Pollen Street is committed to maintaining and enhancing its focus on the societal impact of its actions in a way that generates enduring long-term returns for investors and society.
To do this, Pollen Street has embedded ESG as a core part of its investment process – from identifying ESG risks pre-acquisition, through to working with portfolio companies post-acquisition to embed Pollen Street’s ESG framework, drive value creation and monitor performance against key criteria - and operates on a continuous-improvement basis. ESG is multi-faceted and there are many ways to engage with it, so we try to focus on those ESG considerations that are most pertinent and where we feel we can have the most impact and these are outlined in our published ESG policy.
We are also cognisant of the ESG priorities of our investors, and how they align with what we do. We therefore ensure that as a minimum our fund investment mandates meet those standards prescribed by our investors
During recent years, Pollen Street has sought to increase the prominence of ESG within its own business and as a signatory to the UN Principles of Responsible Investment seeks to drive continued improvement, including through:
- Launching a business-wide philanthropy programme engaging employees to determine which charities we should support, and the most effective way to do so. Most recently, this has involved performing a strategic review of a charity that facilitates alumni mentoring of students;
- Engaging Ten Years' Time (part of the Social Investment Consultancy) to assist in identifying areas where Pollen Street can leverage its existing skillset to have a greater impact on ESG issues going forward. As part of this, we are reviewing several ESG focussed enterprises with which to provide strategic support; and
- Launching the Pollen Street Hub, providing dedicated resource to drive the ESG agenda both internally and throughout its portfolio companies. Across each of the portfolio companies, the Pollen Street Hub facilitates ESG best practice sharing, conducts workshops and materiality assessments, and assists with the practical implementation of ESG projects while ensuring suitable measures are in place to monitor performance.
Pollen Street’s ESG committee is responsible for setting the strategy, framework and processes for ESG integration across the investment process. The ESG committee monitors activity to ensure compliance with our ESG obligations, and to review improvement opportunities. The ESG committee is chaired by the Head of ESG and includes the Managing Partner and representatives from the investment teams, and other areas of the business such as compliance, operations and legal. Members of the committee were selected from volunteers across the organisation.