.
The Tool and methodology have been iteratively designed in accordance with key globally accredited frameworks and principles (such as the UNEP FI, GRI and PRI), which assesses and grades the contribution (or detriment) to the 17 SDGs. By producing sophisticated outputs and impact dashboards, Paragon +Grading not only reduces unnecessary ESG complexity but enables more informed and empowered decision-making.
Paragon Impact and our +Grading Tool align to international global standards and frameworks. The tool is updated regularly to reflect developments and updates implemented by the following institutional bodies where relevant:
The Paragon +Grading Tool is a novel approach to bridge the gap between the intentions and the impact of an organisation, thus helping to build their theory of change and navigate simply towards their ESG and sustainable impact goals. Our robust methodology carries out a detailed analysis of the impact (positive and negative) across an organisation’s sphere of influence by quantifying the Scale, Magnitude and Duration of the impact as well as the Probability and Risk associated with it. This process requires high quality & verifiable data in order to respond to 53 expertly curated impact statements, informing the performance against all 17 SDGs and the ESG sub-themes.
Each grading assessment first completes a strategic four-tier materiality weighting process across all SDGs, which identifies the relative importance of the SDGs from those that are Core to the organisation to those that are Negligible. The associated weighted algorithms allow personalised yet comparable performance results to be produced, as they deliver ‘Core SDG only’ results and gradings, as well as those integrated Comprehensively across all SDGs and ESG sub-themes. All of these findings are supported by an integrated dashboard and reporting outputs, summarising the Core and Comprehensive Gradings as well as critically highlighting potential risks factors and long-term monitoring needs.
The Paragon +Grading Tool has many applications that enable a variety of organisations to measure, manage and communicate their impact performance over time as well as radically improve stakeholder engagement and investor satisfaction within the universal contexts of the SDGs and ESG more effectively.
Paragon +Grading provides a Tool that aligns the processes of data capture, verification, analysis and reporting, thus enabling Corporates to more efficiently define and communicate their ESG performance and improve the quality of information being provided to rating agencies and stakeholders.
The Tool is designed to transition ESG reporting from a siloed approach that is predominantly based on retrospective performance results, to a model that not only complies with key reporting protocols, but also assesses impact across all ESG pillars and SDGs.
Furthermore, the Tool summarises key sustainability indicators and metrics to be integrated into business operations and monitored over time, which, alongside financial and operational performance, facilitate a proactive engagement with impact investors who are increasingly focused on this area.
Paragon +Grading provides ESG portfolio screenings for institutional equity and debt fund managers, which facilitates in-depth SDG impact investment focus. Paragon +Grading reports are designed to enhance the due diligence of underlying assets within funds and identify the key issues and business risks to address with corporate management and investor relations through the investment process.
This model equally applies to alternative asset managers of private wealth.
Paragon +Grading can be deployed by private equity and specialist impact investors to assess the impact and relative performance of portfolio investments based on the SDG criteria and ESG investment mandates. The Paragon +Grading process identifies operational issues and risks that need to be addressed, improved and/or mitigated, which enables quality reporting and engagement with limited partners and investors.
The Paragon +Grading methodology is able to assess and monitor the performance of assets associated with specialised bonds, which fund positive environmental and/or social impact projects. The Tool provides detailed results of these instruments and their compliance to repayment criteria and other defined impact outcomes over the investment period.
Paragon +Grading can be utilised by Financial Service Providers (FSPs) and Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) to assess, integrate and monitor ESG and SDG performance throughout the investment decision-making and credit review processes.
The Paragon +Grading Tool helps Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) and other similar entities to improve the measurement and management of their impact as well as reporting back to their donors and stakeholders.
Meet the core team of Paragon +Impact, who all benefit from each others diverse expertise, ranging from sustainability reporting, conservation and systems ecology to corporate finance and information technology.
Caroline is a passionate systems ecologist and environmental scientist and sustainability practitioner.
She has gained experience in the Environmental Impact Assessment industry working and has a deep understanding of the complexity and challenges we face in the search of truly impactful, inclusive and practical solutions to achieving sustainable development.
My career has been a sustainability exploration through UK journalism (1986-91), founding an environmental advisory firm in Bangkok (1991- 94), and then developing a Southeast Asian environmental business for the Swiss SGS Group (1994-1998). I moved to Paris (1998- 2000) to manage the International Chamber of Commerce’s energy & environment commissions.
Paragon Impact partners with approved consultancies and advisory firms to license the application of Paragon +Grading and facilitate an independent assurance of the input data, grading and impact assessment. Once approved, assigned team members must complete the onboarding programme and further training, as required, to ensure that our partners have the necessary skills and expertise to apply the methodology and comply with updated protocols.
Brett is an award-winning sustainability expert and ESG reporting professional with over 15 years of experience in working with large corporates in designing, implementing, and reporting on sustainability and ESG strategies.
He has headed up sustainability teams in large ecotourism operations such as Wilderness Safaris as well as Africa’s largest bank by assets, Standard Bank.
He has contributed to various institutional bodies, including the working group that developed the United Nations Environmental Program Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) – Positive Impact Principles.
Brett holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Ecological and Conservation Science.
Philip is an experienced investment professional, with his career spanning 27 years in derivatives trading, stockbroking, investment management, wealth management, philanthropy and private banking.
Entrepreneurial in nature, he has tended to work with smaller businesses, contributing to their growth and innovation. Most recently he was an Executive at Standard Bank, playing an intrapreneurial role in building their UHNW proposition.
With a passion for sustainability, he has over the last decade increasingly focused on innovation in the growing philanthropic, esg and impact investment industry.
Philip has a B.Comm Honours (Financial Analysis and Portfolio Management).
Derek is a seasoned technologist with over 30 years in the financial markets and the co-founder of Peresys which, prior to acquisition by Australian-based IRESS, was the leading provider of financial market trading technology to the South African market.
Derek was the Technical Director and CTO, with oversight over all software development projects within Peresys.
Since relocating to the UK he has provided consulting services to various UK-based entities on software product strategy and cloud-platform adoption.
Derek is an investor in early-stage technology businesses.
He holds a B.Comm (Economics) and B. Comm Honours (Information Systems).
Caroline is a passionate systems ecologist and environmental scientist and sustainability practitioner.
She has gained experience in the Environmental Impact Assessment industry working and has a deep understanding of the complexity and challenges we face in the search of truly impactful, inclusive and practical solutions to achieving sustainable development. She is now specialising in resilience theory and complex adaptive systems thinking to achieve net positive impact and transform our social- ecological systems towards a safe operating space within planetary boundaries.
Caroline has an M.Sc. Degree in Environmental Science (with Distinction) and is a SACNASP registered Professional Natural Scientist in Ecological Science. She is currently completing her PhD with the Stockholm Resilience Centre in collaboration with Stellenbosch University.
My career has been a sustainability exploration through UK journalism (1986-91), founding an environmental advisory firm in Bangkok (1991-94), and then developing a Southeast Asian environmental business for the Swiss SGS Group (1994-1998). I moved to Paris (1998-2000) to manage the International Chamber of Commerce’s energy & environment commissions. My obsession with sustainability and capital markets then took me to Geneva to head up UNEP Finance Initiative where I served as a UN official from 2000-12.
At UNEP FI we coined the term ESG in 2004-5 and then delivered the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI 2006), the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI 2011); and the Natural Capital Declaration (2012). We trained 1000’s of bankers in environmental and social risk. In 2021 the UN-PRI (Board member 2006-2012) has 4,000 investors representing US$ 100 Trillion. Since leaving the UN in 2012 I’ve built The Blended Capital Group.
With degrees in Genetics, Wildlife Management, and Conservation Biology, Michael undertook ground-breaking research on endangered Rhino populations in South Africa. After working for several years in the SA Marine Environmental sector he switched in 2013 to focus on the mobilization of capital at scale in support of sustainability.
As the African Partner for The Blended Capital Group, Michael’s focus is on projects trying to achieve the SDG’s, from environmental protection, access to energy, and agricultural and mining value chains through to education, access to justice, and sustainable businesses and communities. Michael’s notable achievements include: co-authoring the 2018 Norwegian Finance Ministry report “Mapping of Global Responsible Investment Best Practice”; being a founding member in 2016 of the UN- backed Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance (CCFLA) secretariat; and coordinating a host of ESG events for investors from the UN High Level Political Forums to the World Economic Forum in Davos for between 2012-2020.