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Beyond the checklist – the opportunity for ESG in private markets

October 2020

Interest in private markets has grown at the same pace as the funds they launch: fast. At USD 3.4 trillion, the private equity asset class has more than doubled in size over the past ten years. 1

This unprecedented growth means private markets are uniquely poised to further the work of sustainable investment through ESG implementation, and they have the opportunity to integrate ESG in a way that circumnavigates the growing pains experienced by public markets. True sustainability cannot be achieved by public markets alone, so why have the private markets been slow to adapt?

According to a recent study 2 surveying the top 23 private equity players in 2019, private equity firms primarily rely on checklists to assess ESG factors, and only a few firms have sought out external advice from industry experts. At RepRisk, we argue that a tailored method based on industry-, geography-, and company-specific attributes is preferable to the checklist.

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