Private equity manager of the year: Montagu

Montagu this year became one of the first 10 private equity firms to have its targets to reduce its portfolio and operational emissions in line with a net zero transition validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

As part of this commitment Montagu has pledged to, by 2030, reduce its absolute scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 70% from the 2019 base, and increase its sourcing of renewable electricity to 100%, also from the 2019 base of 4%. In 2021, Montagu reduced market-based scope 2 emissions by 44% and achieved 100% renewable energy for its London office.

For its portfolio companies, Montagu has also committed to have 100% of its eligible private equity investments setting SBTi validated targets by 2030, with an interim target of 55% of these investments by 2026. One portfolio company has already committed to setting a validated target, with that submission expected around the middle of the year.

However, rather than just setting targets and leaving portfolio companies to get on with it, Montagu collaborates with a company’s management team to develop individual environmental, social and governance (ESG) action plans that drive specific improvements and hosts roundtables, workshops as well as provides practical support to help reach these ESG targets.

“To drive real improvements in ESG performance across the portfolio, we work closely with the management teams of portfolio companies to develop ESG action plans, which are underpinned by targets, are embedded in the business strategy and owned by the management team,” said Kim Woehl, ESG manager at Montagu. “Beyond providing direct advice, support and training, we want to enable knowledge and resource sharing across the portfolio. That’s why we launched our collaboration platform ‘Montagu Connect’ last year and host regular roundtables.”

In addition, Montagu has emphasised the role of collaboration to accelerate change. To this end the firm is not only a member of initiatives such as the initiative Climate International (iCI), but has contributed to GHG accounting and reporting guidance for private equity firms. Montagu sponsored the design of the guide and was one of eight contributors.

“[Montagu is an] important contributor to the ‘SBTi for private equity’ initiative and focused on walking the talk,” commented one EF Awardsjudge.