Equistone has developed robust Environmental, Social and Governance policies to ensure we are targeting a level of industry best practice. Equistone’s Responsible Investing Policy is implemented across the investment and portfolio management process and is also embedded into our European Investment Committee discussions. As part of our initiatives to continuously improve Responsible Investing, we appointed PwC to develop an ESG assessment tool to identify inherent ESG risks of new investments and our portfolio companies.
We continue to believe strongly in citizenship and in January 2019, Equistone became a signatory to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment (UNPRI) and also signed the iC20 Climate Initiative developed by France Invest, which is the first initiative in the private equity industry to support the reduction and management of greenhouse gas emissions by portfolio companies.
We believe in the value of diversity in our industry and have strived to build diversity into our recruitment initiatives. In 2018 we became a corporate supporter of Level20, which seeks to improve gender diversity in the private equity industry.
Responsible Investing Policy
Equistone believes that aligning the interests of our clients and portfolio companies with those of society at large can enhance returns for our investors. We believe that businesses must preserve the trust of stakeholders in order to create long-term value for investors, and we therefore take an interest in how companies in our portfolio manage these issues, and, on behalf of our clients, encourage companies to adhere to the highest standards of business conduct. As a signatory of the UNPRI, Equistone is committed to promoting industry best practice ESG initiatives throughout our own organisation and the organisations we interact with.
Equistone will continue to seek opportunities to create outstanding value for investors whilst making a positive impact on the communities our companies serve.
In making investment decisions, we aim to avoid investing in companies that do not:
- Respect human rights
- Comply with current legislation (including environmental and social legislation)
- Seek to comply with their industry standards and best practice
Furthermore, we will have regard to the following when making our investments:
- We will not make any investment in a portfolio company whose principal business (i) is associated with corruption and/or deliberately and repeatedly violates the law; (ii) is registered in a country subject to embargoes imposed by the UN or the European Union; (iii) has as its primary business activity (a) trade and/or distribution of arms or ammunition (b) the production, trade of tobacco products or (c) or any activity of prostitution or procuring of prostitutes; or (iv) generates significant revenues from coal-based extraction or power generation;
- We will not knowingly make an investment in a portfolio company which seeks to exploit child labour;
- We will observe the limitations resulting from international financial sanctions;
- In our review and consideration of prospective investments, we consider the ethical ramifications of our investment activities; and
- We will include specific commentary on relevant ESG issues in our communication around new investments and in our reporting.