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Empowering Firms in Private Markets on Their ESG Journeys

Private Equity Wire, recently published the following interview article on its website. In this interview with Private Equity Wire, Amandine Stérin, Sustainability Consultant & Manager at Cority, sheds light on the current trends shaping the industry and discusses how the company is strategically responding to the changing requirements of its clients.

Read the full article below:

Cority provides a full suite of sustainability and ESG software solutions and advisory services for private markets investors. Sustainability Consultant & Manager Amandine Stérin chats to Private Equity Wire about current trends in the space and how the company is responding to changing client requirements.

Can you outline the industry trends which have been driving growth and development within your firm over the past year?

In the past year, we have seen the demand for ESG reporting keep on surging, with financial actors facing more regulations. Among our clients, some investment firms in private markets had to respond to close to a hundred ESG reporting requests last year, which takes time and resources within ESG teams. At the same time, management companies and institutional investors are integrating sustainability into their investment approach, as it is (rightfully) seen both as a risk mitigation and value creation lever by ESG teams and investment teams. This demand has driven us to further enhance the reporting framework mapping capability in our software solutions.  By helping our clients to streamline data collection, we are empowering ESG teams to focus on core sustainability performance improvements. 

This surge is ESG reporting, and increased focus on decarbonization, has highlighted the requirement for investors to measure, track and report accurate carbon emissions across their portfolios. Cority’s Investor ESG software solution automates the measurement of financed emissions and helps firms get an accurate picture of their Scope 3 emissions to feed into to their broader carbon reporting strategies.

In parallel, the dense regulatory landscape on sustainability (with SFDR, EU Taxonomy, CSRD, FitFor55, UK SDS, US SEC Climate disclosure) has called for a learning curve for both investment firms and portfolio companies. Now, companies need managers and decision-makers skilled on sustainability topics, which are critical but fast evolving issues. We work with our customers and support them through practical training and workshops, based on our market knowledge and our 16-years of experience in supporting clients on sustainability.

How have client needs and demands changed? What has your response been in terms of your service offering?

As a key service provider in the alternative investment sector, we’ve responded to the need for data harmonisation and efficient reporting by developing specific software features to streamline data reporting, significantly reducing time spent on these activities by ESG teams. Over the past years, our clients have challenged us to capitalise on our Investor ESG Management software solutions and services to compare and assess portfolio performance. In response, we have developed benchmarking features in our products, true to our approach to ground sustainability in reliable, quantitative information.

With more transparency on the market also comes the need for companies to make actual progress on sustainability, to showcase performance while avoiding greenwashing. To provide direct support to portfolio companies, we provide a broad range of services on sustainability, such as products and services’ impact assessment (using tools like Life Cycle Analysis), GHG emissions reduction targets and action plans, or supply chain management.

A last evolution in client’s needs is that with sustainability gaining momentum, the market is becoming more complex: our clients are in various geographies with different regulations and market trends, they are at a different stage of their sustainability journey and their stakeholders’ expectations differ. With our customisation of products and services to each client’s constraints and ambitions, we can evolve with them and answer to their increasing demands on the long term. 

Additionally, with the integration of recent acquisitions like WeSustain, Reporting21, and Greenstone under the Cority brand, we are strengthening our advisory expertise, with now a global team of over 70 consultants dedicated to sustainability.

You can read this article on Private Equity Wire’s website here.