Sustainability & Impact
1987, The United Nations Brundtland Commission
As an organisation, we are proud to have esg embedded firmly within our identity, with esg considerations being central to every stage of our investment process. We take very seriously the stewardship role that we play with our investee companies and take great pride that many are now rightly regarded as leaders in the sustainability space.
ESG REPORT 2023
We are committed to integrating the sound management of ESG factors into all aspects of our business, working to avoid or minimise negative impacts, while we maximise positive impacts and outcomes for society, the environment and the economy.
We have been actively engaged in addressing ESG issues since 2008 and have continually developed our approach since then. Our policy sets out our commitments to sustainable investment, which we are applying across all our funds and business undertakings.
To integrate ESG factors into the lifecycle of each of our investments, using defined processes and systems to ensure a consistent approach.
To take account of our stakeholders’ perspectives and priorities in making investment and business decisions.
To equip our team with the tools, guidance and confidence to be advocates for sustainable business practices.
To engage with the management teams of our portfolio companies to promote and support active ESG management and the adoption of relevant standards and good practice.
To stimulate action on impacts related to climate change, including risks and opportunities inherent in the transition to ‘net zero’ and a low-carbon economy.
To further other global ESG initiatives, such as diversity and inclusion, and the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, across our investments.
To promote the highest standards of governance, business ethics and compliance.
To combat corruption in all its forms and we require all our portfolio companies to have policies in place and encourage them to foster cultures which strongly reject corrupt business practices, wherever those businesses may operate
To keep our business practices aligned to the Principles of Responsible Investment, the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and other important global sustainability frameworks.
LIFE CYCLE INTEGRATION OF ESG
We look for opportunities to deploy funds in businesses that will increase in value, while at the same time paying due regard to our ESG objectives.
We take seriously our responsibility of active stewardship of the companies we work with. Our ability to engage with the companies and assets in which we have invested is a critical lever to create value for our clients. We work closely with the board members of each of our portfolio companies, to help them identify further performance improvement opportunities.
For our investors, we see a clear focus on ESG principles as a pillar in our approach to increasing long-term value. When screening for ESG factors in due diligence, we view sustainability as more than a risk mitigator, it is also a value creation driver. Our deal teams focus on ESG and impact, ensuring board-level and senior management buy-in for initiatives that link ESG goals with the business strategy.
We recognise that we have a moral responsibility to consider all stakeholders as we join forces with management teams to drive growth and value. We believe passionately that ESG needs to be embedded within every aspect of what we do, rather than being a separate area of focus, and this is reflected in our investment strategy, which is aimed at generating strong returns, while also creating opportunities for a scalable societal impact.
The ability to monitor the ESG impact scores of our portfolio companies enables us to evaluate their actual environmental and social impact and to ensure that they commit to further improvements. As the diagram on the right shows, we track impact throughout our investment period and conduct detailed reviews following our exit.
View Our SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENT Policy
Graphite In Numbers
Members of the Graphite Team
Of our team is female
Of our team is BAME
Jobs created across our portfolio over the past 15 years
Of our portfolio have a sustainability officer
Of the portfolio report their scope 1 & 2 emissions
Report their scope 3 emissions
of the workforce across the portfolio is female
Graphite has identified 15 of the 17 sdgs as being impacted positively by its work
At graphite we continuously review our support of environmental and social causes, and in December 2022, we were pleased to be admitted to the un global compact, aligning our strategy and operations with ten universal principles related to human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption, and taking actions that advance societal goals and the implementation of the SDGS.
this step represents a further clear commitment to our people and the planet, while also laying the long-term foundation for the success of our investee companies. We will report progress annually on how we embed the ten un global compact principles into our business strategy, culture, and operations.
It’s a great feeling joining a group of businesses that are playing a part in changing things for the better. The journey hasn’t always been easy – especially over the past few years, and we know there are challenges ahead for us and the industry. We hope many more of our peers join us as BCorps, as there is so much more to do.
Will Beckett, co-Founder
Our vision is to be the country’s preferred children’s services provider; renowned for an optimistic and pragmatic approach, making a life long and lasting difference to children lives.
Jamie Wright, CFO and Head of ESG
Opus TALENT SOLUTIONS
The core focus of our _nology academy offering has always been to promote diversity and inclusion within the technology sector. Reflecting this, we are committed to investing in positive change, through funding tech training and securing employment for talented, passionate people from underrepresented and underprivileged backgrounds.
CRAIG HARMAN, INTERIM CEO
Diversity & Inclusion
Supporting diversity and inclusion
Our commitment to equal opportunities and diversity is underpinned by comprehensive policies and practices that allow our staff to thrive regardless of their gender, social origin and ethnicity.
Graphite’s DEI policy and practices ensure that DEI issues are taken into account throughout our business. This is of particular importance to our recruitment and retention programmes, which are designed to ensure no bias, unconscious or otherwise. We are also committed to equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender, ethnicity or other factors such as full- or part-time working. We have generous maternity packages to encourage women to remain in the workforce.
Graphite is a long-term supporter of of programmes aimed at fostering diversity in the private equity industry and beyond
We are proud to be founding members of Level 20, a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving gender diversity in the European private equity industry, and to participate in Level 20’s mentoring programmes.
We are long-standing members of the BVCA and strongly support its initiative to improve diversity in private equity firms and portfolio company management teams.
We are also proud to support 10,000 Black Interns, which aims to transform the horizons and prospects of young Black people in the UK, by offering paid work experience through a rewarding internship in private equity, and Out Investors, a global organisation promoting LGBT+ individuals joining the investment industry.
Creating a lasting positive change in our communities is as important to us. Often the people in society who are in need are the most overlooked. In an increasingly unequal world, giving to charity is more important than ever. When we share our resources with those less fortunate, we help create a more just and equitable world.
In 2014 Graphite Capital established a £1 million charitable fund in association with the children and youth charity, Buttle UK.
Creating a lasting positive change in our communities is important to us. Often the people in society with the greatest need are the most overlooked. In an increasingly unequal world, supporting charity is more important than ever. When we share our resources with those less fortunate, we help create a more just and equitable world.
Buttle was established by Frank Buttle in 1953 to help children and young people across the UK whose safety, health or development are at serious risk. Buttle makes small grants, based on individual need, to provide practical solutions that give children and young people a fighting chance in life. A grant can range from buying a bed or clothes for a job interview, to funding a college course or training opportunity.
The target of our funding was specifically the provision of grants for estranged young people. Buttle UK is one of very few organisations that works to support estranged young people as a distinct group. There is no distinct package of support for this group, such as the one available to young people leaving the care system, although their experiences and needs are very similar.
Over the past nine years, Buttle has awarded £950,000 directly from Graphite’s funding contribution, helping 1,022 young people advance in their lives. With additional funds provided by Graphite since then, as well as growth in the value of the original donation, the bursary now totals nearly £1.4 million.
Graphite has been a fantastic long-term supporter of Buttle UK. Its original long-term commitment of £1 million has been increased by additional donations and from investment returns. To date, Graphite’s funding has enabled us to provide life – changing help to over 1,000 young people through our ‘Chances for Children’ grants.
RICHARD BARRON, CEO BUTTLE’S DIRECTOR OF FUNDRAISING AND MARKETING
Graphite’s policy is to donate 3% of its profits to charity each year. Our donations focus on three areas:
Helping disadvantaged young people in the UK, primarily through our work with Buttle UK
Support for charities that provide relief for significant humanitarian crises around the globe
Supporting environmental projects to restore and preserve natural habitats, particularly those which act as natural carbon sinks and other projects related to climate change
We have been moved by the major crises of the past few years, including the Covid-19 pandemic, the humanitarian consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, as well as the escalating conflict in Sudan, in 2023.
As a long-term investor in health and social care, we decided at the start of the Covid-19 crisis to support charities helping the elderly and those supporting the fantastic nurses, doctors, and carers in the front line who put themselves at risk for the benefit of others. Our chosen charities were Age UK and the Edith Cavell Nurses’ Trust. In communities across the UK, Age UK provided practical support with food supplies and targeted help, especially those who had no one else to turn to. The Cavell Nurses’ Trust provided grants designed to help nursing and midwifery professionals struggling financially due to the pandemic.
In 2022, we donated to three charities involved in the relief effort in Ukraine: Save the Children, the UN High Commission for Refugees and the International Red Cross. In 2023, we have supportedthe relief effort in Turkey and Syria following the devastating earthquakes, that impacted an estimated 20 million people across both countries. We also provided support to the Red Cross in its humanitarian effort in Sudan.
In 2023, we made contributions to charities supporting projects aiming to reduce carbon emissions and preserve natural habitats. Going forward, we will be increasing our support to environmental projects, in particular those which enhance natural carbon capture, and contribute to maintaining global biodiversity.