SVCA to launch first joint sustainability report for the Swedish private equity industry

2021-07-15

The Swedish private equity industry is increasing its focus on sustainability through a inaugural joint industry initiative to create better transparency on the industry´s overall sustainability performance. For the first time, The Swedish Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (SVCA) presents the report The ESG Status of Swedish Private Equity, in order to create a new common platform to systematically monitor, measure and clarify sustainability-related key figures in Swedish portfolio companies. The report showcases that Swedish private equity portfolio companies are on par compared to companies which are publicly listed – and that the issue is a high-priority.

The report The ESG Status of Swedish Private Equity was created with the ambition to create greater transparency about the sustainability work which is and has been carried out within the private equity industry in Sweden. The report is based on comparative figures produced in line with the UN’s global goals and further compares the performance from private equity portfolio companies with the performance of listed companies on Nasdaq OMX Stockholm to put the key figures into perspective.

According to the report, privately-owned portfolio companies in Sweden maintain the same level as comparable listed companies.

  • Employment growth numbers are high in private equity-owned portfolio companies, with 9% between 2019 and 2020 of which two thirds is organic.
  • The portfolio companies have 26% of women in their management teams, which is the same proportion as on Nasdaq OMX Stockholm. The share of women on the Board of Directors (19%) are fewer than in listed companies (33%).
  • Carbon dioxide emissions from the portfolio companies, in relation to sales, are in line with comparable companies on Nasdaq OMX Stockholm. The direct emissions are slightly higher while the indirect ones are slightly lower. In absolute terms, however, private equity-owned portfolio companies emit less carbon dioxide than companies on Nasdaq OMX Stockholm.

The ESG Status of Swedish Private Equity has been produced in collaboration with the analysis company HUI. It has the goal of becoming an annually updated platform to continue to display the sustainability work in the Swedish portfolio companies

  • The Swedish private-equity industry and its participants, who have worked with these issues at length have now acted to jointly clarify their sustainability work openly and regularly. Several of the results from the study show that the portfolio companies perform close to or better than listed companies, which confirms expectations, e.g., the strong growth in employment numbers should be understood based on the growth and change agenda that private-equity ownership entails, while we also know that diversity goals are a continued and prioritized area of development for many companies, says Isabella de Feudis, CEO of SVCA.
  • The report provides a joint overview of how the private-equity industry in Sweden performs in terms of sustainability for the first time. The results are encouraging, and this is extra gratifying since portfolio companies often have less maturity than companies in the listed environment. Our members have a long-time awareness about the fact that active work is required on sustainability issues such as climate, anti-corruption, and diversity in order to create a long-term value development. Furthermore, are SVCA and our members actively working to increase the diversity across management teams and company boards through both company specific as well as industry wide initiatives such as Level 20, says Monalotte Theorell Christofferson, Chairman of the Board of SVCA.

About SVCA:

Swedish Private Equity & Venture Capital Association, SVCA is the interest organization for actors in private equity: buyout, venture capital and business angels. The association, which was founded in 1985, works to support a well-functioning supply of capital in Sweden.

The private equity sector wholly or partly owns 1,400 portfolio companies in Sweden with almost 170,000 employees, which corresponds to more than 3% of all employees in Sweden. Private equity has since 2007 invested more than SEK 350 billion in Swedish companies and contributes up to 5% of Sweden’s GDP.

For more information visit: www.svca.se

About HUI:

HUI Research has been an independent investigation and survey company for over 50 years, with operations in primarily analysis and consultancy linked to consumption, economics and urban development.

For more information visit: www.hui.se

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