Our latest survey of PE dealmakers regarding environmental, social & governance (ESG) matters produced very interesting results. The population of respondents skewed more toward smaller firms than ever before, so attitudes and actions shifted considerably. By and large, anecdotal evidence indicates more and more PE firms are implementing ESG consideration into standard procedures. Consequently, across the market as a whole, it's highly probable official ESG programs or initiatives will pervade sooner rather than later. Yet our 2016 Private Equity ESG Survey presents an opportunity to see how smaller PE funds, relative to the more general industry opinions captured in prior surveys, are grappling with ESG issues in the here and now.
A few examples:
At 32%, more respondents than ever said their firms develop corporate social responsibility reports
Risk management trumped limited partners as a key factor in spurring ESG efforts—a shift in opinion attributable to the influx of smaller GP respondents
For the first time, the percentage of LP respondents stating they'd rather commit to a firm with a strong ESG program and take slightly lower performance eclipsed 40%