Driver of positive impact
Big step, large scale
"Ardian is at a critical turning point as it seeks to drive forward its positive impact on a large scale."
Candice Brenet
Head of Sustainability at Ardian

How has Ardian’s approach to sustainability changed in recent years?

Candice Brenet: We have entered a new era for ESG globally, and at Ardian. We have long been committed to sustainability through our investments and positioning ourselves as real drivers of positive impact.

Over the past two years, we have heavily invested in our internal capacity to accelerate this transformation, in our operations and in our investments.

We are determined to take our sustainability strategy to the next level and are focused on using our unmatched insight to scale and grow our positive impact.

This is a very major ambition, how do you plan to scale impact and innovations?

Candice Brenet: First of all in terms of resources, we have strengthened the sustainability team which is now composed of five full-time experts. We have broadened the team’s skillsets, so they are complementary, meaning we have a much more 360-degree vision of how we can scale our social and environmental value.

Moreover, we constantly seek to refine our approach, so that we can better support our investments in their sustainability journey.

For the past 18 months we have co-developed an innovative Sustainability Measurement methodology which we applied to our Buyout and Expansion portfolios and which we plan on scaling to other activities.

Sustainability has also become more technical and we have invested massively in structural tools to manage and capture data through our engagement program.

This currently includes the Expansion, Buyout, Infrastructure and Fund of Funds portfolios and totals 86% of our AUM. However, we want to scale this to include the Real Estate and corporate data as well.

“Our new tools give us a better macro view of the impacts of our investments and make it easier to link our work with portfolio companies to the Sustainable Development Goals.“

Is this a major shift from your previous approach?

Candice Brenet: Tailored sustainability approaches, depending on the investment strategy, and individualized roadmaps are fundamental to the way Ardian does business and will not change. These recent developments are complementary. Our new tools give us a better macro view of the impacts of our investments and make it easier to link our work with portfolio companies to the Sustainable Development Goals.

This data management system allows us to better compare, analyze, consolidate and benchmark performance indicators for our portfolios, paving the way to integrate financial data. These tools also help us identify the companies that we need to focus more attention on.

We’re at a very early stage of extracting the value and intelligence from the data we gather. But already this is delivering real value to Ardian teams, portfolio companies and investors, allowing more sophisticated and holistic analyses.

What are your sustainability ambitions for the years ahead?

Candice Brenet: Climate action will remain a strong focus and we are considering introducing global targets for diversity and equality.

Profit-sharing is at the core of our DNA and we will extend this policy to all direct investment teams, probably by the end of 2020. We really want to encourage profit-sharing in all portfolio companies where we are a direct shareholder, and not just those where we hold a majority position. And we will encourage other profit-sharing mechanisms in addition to profit-sharing on exit.

Driver of positive
Driver of positive
Sustainability Report 2020
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