Emissions reporting standards and practices in the private equity sector have been described by certain commentators as being some way behind those in the public markets; certainly the private equity asset class has, so far, received less attention in the context of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)-related reporting developments more generally. That is changing, however; General Partners (“GPs“) are increasingly called upon to disclose climate-related data and establish greenhouse gas (“GHG“) emissions reduction targets across their portfolios.
There is not, at present, an agreed standard for reporting such information at a fund level, which has resulted in inconsistent approaches being adopted by different funds. Inconsistencies, of course, potentially impair the ability of investors to make meaningful comparisons between portfolio companies, and indeed between funds.
In an attempt to address this inconsistency, the Initiative Climat International (“ICI“) — a practitioner-led group of private equity funds and investors that represents over USD $3 trillion in assets under management — in partnership with sustainability consultancy group Environmental Resources Management (“ERM“), have taken the proactive step of launching a new, non-binding standard that sets out a consistent approach to GHG disclosure across the private equity sector. The standard, outlined in the ICI and ERM’s Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting report (the “Report”), aims to better align the disclosure practices of private equity funds with the practices currently adopted by many listed companies in the public markets.