Abénex is committed to promote the ESG performance of its portfolio companies
As investors, we are convinced that companies have the ability to generate a positive impact on the economy and mitigate climate change related risks. This is the reason why we have decided to embark on a journey with all of our stakeholders, to contribute to building a more sustainable world as a management company as well as at our portfolio companies’ level.
We believe that the implementation and the continuous improvement of ESG performance contribute to the value creation and the long-term success of each company in our portfolio. ESG criteria include, among others, the reduction of carbon footprint, the promotion of employee diversity or providing accessible training to all employees.
Our interests must be aligned, not only with the companies in which we invest, but also with their employees, customers, suppliers and the ecosystems in which they operate.
We understand the importance of being a responsible investor in accordance with the highest ESG standards. As proof of our long-term ESG commitment, Abénex was among the first PE fund management companies to sign, in 2010, the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), backed by the United Nations.
We commit to taking into account ESG criteria before undertaking any investment. ESG due diligences are systematically carried out during the pre-investment process. Additionally, an ESG clause is typically included in shareholders’ agreements where every stakeholder commits to take into account ESG criteria within their activities.
A commitment embedded within our investment cycle
Each investment is unique, and we strive to analyze each investment according to its specific features.
Thus, for each investment, our assessment covers compliance with the current regulation (as well as possible future evolutions), the intrinsic risks to the company’s activity, the strategies for mitigating these risks, as well as overall ESG issues, current and future. We also aim at implementing a positive ESG strategy by leveraging value creation opportunities.
Our environmental assessment takes into account:
- the compliance with applicable environmental regulation
- raw material, energy and water saving and recycling initiatives
- the reduction of CO2 emissions as well as other forms of pollution, including carbon footprint related to staff travel policies
- the impacts on biodiversity and the environment
- the cost of implementing and complying with environmental standards
From a social standpoint, we assess the impact of potential investment targets on society and communities, and more particularly:
- their regulatory compliance
- their probity
- their policies relating to lobbying and donations
- their poolicies relating to the protection of employees’ health
- their employee’s training
- their equal opportunities policy
- the monitoring and development of their employees’ career paths
A value-adding process through structured operations and well-documented procedures
When analyzing investment opportunities, we are particularly focused on understanding:
- the mechanisms for promoting transparency, communication and sharing of ideas
- the existence of incentivisation schemes and alignment of interests
- the individual and collective responsibilities’ documentation
- the financial control and the presence of KPIs
- the implementation of procedural controls
- Risk management
- Processes relating to the management of potential conflicts of interest
During our investment holding period, we collaborate with our portfolio companies’ management teams to ensure the effective implementation and outcomes of ESG initiatives, particularly those relating to climate. Abénex provides its portfolio with the expertise of specialized consultants to define ESG action plans and associated monitoring processes. It includes, for example, carbon footprint assessment, appointment of independent members to the board of directors, turnover and absenteeism rates reduction. Each year, we collect and analyze ESG data from portfolio companies through a well-documented and formalized process. Investment teams and our ESG experts monitor all portfolio companies, each of which is also assigned an Abénex ESG coordinator to oversee the process.
We actively support the objectives set out by the PRI (Principles of Responsible Investment), a world-leading network of investors in the field of responsible investment supported by the UN.
We obtained an A+ rating, the best rating possible for Strategy & Governance, and A for Direct Private Equity.
By signing the France Invest Parity Charter, all signatories, including management companies and institutional investors invested in unlisted companies, commit to actively promoting gender diversity at the management company’s level and within the companies backed by French private equity firms.
This charter is intended for all financial players and aims to achieve the following proportion of women:
– 25% of decision-makers within investment committees by 2030 and 30% by 2035
– 40% of investment teams by 2030
Abénex obtained the “Label Relance” for its fund Abénex VI, a label recognizing funds which are able to mobilize new resources to support French companies (SMEs and Mid-cap). This label aims at bolstering the growth of the French economy, impacted by the Covid crisis. Labelled funds must also comply with a set of ESG criteria, including the exclusion thermal coal investments and monitoring all portfolio companies by assigning an ESG score.
Abénex joined the Initiative Climat Internationale (iCi) in 2021. Launched by five leading French private equity fund managers in 2015, the iCi was endorsed by the UN PRI in 2019. The initiative believes that the consequences of climate change will generate both risks and opportunities for the companies in which they invest, and recognizes that private equity, with its levers for transformation and growth, has a vital and unique role to play in driving the transition to a zero-carbon, climate resilient global economy, and ultimately achieving the Paris Agreement’s objective of limiting global warming to well-below 2°C.
We have committed to :
– recognizing that climate change will have adverse effects on the global economy, which presents both risks and opportunities for investments
– joining forces to contribute to achieving the objectives set by the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to well-below 2°C
– actively engaging with portfolio companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Abénex complies with Articles 3, 4 and 5 of the SFDR Regulation. The Funds Abénex Croissance, Abénex V and Abénex VI are classified Article 8 of SFDR, thus promoting ESG performance.
Click here to learn more about our compliance with the SFDR Regulation.
Some of our Investment team members are mentoring women working in private equity, as part of initiatives led by Level 20, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting gender diversity in the European private equity industry.
Portfolio Companies & Abénex’s ESG Publications
Our ESG governance
The ESG committee meets on a quarterly basis to review the effective implementation of our strategic roadmap and ESG action plan, and coordinate the execution of our ESG policy. The ESG committee is comprised of: a Managing Partner (in his capacity of ESG Leader), the Chief Financial Officer, the Sustainability Officer (100% dedicated to ESG topics), the heads of Investment teams, the head of Operational team, and Investor Relations.