March is a time for celebration across PEI Group’s various publications, with annual awards winners announced across private equity, infrastructure, real estate and private debt. Here is a roundup of the sustainability-focused categories.
Along with a swathe of energy transition-focused deal awards, Infrastructure Investor recognises a global Sustainable Investor of the Year. This year’s winner is EQT. Writes Infrastructure Investor‘s Kalliope Gourntis:
Focused on “futureproofing” its business and operations, it stands to reason that Swedish private equity firm EQT would place great emphasis on sustainability. And so it has, with “the journey to map and offset emissions [having] started already in 2014”, according to the firm.
Since becoming the first private markets firm to have its science-based targets independently validated and approved by SBTi in October 2021, the Stockholm-based firm has continued to make impressive strides with regards to sustainability.
Some of the other milestones achieved in the past 12 months, include the establishment of a sustainability committee, which according to EQT, “marks the first board-level commitment to sustainability in the private markets industry”, as well as the validation of SBTs of three of its portfolio companies – solar power plant operator Solarpack, elder care provider Colisée and digital infrastructure company Melita.
And while these achievements are noteworthy and most likely contributed to EQT being voted Sustainable Investor of the Year by its peers, what really demonstrates its commitment to sustainability is a series of decarbonisation initiatives two of its portfolio companies have recently undertaken.
Molslinjen and Torghatten are two ferry operators in Denmark and Norway, respectively, that EQT acquired in early 2021 in two separate transactions. Under EQT’s ownership, the two companies have been on a seemingly parallel path towards decarbonisation. In April, Torghatten said it would start developing a new 117-metre long, zero-emissions battery-powered ferry, while a few months later in September, Molslinjen was developing two similar-sized ferries that would use batteries and back-up generators fuelled by hydrogenated vegetable oil.
- To read more on EQT and other infra awards winners visit Infrastructure Investor (registration or subscription required).
Private Debt Investor recognises four firms in Responsible Investor of the Year categories: three regional winners and one global champion.
Global Responsible Investor of the Year: Blackstone
Blackstone Credit’s ESG team has grown significantly in the past year – more than 40 dedicated professionals have extensive ESG and climate finance experience. Blackstone has a dedicated corporate ESG team that partners with ESG professionals within each business unit. Blackstone Credit’s ESG team is led by Rita Mangalick. The Sustainable Resources Credit Platform complements the firm’s existing private equity energy and infrastructure strategies, which invest in companies that support the energy transition and climate change solutions.
Americas Responsible Investor of the Year: Oak Hill Advisers
Oak Hill Advisors is co-leading the newly launched Global Private Debt Working Group part of Initiative Climate International, which analyses, manages and mitigates climate-related financial risk and emissions in portfolios. OHA also helped to launch the ESG Integrated Disclosure Project, alongside credit trade associations and other alternative asset managers in the private and broadly syndicated credit markets.
European Responsible Investor of the Year: Tikehau Capital
Tikehau Capital has been supporting social endeavours. In 2022, it injected capital to support economic recovery and innovation as the world grappled with the after-effects of covid-19. It began managing the Belgian Recovery Fund, which is allocating up to €350 million to finance Belgian companies negatively impacted by covid-19. It was also entrusted by Pensioenfonds Detailhandel, the pension fund for the retail sector in the Netherlands, to manage a €100 million impact private debt mandate.
Asia-Pacific Responsible Investor of the Year: Pierfront Capital
Following Pierfront Capital’s adoption of an ESG policy and two years after it first commenced ESG formalisation efforts, 2022 marked its inaugural annual ESG Report, for full year 2021. In addition, the firm committed about $230 million of capital to six new private credit investments through the course of 2022, taking in various sectors including renewables and social infrastructure.
- Read Private Debt Investor‘s awards coverage here (registration or subscription required).
Affiliate title Private Equity International recognises a global Impact Investment Firm of the Year. This year’s winner: TPG.
TPG bagged more than a third of the votes in this category following a busy 12 months. TPG Rise amassed $7.3 billion on the final close of Rise Climate, its climate investing strategy. By the end of September 2022, TPG had also raised $1.6 billion for impact investing fund Rise III. Additionally, the firm secured the partial sales of edtech company DreamBox and education company Renaissance, as well as the full exit of digital learning platform EverFi for $750 million.
- Read more about Private Equity International‘s awards here (subscription or registration required).
Affiliate title PERE honours four real estate firms around the world with the title ESG Firm of the Year. These are:
- Global: Oxford Properties
- North America: Taurus Investment Holdings
- Europe: LaSalle Investment Management
- Asia-Pacific: Ivanhoé Cambridge
Debt-focused affiliate title Real Estate Capital Europe has three sustainability focused categories among its awards (registration or subscription required):
- Sustainable Finance Provider of the Year, Europe: Lloyds Banking Group
- Social Impact Lender of the Year, Europe: Lloyds Banking Group
- Sustainable Financing Deal of the Year, Europe: PIMCO Prime Real Estate (lender), Welput, PSP Investments (borrowers) for 105 Victoria Street, London