Ethos Private Equity recently published its Sustainability Report for 2018, the document can be downloaded here: Ethos Sustainability Report 2018Excerpt: Setting the Scene, Stuart MacKenzie, Ethos Private Equity CEO
Ethos Private Equity Pty Ltd (“Ethos’) is entering an exciting new phase of its sustainable investing journey. Over its 35 years of operation, Ethos and its Portfolio Companies (PCs) have attained a high level of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) compliance in their operations. Our aspiration is to position the Firm to deliver a higher standard of ESG value add and impact intentionality in our investment choices and active ownership model. The appointment of a specialist ESG Manager, Rachel Cochran, is an important catalyst for this aspiration to transition into action. Our active ownership model that drives financial outperformance is powerfully positioned to deliver positive environmental, societal and governance impacts.
Equally, rising investor awareness and increasingly sophisticated ESG reporting frameworks, are driving a growing impetus for the private equity industry to strengthen its ESG performance through an impact mindset. Our investment mission is to deliver returns by building better businesses and we see a significant opportunity for Ethos to leverage its investment and value-add expertise and experience in elevating our ESG impact in the future.
Our Sustainability Report provides an assessment of both Ethos and its PCs’ ESG performance for 2018. We have relied on ESG data available from our PCs in preparing this Report. Going forward we intend to use this data and the insights we have been able to generate from it to set short, medium and long-term goals for our PCs that align to our overall ESG Strategy and drive future ESG performance.
We have chosen to use the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and IFC Performance Standards (IFC PS) as our reporting framework for this report. The IFC PS and SDGs are widely recognised as the benchmark standards for our industry and have been used as the structure for data collection from our PCs. The data collection exercise has revealed that our PCs are at different stages of maturity along the performance curve, with some being more advanced than others in the breadth and depth of their data sets. Where the data is not yet available, it is noted in the Report and we will work to ensure that it is available for the next reporting cycle. Furthermore, it is important to note that we are reporting on data that is relevant to our PC’s activities regarding ESG risks and opportunities.
In embarking on this journey, we will actively engage all our stakeholders in order to benefit from their input, expertise and insight. We intend to strengthen our collaborative relationships with both existing and new Limited Partners (LPs) regarding their ESG requirements. From an Ethos perspective, we intend to strengthen the ESG capacity and capability of our investment and value-add professionals, build on our transformation success through our various Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) programmes and strengthen our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. As an active owner, we will work with our PCs to drive their ESG performance by elevating executive awareness through networking and information sharing; developing ESG measurement tools; and providing insight that can be linked to specific, actionable ESG initiatives.
The next phase of our ESG journey is about unlocking the potential change to environmental and societal impact of our Firm and our PCs. Being successful in this ambition is not only critical to our long-term sustainability but core to our values of seeking winwin solutions for all our stakeholders. We look forward to walking this journey with you and thank you for your ongoing support.