Environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG)
Nearly 90% of limited partners (LPs) say environmental, social, and governance (ESG) is a factor when evaluating private equity managers, according Private Equity International’s 2021 survey — up from 81% the prior year. While investor relations professionals may be aware of ESG’s importance in LP investment decisions, many firms still scramble when their investors come calling for proof of progress on ESG targets. The job becomes an even bigger challenge when asked to provide details beyond the metrics.
That’s because firms rarely go beyond ineffective systems like Excel spreadsheets or email communication when it comes to tracking ESG initiatives. The lack of standardized ESG data can compound the problem, forcing investor relations professionals to try and consolidate disparate data across different companies, sectors and funds. On the other side of the equation, it is easy to lose track of any ESG promises once made to LPs, or even to identify which LPs prioritize ESG initiatives and to what extent.