Abstract

Although more and more private equity (PE) firms are integrating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into their investment strategies, there is no clear understanding of their reasons, the details of their activities, the tools they use or the barriers they face. Our study covers these gaps and provides an overview of current trends. We adopted a mixed-method approach, using both qualitative and quantitative data. We first interviewed ESG and PE experts and then submitted a survey to top PE players. Most PE firms integrate ESG issues because investors and other stakeholders pay increasing attention to them. We found that the tools used to assess ESG factors are checklists and that only a few PE firms used external advice from industry experts. Among the main barriers that PE firms face are difficulties in finding information and the lack of a comprehensive way to measure ESG issues. Our findings reveal that PE firms have two main approaches to ESG integration—risk management and value creation—and that the former is dominant. We contribute to the literature by explaining ESG integration in the PE industry and showing that an opportunity for value creation is being missed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalSustainability
Volume2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • ESG
  • Private equity
  • due diligence

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