Acumen’s Grievance Redress Mechanism for GCF-Funded Projects
Acumen developed a public-facing Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) for Green Climate Fund (GCF) projects. Acumen seeks to do no harm with our investing and developed robust environmental and social risk identification and mitigation policies, procedures, and strategies to reduce harm. We are aware that our work is especially impactful to marginalized and vulnerable populations, and, as such, we have an obligation to listen to the concerns of the communities in which we operate. Acumen’s GRM is a tool for stakeholders to engage with Acumen on concerns that affect their communities and livelihoods. Acumen developed our GRM based on our Environmental and Social Policy for GCF-Funded Projects, the Ruggie Principles, and GCF’s Independent Redress Mechanism to ensure that stakeholders can easily access our GRM and have a thorough, fair, equitable, and transparent GRM process. We believe that a robust GRM enhances our impact as it demonstrates our commitment to input, safety, and trust to the communities we serve.
Types of Grievances
This GRM will be made available to parties who have grievances arising from activities related to the implementation of GCF-funded projects. These grievances could be related, but not limited to:
- Environmental, social, community health, safety, and security;
- Gender bias and harassment;
- Labor, compensation, and any issues that may arise due to interactions between the labor workforce and host communities;
- Resettlement-related grievances, such as the valuation of assets, amount of compensation paid, level of consultation, non-fulfilment of contracts, and timing of compensation, amongst others, will also be handled by this process.
Grievances will be deemed non-eligible if:
- Complaint is submitted 2 years after the GCF- funded project or program has been closed;
- Complaint is submitted 2 years after the date that the complainant became aware of the negative impacts by a GCF-Funded project or program.
Grievance and Complaints Process
- A complaint is received (via website, phone call, email, fax, or mail).
- The complaint is recorded in Acumen’s Grievance Redress Mechanism Tracker and the complainant is notified of receipt and informed of next steps.
- Involved parties are informed (an initial assessment may be required to understand who the involved parties are). On occasion, an involved party, particularly the complainant, may be informed later in the assessment phase, to preserve information and review baseline facts before notice.
- The complaint is assessed by Acumen’s General Counsel as it is made. This may involve interviewing additional parties to collect more information or bringing in third parties to support the investigation and assessment. The investigation is conducted by someone independent of the program execution (i.e., not the ESG Manager, since responsible for E&S program management). The complainant is notified when the investigation ends.
- A response/resolution is decided on by the policy administrator, generally, Acumen’s President, where a formal complaint is made under the Code of Ethics, or where not, by Acumen’s General Counsel, or other decision bodies named under specific policies. The decision is made by someone independent of the program execution (i.e., not the ESG Manager, since responsible for E&S program management).
- Response is communicated to the complaining party (where possible) and to any involved parties.
- Resolution is recorded in our Grievance tracking mechanism.
- Any lessons are applied internally as appropriate (e.g., updating policies or processes).
Grievance Redress Mechanism Lead
The Grievance Redress Mechanism is investigated by our General Counsel and the Executing Entities. If there is a conflict of interest, Acumen’s General Counsel will investigate grievances without Executing Entity involvement. Acumen’s General Counsel is an experienced mediator and has extensive experience in conflict resolution. Our General Counsel is an independent investigator that is not involved in investment decision making, day-to-day operations, or other interactions that interfere with the project level team. The General Counsel does provide legal support and negotiates with investors on behalf of GCF-funded project teams. The General Counsel seeks to ensure that Acumen staff with potential conflict of interest (like Acumen’s ESG Manager) are not privy to GRM investigations. Acumen’s General Counsel will also recuse themselves from investigations when a potential conflict of interest may arise.
Acumen aspires to make any effort to report a grievance easily accessible through a variety of communications channels. Acumen believes that any stakeholder who has a legitimate grievance should be able to access Acumen’s Grievance Redress Mechanism via the communication style that best fits their needs. We seek to ensure that grievances can be shared by any population including youth, women, and marginalized and vulnerable populations like indigenous populations. We also seek to ensure that lodging grievances does not harm the populations that may participate by ensuring anonymity if the complainant requests anonymity or we believe that identification could lead to harm, intimidation, or fear. The following methods of communication are available for lodging a grievance:
- Our webpage is acumencapitalpartners.com/grievance
- Direct complaints to Acumen’s GRM investigator, our General Counsel.
- Direct complaints to Acumen staff including the President, other members of the Legal team, or a member of the Talent team.
- Calling Acumen’s New York phone line: +1 (212) 566-8821
- Faxing Acumen’s New York fax line: +1 (212) 566-8817
- Mailing Acumen’s New York address: 40 Worth Street, Suite 303, New York, NY, 10013, USA, and
- Emailing Acumen’s email address: firstname.lastname@example.org