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Groupe Bruxelles Lambert SA

PRI reporting framework 2020

You are in Direct - Listed Equity Incorporation » ESG incorporation in actively managed listed equities » Implementation processes

Implementation processes

LEI 01. Percentage of each incorporation strategy

01.1. Indicate which ESG incorporation strategy and/or combination of strategies you apply to your actively managed listed equities; and the breakdown of your actively managed listed equities by strategy or combination of strategies.

ESG incorporation strategy (select all that apply)

Percentage of active listed equity to which the strategy is applied — you may estimate +/- 5%
100 %
Total actively managed listed equities 210%

01.2. Describe your organisation’s approach to ESG incorporation and the reasons for choosing the particular strategy/strategies.

Our responsible management approach

As a patrimonial and engaged investor, GBL believes that effective management of ESG aspects by portfolio companies can have a positive impact on their long-term performance and their ability to create value in a sustainable manner. GBL consequently embeds ESG at all stages of its investment process and portfolio monitoring.

Investment process

GBL incorporates the analysis of ESG aspects into its investment process with the aim to identify companies with sustainable business models over the long term. GBL believes that ESG compliance and commitments are drivers of sustainable growth and ultimately of long- term value creation for any company, and consequently contribute to maximizing its investments’ performance over the long run. 

In terms of ESG risk assessment, negative screening is conducted with the aim to exclude companies that do not comply with GBL’s responsible management philosophy, including its Code of Ethics and its ESG Statement. In this context, GBL will ascertain whether practices in relation to environmental, social and governance responsibility are consistent with international standards.

Positive screening of investment opportunities consists in taking into account ESG-related tailwinds forming part of GBL’s investment mandate.

Both screenings are based on due diligence work carried out by third party ESG specialists, as well as on research reports provided by independent tier 1 ESG-rating providers. Due diligence scope varies according to the business nature of the considered investment target and may include:

  • from an environmental perspective: Resource efficiency, pollution prevention and management, ecosystems and biodiversity, climate change, environmental supplier and procurement standards, environmental product responsibility, etc;
  • from a social and governance perspective: Labor rights and working conditions, human rights and livelihoods, social supplier and procurement standards, business ethics and governance, customer and product responsibility, etc.

GBL thus invests in companies that share its principles and commitment with regards to the imperative need to behave responsibly and ethically as well as serve the whole of the community.

Portfolio monitoring

GBL has an engaged ownership approach in the companies in which it invests and ensures through a direct engagement with their governance bodies that they are managed in a manner consistent with its responsible management philosophy, including its Code of Ethics and its ESG Statement.

Each portfolio company remains responsible for developing its own ESG policies, programs and key performance measures. This is monitored by GBL’s investment team as part of the asset rotation guidelines. GBL believes, however, that it is necessary to promote common guidelines on responsible management within its various shareholdings.

In case of an incident arising at the level of a portfolio company and being reported to GBL through its governance bodies, monitoring would be ensured by GBL’s representative(s) within the relevant governance body, with the assistance of the relevant advisers. Any significant incident would be discussed, reviewed and monitored by the relevant reporting levels at GBL (including the CEO, the Chief Legal Officer and the Head of Investments). This escalation process was followed for the Syrian case which arose in 2016 in relation to LafargeHolcim.

In order to monitor appropriately its portfolio from an ESG perspective, GBL conducts on a yearly basis an in-depth risk assessment focusing on its portfolio companies.

This risk assessment has been structured by GBL to combine information from third-party ESG-rating reports and market data with proprietary data derived from (i) GBL’s in-house Compliance questionnaire (see below for covered areas) and (ii) the knowledge and expertise of GBL’s investment team on the portfolio companies and, more generally, their sectors.

On that basis, GBL’s ESG risk assessment does cover a wide scope of ESG factors including:

  • from an environmental perspective: Resource efficiency, pollution prevention and management, ecosystems and biodiversity, climate change, environmental supplier and procurement standards, environmental product responsibility, etc;
  • from a social and governance perspective: Labor rights and working conditions, human rights and livelihoods, social supplier and procurement standards, business ethics and governance, customer and product responsibility, etc.

This assessment aims at identifying, for each portfolio company, its key ESG risks, and, if assessed as material, (i) translating them into potential adjustments to the investment theses, (ii) reporting them to GBL’s Audit Committee and ultimately to GBL’s Board of Directors, and (iii) ensuring their monitoring by GBL’s representatives through the governance bodies of the portfolio companies.

 

01.3. If assets are managed using a combination of ESG incorporation strategies, briefly describe how these combinations are used. [Optional]

Not applicable


LEI 02. Type of ESG information used in investment decision (Private)


LEI 03. Information from engagement and/or voting used in investment decision-making (Private)


(A) Implementation: Screening

LEI 04. Types of screening applied

04.1. Indicate and describe the type of screening you apply to your internally managed active listed equities.

Type of screening

Screened by

Description

Negative screening is conducted with the aim to exclude companies that do not comply with GBL’s responsible management philosophy, including its Code of Ethics and its ESG Statement. In this context, GBL will ascertain whether practices in relation to environmental, social and governance responsibility are consistent with international standards.

Screened by

Description

Positive screening of investment opportunities consists in taking into account ESG-related tailwinds forming part of GBL’s investment mandate.

04.2. Describe how you notify clients and/or beneficiaries when changes are made to your screening criteria.

Notification is made through the investment/divestment criteria presented annually in GBL’s annual report and in the IR presentations available online which also include the ESG aspects that are included during screening.


LEI 05. Processes to ensure screening is based on robust analysis

05.1. Indicate which processes your organisation uses to ensure ESG screening is based on robust analysis.

          The knowledge and expertise of external ESG specialists mandated by GBL
        

05.2. Indicate the proportion of your actively managed listed equity portfolio that is subject to comprehensive ESG research as part your ESG screening strategy.

05.5. Additional information. [Optional]

Screenings are based on due diligence work carried out by third parties specialized in ESG, as well as on research reports provided by independent specialists. 


LEI 06. Processes to ensure fund criteria are not breached (Private)


(C) Implementation: Integration of ESG factors

LEI 08. Review ESG issues while researching companies/sectors

08.1. Indicate the proportion of actively managed listed equity portfolios where E, S and G factors are systematically researched as part of your investment analysis.

ESG issues

Proportion impacted by analysis
Environmental

Environmental

Social

Social

Corporate Governance

Corporate Governance

08.2. Additional information. [Optional]

As a patrimonial and engaged investor, GBL believes that effective management of ESG aspects by portfolio companies can have a positive impact on their long-term performance and their ability to create value in a sustainable manner. GBL consequently embeds ESG at all stages of its investment process and portfolio monitoring.


LEI 09. Processes to ensure integration is based on robust analysis

09.1. Indicate which processes your organisation uses to ensure ESG integration is based on robust analysis.

          The knowledge and expertise of external ESG specialists mandated by GBL
        

09.2. Indicate the proportion of your actively managed listed equity portfolio that is subject to comprehensive ESG research as part your integration strategy.

09.3. Indicate how frequently third party ESG ratings that inform your ESG integration strategy are updated.

09.5. Describe how ESG information is held and used by your portfolio managers.

09.6. Additional information. [Optional]

ESG risk assessments are performed as part of the portfolio monitoring process.

In order to monitor appropriately its portfolio from an ESG perspective, GBL conducts on a yearly basis an in-depth risk assessment focusing on its portfolio companies.

This risk assessment has been structured by GBL to combine information from third-party ESG-rating reports and market data with proprietary data derived from (i) GBL’s in-house Compliance questionnaire (see below for covered areas) and (ii) the knowledge and expertise of GBL’s investment team on the portfolio companies and, more generally, their sectors.

On that basis, GBL’s ESG risk assessment does cover a wide scope of ESG factors including (AnnualReport p.69):

  • from an environmental perspective: Resource efficiency, pollution prevention and management, ecosystems and biodiversity, climate change, procurement standards, etc.
  • from a social and governance perspective: Labor rights and working conditions, business ethics and governance, etc.

This assessment aims at identifying, for each portfolio company, its key ESG risks, and, if assessed as material, (i) translating them into potential adjustments to the investment theses, (ii) reporting them to GBL’s Audit Committee and ultimately to GBL’s Board of Directors, and (iii) ensuring their monitoring by GBL’s representatives through the governance bodies of the portfolio companies.


LEI 10. Aspects of analysis ESG information is integrated into (Private)


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