The Roundtable is an important part of the EVCA’s ongoing commitment to responsible investment, following on from recent successes like the Integrating Responsible Investment EVCA Academy Course, the EVCA Handbook of Professional Standards and last week’s Responsible Investment Summit.
It will provide a forum where ideas, issues and practice to do with responsible investment (RI) and environment, social and governance (ESG) factors can be freely discussed.
I am looking forward to playing my part in ensuring that the EVCA remains at the forefront of creating and maintaining strong guidelines and principles for private equity in Europe.
Private equity is a responsible investor. My industry understands that a sustainable, more efficient business is a better business.
The industry is fortunate that its business model of active ownership across a number of different portfolio companies means that managers have the clout to make changes to firms.
They can introduce, for example, energy efficiency measures in all their firms and can easily apply lessons learnt in one sector across others.
But that’s no reason to rest on our laurels.
The industry has not always communicated its responsible credentials well enough – and I want to help change that.
Responsible investment and ESG is already part of the everyday life of a private equity manager but that is something which is not always understood by the public or policymakers.
Of course technology and business are constantly evolving and that can present fresh ESG challenges.
Through discussion, debate and analysis this dedicated Roundtable can help the industry to stay at the cutting edge of RI / ESG issues.
The Roundtable replaces the ESG Working Group, which achieved a huge amount in raising the profile of RI/ ESG matters, through projects like the Handbook. The Handbook was the first time that the whole of the European private equity and venture capital industry, both General Partners (private equity fund managers) and Limited Partners (investors), agreed a joint set of values and principles of governance, transparency and accountability.
The Handbook is an important statement of the EVCA’s responsible credentials but just because it has been published doesn’t mean the work stops. It’s a constantly evolving document, which we will update regularly.
The Handbook would never have been published without the drive and energy of Claire Wilkinson, who I want to thank for all her hard work.
You can watch a video of Claire talking about the Handbook here.