Case study by Robeco Private Equity 

Using the PRI Reporting Framework

Robeco Private Equity is the private equity division of Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. (“Robeco”), which is headquartered in the Netherlands and which has a strong focus on sustainability investing. It introduced ESG monitoring and engagement in 2004, when it launched the Robeco Sustainable Private Equity programme. Robeco Private Equity evaluates the ESG performance of its GPs in its engagement programme on an annual basis. The data gathered provides vital input into Robeco Private Equity’s engagement with GPs, helping them to integrate ESG considerations throughout their investment processes in a structured and formalised manner.

For about 10 years, Robeco Private Equity used a proprietary responsible entrepreneurship questionnaire for annual monitoring of GPs. From 2016, it began using the PRI Reporting Framework instead, recognising both the increasing number of PRI signatories using the framework and the growing number of LP ESG questionnaires that many of its GPs were dealing with. The PRI designed a customised interface for Robeco Private Equity on its reporting platform, which also allows non-PRI signatories to report to Robeco Private Equity.

GPs are asked to report on a sub-set of indicators from the PRI Reporting Framework, within four modules:

  • The Organisational Overview module, covering the organisational structure and approach to responsible investing;
  • The Strategy and Governance module, covering non-asset class-specific responsible investment implementation, such as resourcing. In 2018, Robeco mandated reporting on climate change indicators in this module;
  • The Direct – Private Equity module, including details of a GP’s ESG integration and active ownership practices for directly managed private equity; and
  • The Closing Module, which allows a GP to review and submit its responses.

A subset of responses to the Strategy and Governance and Direct – Private Equity modules are assessed and translated into a total score which Robeco Private Equity shares with the respective GPs, along with recommendations on how they can improve their performance. The PRI Assessment Tool also enables Robeco Private Equity to benchmark the performance of GPs in its ESG programme against the broader group of private equity PRI signatories.

For more information, see Robeco Private Equity’s website.

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    ESG monitoring, reporting and dialogue in private equity

    June 2018