Abris Capital sets out new approach for delivering sustainable returns

Abris Capital Partners, a private equity investor in Central Europe, has published its latest annual ESG Report, accelerating its sustainability drive and setting out its priorities for responsible investment, as well as detailing how its ESG focus helped support portfolio companies during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Paweł Gierynski, Managing Partner at Abris Capital, says: “If we were to pick one word to describe what was critical for Abris last year, it would be ‘agility’. Our ESG focus in 2020 shifted strongly towards the social and crisis management aspects. Together with our portfolio management teams, we designed and implemented sophisticated health protection procedures for all employees, polished and developed our existing Business Continuity Plans, and trained portfolio companies in crisis communication. In our fiduciary role, we believe that ESG goals are a vital part of our investment portfolio's performance. From initial due diligence to Investment Committee approval, to post-investment monitoring, we evaluate ESG considerations at all stages of the investment process.”

Abris’ ESG Report 2020 details the firm’s ambitious goals to be a carbon neutral organization by 2025, looking at how Abris is innovating across its portfolio companies to reduce emissions and contribute to the circular economy, as well as how the firm is working to create an inclusive and diverse working environment with a culture that respects the dignity and human rights of all stakeholders, suppliers and customers. It also addresses corporate governance and oversight, which are built on ethical principles, effective decision making and careful monitoring of performance and compliance.

In addition, the report also looks in depth at the firm’s recently launched ESG Universe 2023 strategy – a comprehensive programme of environmental, social and governance initiatives that commits the firm to achieving a net-zero portfolio by 2025, making Abris the first private equity house in Central Europe to commit to this goal.

The programme , which has been developed over the past three years, encompasses 17 initiatives across governance and culture, standards, education and carbon neutrality that will set new standards in ESG best-practice. In addition to plotting a course towards net-zero, the ESG Universe 2023 program acts as an overarching strategy to help the firm mitigate risk and drive value creation over the long term across its portfolio.
 
The programme has been developed over the past three years, during which time Abris has been running its predecessor Universe 2020 project, which culminated last year with the launch of the Abris ESG Scoring Application – a proprietary IT tool that tracks more than 500 inputs, looking at specific risks within each portfolio company, supporting investment decision making, risk mitigation and value creation.
 
Robert Sroka, ESG Director at Abris, says: “The world must move toward a green economy that has fewer effects on the environment and greater social impact. And we must do so together. At Abris, we want to build sustainable businesses and make a positive, ethical contribution to local communities throughout our supply chains. It is our hope that the requirements we set and the programs we create have a measurable impact on our people and their communities through engagement and responsible stewardship. In 2017, when we launched our ESG Universe 2020, we planted the tree. Today, we are ready to grow the forest.”

Abris’ ESG Universe 2023 programme has been recognized by the Polish Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (PSIK), which named it the ESG Initiative of the Year as part of the PSIK Awards in June this year. In addition, Abris last year won the UN PRI award for Emerging Markets Initiative of the Year for its ESG programme.