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Excellence in ESG

The importance of ESG and Responsible Investment has never been more relevant for the private equity and venture capital industry. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the need to place climate change, health and safety, and other important environmental, social and governmental issues at the heart of the recovery plan.

Outstanding contributions to ESG and impact investment from across private equity and venture capital were recognised at the BVCA Summit on 07 October.

Now in its second year, ‘Excellence in ESG’ celebrates firms from across the private capital ecosystem that have made an outstanding commitment to ESG principles.


Recognised companies

General Partners:
AUM of less than £1bn: Beringea

For driving industry collaboration through its ESG_VC benchmarking initiative and its commitment to bringing more firms onboard.

AUM of more than £1bn: EMK Capital

For an impressive response to the pandemic from across its portfolio, as well as strong evidence for each portfolio company regarding their ESG targets and achievements.

Special commendation: Palatine and Permira

Limited Partners:
Church Commissioners for England

For having outstanding ESG measurement systems in place across their portfolio, alongside ethical investment standards, set at Board level, that all its fund managers are assessed against.


Portfolio Company:
Weener Plastics (Backed by 3i)

For demonstrating excellent innovation and a clear focus on moving towards more recyclable and reusable products.

Special commendation: Oddbox


READ JUDGES' COMMENTS


Categories

For 2021 there are three categories:

1. Excellence in ESG – open to all sizes of GPs

2. Excellence in ESG – open to all sizes LPs

3. Excellence in ESG – open to any portfolio company backed by a BVCA member

Selection process

Entries for Excellence in ESG 2021 will open on 8 July 2021 and close on 16 September 2021.

All submissions should be made via our online nomination form.

The winners will be selected in September by an independent judging panel and presented at the BVCA Summit on 7 October 2021.

Submission guidance

The judges will be looking for evidence of good practice of an overall ESG framework by the firm, with a focus on improvement, as well as examples to illustrate the firm’s engagement with portfolio companies. The judging panel will consider submissions against the following criteria and the individual criteria for each category outlined on the page below.

  • How responsible investment is embedded at the firm level, including why it is important to the firm, existence of an ESG policy, and commitment by senior management
  • How ESG is considered as part of origination and due diligence
  • Regularity and depth of post-acquisition / funding engagement with portfolio companies / GPs on ESG matters
  • Evidence of ESG reporting to LPs / investors or other stakeholders (formal or informal)
  • Examples of value creation at exit / capital distribution due to ESG engagement
  • Support for external initiatives such as the PRI, TCFD, iCI.

Please make your submissions via our online entry form. Your submission may be accompanied by one or two relevant supporting documents if referred to in the submission, but please keep these concise. These can be uploaded to your entry via the online form.

Criteria for GP category (all sizes of GP)

The judges will be looking for evidence of best practice in ESG integration and engagement by GPs during 2020 and 2021 (to the end of June).

This could include one (or more) of the following:

  • How the firm has enhanced and developed its overall ESG framework during the year, either the first-time adoption of a framework, or the refreshing of an existing framework
  • Thematic engagement across its portfolio on one or more ESG topics
  • Specific engagement by the GP with one or more portfolio companies to address any ESG risks or opportunities, (this may include responses to the pandemic, but does not necessarily need to do so) please provide examples of how your specific involvement/active ownership of portfolio companies made decisive contributions to ESG-led value creation

The submission should give details of the development or engagement which has taken place, covering how and why the GP has taken action, and what the outcome has been. The judges will be looking for a clear explanation of the GP’s rationale, commitment to responsible investment principles, linkage to investment strategy, and why the outcome has been positive.

The submission should be no longer 1000-1500 words and can be made via our online entry form. Your submission may be accompanied by one or two relevant supporting documents if referred to in the submission, but please keep these concise. These can be uploaded to your entry via the online form.

Criteria for LP category (all sizes of LP)

The judges will be looking for evidence of best practice in ESG integration and engagement by LPs during 2020 and 2021 (to the end of June).

This could include one (or more) of the following:

  • How the firm has enhanced and developed its overall ESG framework during the year, either the first-time adoption of a framework, or the refreshing of an existing framework
  • Thematic engagement across its portfolio on one or more ESG topics
  • Specific engagement by the LP with one or more managers to address any ESG risks or opportunities (this may include responses to the pandemic, but does not necessarily need to do so)

The submission should give details of the development or engagement which has taken place, covering how and why the LP has taken action, and what the outcome has been. The judges will be looking for a clear explanation of the LP’s rationale, commitment to responsible investment principles, linkage to investment strategy, and why the outcome has been positive.

The submission should be no longer 1000-1500 words and can be made via our online entry form. Your submission may be accompanied by one or two relevant supporting documents if referred to in the submission, but please keep these concise. These can be uploaded to your entry via the online form.

Criteria for Portfolio Company category

This category seeks to recognise portfolio companies that have demonstrated good practice in embedding the management of ESG issues in their day-to-day commercial activity and have been supported by their investors to do so. This category is to open to any portfolio company with a UK presence which is currently backed by a BVCA member (or which was backed at some point during 2020 or 2021 and has now been exited).

Submissions should set out:

  • How ESG is considered within the portfolio company’s day to day commercial activities
  • Either evidence of the portfolio company seeking to minimise negative ESG impacts or examples of positive impacts on the environment, workplace, marketplace and/or community (or both)
  • How the portfolio company’s approach to ESG has changed or evolved as a result of the BVCA member’s investment
  • Evidence of engagement on ESG with wider stakeholders (including employees, suppliers, customers, and/or local communities
  • The submission may include particulars of the company’s response to the pandemic, but does not need to do so

Submissions can be made by either the portfolio company or by the investing BVCA member, or jointly, and should be no longer 1000-1500 words and can be made via our online entry form. Your submission may be accompanied by one or two relevant supporting documents if referred to in the submission, but please keep these concise. These can be uploaded to your entry via the online form.

Judges

This year's Excellence in ESG judging panel comprises of:

  • Maria Carradice, Managing Director, Portfolio – Environmental, Social and Governance, Mayfair Equity Partners
  • Michael Marshall, Head of Sustainable Ownership, RPMI
  • Tomas Sys, Principal, Ramboll
  • David Williamson, Senior Environmental Adviser at European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Excellence in ESG 2020

At the BVCA Summit on 8 October 2020, we recognised those members that had demonstrated an outstanding commitment to embedding ESG principles over the past year with our ‘Excellence in ESG’ initiative, produced in association with Ramboll.

Recognition went to:

GP category: Tikehau Capital

The judges said ESG was clearly a part of Tikehau’s DNA. Special praise went to their sustainability-themed investing, and their comprehensive reporting, which sets out what they are doing with the companies they invest in. They have clearly demonstrated that ESG is an important point through all their workstreams. Hugely impressive.

LP category: HarbourVest

The judges commended HarbourVest’s demonstration of how they are driving improvements with their GPs, using strong, evidence-based results. One particular highlight was the creation of scorecards, stretching back over 10 years, looking at fund managers’ overall ESG performance. They already have an excellent standard, but demonstrated they have invested and improved over the course of this year.

Portfolio company category: TTC Group, backed by Palatine

The judges applauded TTC’s commitment to utilising Palatine’s six sustainability pillars. They have adopted a holistic approach to ESG, and it is clear that Palatine has had, and is continuing to have, a very positive influence over the direction of the business.


Due to the strength of the nominations in 2020, we also made two special commendations:

Special commendation – GP category: Oxford Capital

The judges said Oxford Capital demonstrated very effectively how they are embracing ESG, and deserve special recognition for showing that it does not matter how big you are, any firm can make a difference.

Special commendation – LP category: Coller Capital

The judges were impressed by how Coller demonstrated their engagement with GPs and pushing them to become better. Coller have a long and strong history of ESG commitment, and their consistent high-level of performance should be commended.


 

In association with


Further information

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT THE BVCA

 +44 (0)20 7492 0400

 bvca@bvca.co.uk

Insights from our judges

Published 09 September 2021
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Sustainability & Climate Finance

Authored by David Williamson, Senior Environmental Adviser, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

READ HERE

 

Published 03 September 2021
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Understanding the supply chain

Authored by Tomas Sys, Principal at Ramboll


READ HERE

 

Published 20 August 2021
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Net Zero – beyond ambition to imperative

Authored by Michael Marshall, Head of Sustainable Ownership, RPMI Railpen

READ HERE

 

Published 13 August 2021
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Diversity & inclusion

Authored by Maria Carradice, Managing Director, Portfolio – Environmental, Social and Governance, Mayfair Equity Partners

READ HERE

 

Published 06 August 2021
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Connecting the dots

Authored by Tomas Sys, Principal at Ramboll


READ HERE

 

Published 23 July 2021
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Paris Alignment

Authored by David Williamson, Senior Environmental Adviser, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

READ HERE

 

Published 16 July 2021
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Everyone can play their part

Authored by Maria Carradice, Managing Director, Portfolio – Environmental, Social and Governance, Mayfair Equity Partners

READ HERE