Due to our long-term focus, improving the sustainability of business operations of our investments is essential and in line with our interests. Through our direct interest, we can influence corporate governance policy and organisation structure. Future trends, such as climate change and technological developments focused on limiting climate change, are an important part of the long-term business plans we discuss with management. The Infrastructure team makes the portfolio more sustainable and consequently more future-proof through direct investments in solutions for climate change and water scarcity and by making the existing broader infrastructure portfolio more sustainable.
We focus on ESG improvements within the existing infrastructure portfolio. This includes safety in the construction industry and in maintenance, reducing energy use and implementing CO2 reducing solutions, such as LED lighting, the use of residual heat and heat pumps. We specifically focus on projects that reduce CO2 emissions, initiatives that improve HS&E awareness and board & management team diversity.
ESG performance vs peers is measured through means of the GRESB Infrastructure. In 2018, the number of participating portfolio companies rose to 73%. The ESG performance of most portfolio companies increased as well. The 2018 GRESB performance of the fund compared to peers (globally diversified funds) was just below average. The PGGM Infrastructure Fund aims to achieve a top quartile GRESB performance rating in 2020.