2022 Highlights: Responsibility
Jovana Stopic, ESG Director at IK Partners discusses the Firm’s sustainability achievements in 2022.
Against the backdrop of broader macro events in 2022, we remained resolute in our commitment to placing continued emphasis on ESG practices and initiatives and taking decisive steps to reinforce our strategic focus on sustainability. At IK, we are proud to have been among the earliest adopters of integrating material ESG considerations throughout the entire investment lifecycle and we believe that prioritising ESG in this way, creates fundamentally better companies. Our activities over the last couple of years reflect this belief and in December we were proud to publish our 2021-2022 Sustainability Report “Unleashing Potential”, a comprehensive document which outlines the activities and initiatives we execute to further advance our progress along our ESG journey.
As a global financial risk, climate change is one of our most prioritised areas of focus. Most notably in 2022, we were pleased to have our greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions reduction targets approved by the Science-Based Targets initiative. The objectives we set cover both IK’s own emissions and our PCs’ where we hold a majority stake. During the course of the year, we supported many of our PCs in the measurement of their GHG emissions and subsequently produced our annual IK GHG Emissions Report which now includes financed emissions. We also became a formal supporter of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures framework. In addition, 2022 saw us invest in carbon credits which support projects engaged in ocean and soil carbon sequestration as well as purchase Solvatten solar water purifying devices in Kenya.
We believe that our colleagues are our greatest assets and we understand that the continued success of IK is highly dependent on the collective efforts of a range of diverse individuals. We are proud to be working towards gender parity with women accounting for more than 50% of new hires, 33% of internal promotions and 40% of all partner promotions in 2022. Continuing to support initiatives such as 10,000 Black Interns, offering paid work experience to members of the Black community, has allowed us to work with highly talented individuals who, in a short period of time, added great value to the business. In 2022, we also took steps to prioritise colleague wellbeing and engagement, introducing supportive parental policies and a flexible approach to working patterns.
When it came to our PCs, we continued to encourage them to adopt a similar mindset and supported them in their efforts to increase diversity within their firm and board of directors. At the end of 2022, we achieved our ambition of having, on average, women making up 30% of Non-Executive Directors across all IK Mid Cap and Small Cap Funds.
We recognise that both our firm and the wider PE industry have a long journey ahead and therefore we actively engage with various initiatives to help drive positive change.
Over the course of 2022, we worked hard to institute and maintain high standards of governance and business ethics, through the introduction and revision of various policies covering the Firm, the IK Funds and our PCs.
IK in the Community
Outside of our sustainable practices, we continued to support projects as part of IKARE, our venture philanthropy operated charity across three key projects and were proud to have each office dedicate time and resources to local charities to tackle various initiatives in their community.
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