Abris Capital Partners, a private equity investor focused on Central Europe, has launched ESG Universe 2023 – a comprehensive program of environmental, social and governance initiatives that commits the firm to achieving a carbon neutral portfolio by 2025.
The strategy, which has been developed over the past three years, encompasses 17 initiatives across governance and culture, standards, education, and carbon neutrality that will set new standards in firm’s ESG best-practice. ESG Universe 2023 retains the clear goal of assisting in risk mitigation and value creation across the Abris portfolio, but at the same time includes the ambitious target of achieving a carbon neutral portfolio by 2025, and puts in place net-zero action plans for each individual portfolio company, making Abris the first private equity house in Central Europe to commit to this goal.
Paweł Gierynski, Managing Partner at Abris Capital, says: “Over recent years, Abris has made responsible investing a central organisational focus. As a firm, we know what our investors are asking of us in this area. However, we don’t just want to meet these expectations – we aim to far exceed them. We want to set new standards in private equity for sustainable investing, governance and environmental and societal impact, and lead the drive towards greater sustainability and carbon neutrality. This is a very difficult, pioneering task, but its attainment will determine the real winners and losers in the future.”
Abris’ ground-breaking commitment to carbon neutrality begins with precise measurement of the carbon footprint of all companies in its portfolio, followed by the creation of emissions reduction action plans and a catalog of validated offset initiatives, enabling the portfolio to reach neutrality in 2025. To ensure the program is focused mostly on real reductions rather than offsets, over the course of each year Abris will invest in further emission-reduction projects, meaning each individual company will be able to reach net-zero within an ambitious but realistic timeframe.
In addition, Abris has tasked each of its portfolio companies not only with reducing emissions but also with adapting their strategies and operating models to climate change, which, for some businesses, may have destabilizing effects.
Robert Sroka, Abris ESG Director, says: “I would like to extend our thanks to all of the Management Boards and teams at our portfolio companies. Without their commitment to this initiative, we would not be able to achieve our carbon reduction goals. I am delighted to report that we have already completed the measurement and target reduction phases of this project, and we look forward to working with all of our portfolio companies on the implementation programs over the coming years.”
Abris’ ESG Universe 2023 strategy has been developed over the past three years, during which time the firm has been running its predecessor Universe 2020 initiative, which culminated last year with the launch of the Abris ESG Scoring Application – a proprietary IT tool that tracks more than 500 measures, looking at specific risks within each portfolio company, supporting investment decision making and reporting value created to investors.
ESG Universe 2023 will continue to focus strongly on measurement of ESG factors and setting KPIs across the portfolio, with new processes to ensure efforts are rewarded in terms of performance through the tracking of value enhancement and risk detection. Abris will also create an ESG Knowledge Database, shared across its portfolio, comprising tools, procedures, manuals and templates to provide the investment team and portfolio managers with end-to-end guidance on integrating ESG into their daily work.
Monika Nachyla, IR and ESG Partner at Abris, says: “Taken as a whole, Universe 2023 sets Abris on a course at the forefront of responsible investment in Europe, helping to develop best practices that we are happy to share and hope will become commonplace across the investment industry in the region.”
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