In 2021, the Science-Based Target Initiative (SBTi) launched new Guidance for the private equity sector to enable the wide adoption of science-based targets (SBT) by private equity firms. The Guidance was authored by the SBTi and Anthesis, supported by an advisory group made up of 32 leading private equity firms.
Hg, a leading software and services investor and a key member of the advisory group, sought Anthesis’ support to road test the Guidance against its investments. The firm wanted to understand the implications for Hg in setting and meeting SBTs and the level of ambition required for adoption. Hg also wanted to comprehend the implications for Hg’s investments if Hg did not set SBTs.
Anthesis started by collating the data required to calculate Hg’s Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint and information on its investment portfolio, including the number of portfolio companies (PCs), and their company size by ‘invested capital’, and GHG emissions.
To understand how long it would take for Hg to meet its SBTs, Anthesis first prioritised which PCs would likely set SBTs based on each their existing Environmental Social Governance (ESG), GHG targets, and energy management progress. This prioritisation is a prerequisite to adopting the portfolio coverage approach for Hg’s proposed SBT.
An ‘invested capital’ metric was used to define the coverage (i.e. 100% of Hg’s invested capital needs to have a SBT by 2040) and the target was modelled under different scenarios:
- Progressive – where PCs readily adopt SBTs
- Follower – where PCs somewhat adopt SBTs
- Laggard – where PCs struggle to adopt SBTs
The output of the modelling allowed Hg to establish when all in scope invested capital across its portfolio could be covered by SBTs.
Anthesis prepared the SBT submission material, including a Scope 1 and Scope 2 SBT for Hg’s operations and Scope 3 Category 15 investments, evidencing the portfolio coverage model. SBTi approved Hg’s SBT ahead of announcement at the COP26 Private Equity SBT Guidance launch in November 2021.
Hg is now using a portfolio coverage tracking model, created by Anthesis, to track coverage, plan strategic influence and monitor success, including GHG emissions impact for Hg’s annual reporting progress.
We were pleased to work with the Anthesis team on this project and are very happy with the support they provided. The team’s expertise in SBTs in Private Equity, combined with their attentiveness to our needs, made us comfortable to commit to the SBTi. They also made the submission process to the SBTi very smooth by helping out with the application to fulfil all requirements.
Chief Sustainability Officer, Hg
- Modelled SBT trajectory across Hg’s portfolio, using the portfolio coverage approach
- Supported the SBTi submission and target validation process
- Developed a portfolio coverage tracking model, to monitor invested capital and GHG emissions impact
Anthesis supported Hg to set a SBT, meaning its portfolio of 40+ companies must have their own individual SBTs by 2040, which could in time lead to an overall ~90% reduction in Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions and widespread Scope 3 engagement impact across the portfolio by 2050.