Respect on Investment

At Nordian Capital we recognise the impact private equity investments may have on the environment and society. We consider it important that both Nordian Capital and our portfolio companies operate in an environmentally and socially sustainable way.

Respect is our core value. Respect for our management co-shareholders and all employees of our companies and respect for the environment and society. That is what we stand for and how we work.

We believe that environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects have an important impact on value creation. ESG factors can have a considerable impact on the performance of our portfolio companies as ESG factors offer opportunities to enhance revenue, reduce costs and reduce risk.

Therefore we strive to continuously address and incorporate sustainability in our own business processes and those of our portfolio companies. Our approach focuses on 3 principles:

  1. Sustainability is incorporated into our investment analysis and decision-making processes;
  2. Together with management we define an ESG policy with priorities and targets;
  3. In addition to regular monitoring and reporting on ESG, as active owners, we address ESG issues and opportunities on a ongoing basis.

Accordingly we integrate sustainability factors into our decision making process before selecting an investment. Additionally we monitor and engage with our portfolio companies with the aim of improving the ESG performance of our portfolio companies and setting minimum requirements for our investments.

The first 100%
private equity firm in the Netherlands

Nordian is CO2-neutral since 2019. All companies in the Nordian portfolio, and Nordian HQ itself, have committed to measuring their CO2 emissions and reducing their output every year. Remaining emissions are compensated at the end of each year through a forestry partnership with LandLife.

‘This is not an intention or a long-term project, but a fact of everyday life in the Nordian group,’ says Gregor Beusmans, partner at Nordian and initiator of the program.

CO2 emissions of all portfolio companies are calculated every quarter by an independent specialist. Each portfolio company together with Nordian continually works on programs to reduce emissions. For example, through changes in the production process or switching to suppliers of green energy.

Emissions that remain after these reductions are compensated at the end of the year by planting trees in Spain and Texas. This is achieved by the Land Life Company, a firm that is specialized in CO2 reduction through reforestation.

In 2019, compensation for all emissions that occurred in the course of 2018 was paid for by Nordian. Starting in 2020, the companies in the Nordian group will pay for the compensation program themselves, providing them with an incentive to reduce emissions.

‘Worldwide, companies are the largest sources of CO2,’ says Beusmans. ‘With €320 million invested we are a mid-sized firm in the Netherlands, and a tiny factor worldwide. But we believe in the saying ‘Change the world and start at home.’ We’re doing this because we think it’s right.’

Investors have not been put off by the program, which after all – modestly – reduces the return on their investments. During the fund raising round for Fund III, most were actually very supportive.

The companies in the Nordian portfolio, active in various sectors from software to agriculture to ICT, have all signed up to the project.

“We are using this Land Life initiative to confront our suppliers. Roughly 30% of the steel they supply at the moment is recycled. We are negotiating with them to bring that level up to 70%.”

Jelle van Vliet, co-CEO Alcomex Spring