PAI's ESG Lab
PAI launched its ESG Labs in 2017: a series of interactive workshops aimed at debating a range of fast-evolving economic, social and environmental challenges facing society and the world of business.
The ESG Labs bring together investors, industry experts, peers and portfolio companies in short, informal seminars to explore a chosen theme. These events can be thought of as 'pop-up think-tanks', which allow attendees to share their views and examine the issue at hand from a number of different perspectives. It also serves as a sounding board to establish ambitious goals and best practices internally and within our portfolio.
To give an example, PAI dedicated an ESG Lab session to the subject of the Plastic Issue in January 2019. It brought together 33 participants, including investors managing a total of around $3.4 trillion in assets, portfolio companies and issue specialists to better understand the nature of the environmental problem caused by plastics overuse and pollution, as well as the associated investment risks and opportunities.
One of the key takeaways of the ESG Lab was that business as usual is clearly not an option for GPs and their portfolio companies. The adoption of circular economy principles - where waste streams are transformed into inputs - will be essential both to reduce the volume of plastics that end up polluting the natural environment, and to meet spiralling demand for the raw materials from which plastics are made.
To translate these findings into practice:
- PAI joined PRI Plastic work group. Its initial work is focused on understanding the plastics landscape and drawing up resources to help investors engage with investee companies on the topic.
- Since March 2019, our Head of ESG participated on two boards of one of our portfolio companies (a global leader of plastic packaging for the cosmetic and personal care industries) to discuss and launch a strategy and product roadmap integrating the growing issue of plastic. In September 2019, the company presented their approach to plastic during the "PRI's in person", with the support of PAI.