Celebrating Earth Day: How Private Equity is Improving Sustainability

In 2020 alone, the private equity industry invested more than $23.7 billion into renewable and sustainable projects. Private equity is playing a critical role in the energy transition and moving our economy in a more sustainable direction.

Last week, the American Investment Council sponsored The Hill’s “Sustainability Imperative” virtual summit that featured fireside chats with policy leaders and practitioners in the sustainability ecosystem. Watch some highlights of the event below as business leaders and experts discuss how private equity is supporting companies and organizations that are investing in sustainability initiatives.

Three Ways Private Equity Can Support Sustainability

Ken Mehlman, KKR’s Global Head of Public Affairs & Co-Head of KKR Global Impact, discusses three ways that private equity is supporting sustainability. First, private equity can invest in companies that provide solutions to sustainability challenges. Secondly, private equity can help align good governance between shareholders and businesses. Finally, private equity can help businesses develop or join best existing practices. According to Mehlman, “[private equity] is committed capital. We invest for a longer period of time, often a 5, 6, 7, year holding period. Our investments are investments where we are either owning the company or where we’re rolling up our sleeves as a board member and having real influence on the company. As committed investors, we can spend more time with companies helping build them and helping grow them.” Click here to watch the full clip.

Private Equity Helps PurposeBuilt Brands Develop a Sustainability Plan

Chris Bauder, CEO of specialty cleaning company PurposeBuilt Brands, discusses how private equity firms The Carlyle Group and TA Associates have helped the business scale their operations, hire more workers, acquire green companies, and develop a sustainability plan. Bauder also discusses how private equity has helped PurposeBuilt Brands identify and partner with sustainability experts who have played a key role developing greener products and improving water efficiency. According to Bauder, “we would not have been able to make those acquisitions without the guidance and the capital that Carlyle and TA Associates can provide.” Click here to watch the full clip.

Link Logistics Embraces Carbon Neutrality

AIC President & CEO Drew Maloney sat down with Blackstone-backed Link Logistics CEO Luke Petherbridge to discuss how private equity is helping the real-estate business implement its bold initiative to embrace renewable electricity and reach carbon neutrality by 2025. According to Petherbridge, “[Private equity’s] long-term focus, their patience, and their desire to make us better and obviously be better community operators has been essential. It has allowed us to focus on making big statements like we will have 100 percent of Link’s operating power funded by renewable energy sources by 2024, and also we will be carbon neutral by 2025.” Click here to watch the full conversation.

Inframark Improves Water Efficiency

AIC President & CEO Drew Maloney also spoke with New Mountain Capital-backed Inframark CEO Stephane Bouvier. Inframark is an independent, American-owned company specializing in water infrastructure operations and management services in dozens of states. Inframark is working directly with private equity to improve its sustainability initiatives and reduce water waste. Click here to watch the full conversation.

Private Equity Investment Supports Gotham Greens

Viraj Puri, the CEO of New York-based fresh food and urban agricultural company Gotham Greens, discussed how private equity investment has helped his business raise more than $130 million in capital. This support from private equity has been crucial to helping the business grow and develop strong ESG initiatives. Click here to watch the conversation.

How Private Equity Can Help Sustainable Companies Scale

Maryanne Hancock, CEO of Y-Analytics, TPG’s Impact & ESG performance capability, discusses how private equity is best positioned to help scale and grow companies that are investing in sustainable technologies and products. Y-Analytics was launched by TPG in 2019 to help measure the effectiveness of sustainable and impact investments as well as supporting portfolio companies meeting their ESG goals. According to Hancock, “as we look at the power of portfolio companies whether its KKR, Carlyle, TPG, or others in the private equity space, the portfolio companies can share learnings, they can advance more rapidly their understanding of these fundamental issues, and they can invest in the opportunities that need to be scaled now.” Click here to watch the full clip.

Click here to watch videos from the full three day event.

Click here to learn more about how private equity is investing for a more sustainable future.