Outstanding contributions to ESG and impact investment from across private equity and venture capital were recognised at the industry’s leading event on Thursday.
The event, produced in association with the engineering group, Ramboll, and Kroll, the leading independent provider of risk and financial advisory solutions, took place at the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association’s (BVCA) 2022 Summit and marks the conclusion of the BVCA’s 'Excellence in ESG’ initiative.
Now in its third year, ‘Excellence in ESG’ celebrates firms from across the private capital ecosystem that have made an outstanding commitment to ESG principles.
As decided by a judging panel of multi-sector ESG experts, the top entries across this year’s three categories were:
AUM of above £1bn: Permira
The judges said: “Over the last 12 months, Permira has influenced the adoption of ESG throughout the investment lifecycle. The depth and breadth of the firm’s ESG commitments has also led to expansion of the team and a transition to a values-based investment approach, starting with the most recent buyout fund.
“Permira aims to lead by example, ensuring ESG principles are embedded internally. This has included carbon neutrality and exploring science-based targets. Permira also gives its employees the opportunity to make their own contributions through working pro-bono hours for charities via The Permira Foundation. Permira is clearly a leader in the ESG field and has also been a key player in the ESG Data Convergence.”
AUM below £1bn: ETF Partners
The judges said: “ETF Partners have demonstrated that Purpose-led and Responsible Investment is deeply embedded in the core of its strategic and operational functions. In the last 12 months, ETF Partners incorporated carbon foot-printing and governance into their remit.
“Their environmental due diligence is completely aligned with their commercial and legal due diligence, setting them apart from other GPs. The judges were impressed with the ETF Partners ‘term sheet clause’, which requires portfolio companies to collect carbon impact data and formulate a Net Zero plan within the first 12 months of investment. Their engagement with their portfolio companies is exemplary and bespoke.”
The top recognised firm in this category is Neuberger Berman
The judges said: “In the last 12 months Neuberger Berman has taken steps to further formalise its ESG engagement efforts. Neuberger Berman has a dedicated ESG team and internal ESG Committee, which aims to foster innovation on ESG objectives.
“We are specifically impressed by their ESG Advisory Council, which includes five leaders in academia, policy, and the asset management industry, bringing a broader perspective into their practice. Their efforts related to ESG data and climate initiatives are also admirable, including engagement with GPs to broaden awareness and education of net zero in the private equity context.”
The top recognised portfolio company in this category is Reconomy Group
The judges said: “Reconomy Group, a portfolio company of EMK Capital, has been helping their customers deliver zero waste, achieve environmental compliance, and reduce emissions. Reconomy Group’s recycle, comply, and reuse ethos is also embedded internally, with a clear plan for net zero across all of its own operations by 2028.
“The business has also implemented a Social Value Programme, enforcing 3 pillars: Employment and skills, Community engagement, and Health and Safety. This is a great example of a business that has re-invented itself from being a general waste management provider to a circular economy solutions provider. As a global business, it is also pleasing to see fantastic local community engagement and recruitment from under-represented groups.”
Feedback from the judges this year indicated that all submissions demonstrated real commitment to ESG-led objectives and impact investing. It was also said that both private equity and venture capital are making remarkable advancements in how they measure and implement ESG standards and objectives, including net zero, climate change and diversity and inclusion.
This year’s judging panel comprised:
- Maria Carradice, Managing Director, Portfolio – Environmental, Social and Governance, Mayfair Equity Partners
- Michael Marshall, Head of Sustainable Ownership, Railpen
- Joana Castro, Partner and Head of Primary Fund Investing, Unigestion
- Tomas Sys, Principal and UK ESG and M&A Advisory Lead, Ramboll
- Andrew Probert, Managing Director, Kroll
The judges also wish to award special recognitions across all four categories. These were:
- GP with AUM above £1bn: EMK Capital and Ares Management
- GP with AUM below £1bn: NorthEdge, Bridges Fund Management, Clean Growth Fund and SV Health Investors
- LPs: Church Commissioners for England and Universities Superannuation Scheme
- Portfolio Companies: Findel Education, Bright Data and Williams Advanced Engineering
Notes to editors
For more information on any of the above, please contact External Communications Manager, Will English, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Original photos from the presentation at the BVCA Summit 2022, can be viewed and downloaded here.
About the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association
The BVCA, as the representative body for private equity and venture capital, connects institutional investors, fund managers, companies, advisers and service providers together, with our membership currently comprising more than 700 businesses from across the private capital ecosystem. This includes more than 325 PE and VC firms, 100 institutional investors and 220 professional services firms.
Private capital drives growth – providing the funding, expertise and long-term view that enables companies to innovate and flourish. Our mission is to advocate the transformative nature of the private equity and venture capital community.