Our commitment to sustainability is as unwavering as the day Abraaj was founded. At Abraaj, we have always considered sustainability to be a business driver that ultimately builds stronger, more sustainable, and profitable businesses.
This thinking is particularly relevant in the markets in which we invest and operate. We recognize that effectively embedding sustainability considerations into our investment process will both protect value and enhance the long-term returns for our businesses, our stakeholders and shareholders.
For more than a decade, sustainability has been one of the cornerstones of our investment strategy. We believe that sustainability and strong performance go hand-in-hand. This approach has been validated by the economic value we have helped our partner companies create, the returns we have generated for our investors, and the positive social impact that has been created in our communities.
Integrating ESG into Investments
At Abraaj, we integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into financial analysis and decision-making to better manage risk and generate long-term value. We have developed a set of guiding Business Principles to ensure that ESG practices are integrated throughout the investment process from investment identification and due diligence through to exit.
At the core of this is our ESG Management System (MS) which houses the Group’s ESG Business Principles. Simply put, our guiding principles can be captured as:
- Taking a responsible approach to investing and recognizing the potential impact of businesses on the environment, employees, communities and society.
- Acting in an environmentally and socially responsible manner, actively managing ESG issues and risks effectively, and committing to sustainable business practices.
- Being objective, fair, and transparent with all our stakeholders.
- Being a good corporate citizen and demonstrating integrity and accountability in each business and community in which we invest.
- Respecting the dignity, equality and well-being of all of our employees and stakeholders.
- Operating professionally in a performance-orientated culture and being committed to continuous improvement.
- Ensuring that our partner companies incorporate ESG issues into their decision-making and ownership practices in a way which is consistent with their fiduciary duty and aligned with the Group’s ESG Management System.
Building for the Long-Term
As alternative asset managers in growth markets, we are ideally placed to drive the integration of sustainability into our partner companies. Towards this end, and through our partnership approach, the investment teams work with partner companies during each stage of the investment cycle to meet applicable ESG requirements and identify value add opportunities to build strong, sustainable businesses.
In 2016, in recognition of our consistent consideration of ESG throughout the investment lifecycle, Abraaj was awarded an A+ rating for the second year running under the PRI’s Reporting and Assessment Framework. This is above the industry score for private equity which has been ranked at level B for the past two reporting cycles.
Engagement with Industry Partners and Leading Thinkers
Abraaj is committed to supporting and driving sustainable thinking and practices in our industry. A key element is our engagement with a wide range of industry partners and thought leaders to further promote the long-term relevance of sustainability in the private sector.
This engagement started as early as 2010 when we were one of the first private equity firms in growth markets to join the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), a network of international investors working together to put the six Principles for Responsible Investment into practice. In 2011, we became signatories to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), a strategic initiative designed to encourage businesses to adopt sustainable policies through ten universally accepted principles. Our engagement with the industry has been further strengthened through our membership and participation in forums such as the Global Impact Investing Network’s Investors’ Council, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing.
Abraaj’s founder, Arif Naqvi, was appointed to the United Nations Global Compact Board by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2012 and to the Interpol Foundation Board in 2014. He is a B Team Global Business Leader and a Founding Commissioner at the Business and Sustainable Development Commission.