Having a long-term, responsible and sustainable approach to investment and ownership is EQT's way of creating value, for investors, in portfolio companies and society at large. Hence, it is important to EQT that knowledge and understanding of the sustainability and responsible investment agenda is not only firmly integrated within the own organizations, but also within portfolio companies, starting with the boards of directors. As such, and as described in the response to indicator SG 06.2, EQT has developed the EQT Sustainability Blueprint, designed for portfolio companies as the primary target group to stimulate a holistic, innovative and strategic perspective on sustainability matters and hence support value creation. It also sets out what EQT’s expectations of portfolio companies are in practice, including for example adherence to the ten principles of the UN Global Compact. In 2016, EQT further developed this blueprint including an introduction to the SDGs.
Furthermore, in order to validate and show further examples of how EQT and private equity ownership creates value, beyond financial fund returns, in the long-term, a study was conducted in 2015 covering the Swedish portfolio companies that the EQT funds have owned and sold since EQT’s inception in 1994. The study investigates how those portfolio companies, 22 in total, performed during a five year period after divestment. The study showed that the previous portfolio companies continued to improve post exit, adding value to society in the form of jobs and prosperity. On average, portfolio companies’ sales had increased by 9%, EBITDA by 6% and the number of staff by 8%, annually. The results validate an important part of what EQT’s business model is about – “future-proofing” companies to be strong and sustainable for the long-term. Please visit EQT’s website for further information (http://www.eqtpartners.com/news/EQT-Updates/2015/New-Study-EQT-companies-keep-growing-after-exit/).
Additionally, and as mentioned in the response to indicator SG 07.2 above, to further integrate and advance EQT’s responsible investment and ownership practices within the organization, RI ambassadors have been appointed for all investment strategies at EQT. The RI ambassadors act as promoters and contact points for sustainability matters within the investment advisory teams and are working closely together with the EQT RI team.