Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)
Providence’s approach to ESG is designed to deliver value to our investors, by establishing a common framework for applying ESG criteria during the investment life cycle and incorporating ESG principles into the fabric of Providence’s investment process and internal practices.
We believe it is important to consider the environmental, social and governance (ESG) implications of our investments. This approach is not just about being corporate citizens; it is also about being responsible stewards of the capital committed by our investors. Providence’s ESG policy has been in place since 2009 and is a set of comprehensive guidelines that incorporate environmental, health, safety, labor, governance and social issues into our decision-making process and ownership activities. Our policy grew out of a dialogue between members of the American Investment Council and a group of the world’s major institutional investors under the auspices of the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment. Providence agreed to support the guidelines prior to investing in portfolio companies and during our ownership period. A copy of the guidelines is available here.
Portfolio Company Initiatives
Within our portfolio, we have placed a particular focus on diversity and inclusion, health and wellness, cybersecurity, business continuity and electronic waste and energy usage.
The ESG Committee leads Providence’s efforts to design, implement and monitor initiatives that promote environmental, social and governance objectives across the portfolio. We have designed a targeted approach to ESG that involves varying levels of support for portfolio companies—including programmatic support for all companies, company-specific support and / or policy coverage and support—across our ESG focus areas.
Example ESG Initiatives:
Regularly convene chief human resource officer and chief technology officer councils to provide more connectivity across the portfolio; establish a forum to discuss and debate ESG and other relevant topics across the portfolio; and solicit internal / external expertise and best practices as useful and necessary
Annually execute third-party cybersecurity reviews across all portfolio companies to understand maturity and address risk areas
Annually collect and analyze diversity and inclusion data across portfolio companies to understand current state and to continuously improve
Diversity and Inclusion
Providence values diversity, equality and mutual respect. This applies not only to our employees but also to our portfolio companies, investors, advisors and communities. We believe that fostering a diverse team is ethical and is also critical to strengthening our business, fostering a cohesive culture, and delivering value through diversity of thought, experience and opinion. At Providence, we value all of our employees and recognize that diversity takes many forms, including race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, physical abilities, age and socioeconomic status, among others. We celebrate these differences and are committed to embracing and advancing inclusive values in all of our actions as a firm.
The Diversity and Inclusion Committee leads Providence’s efforts to create and maintain a diverse community. We believe that the Providence team can serve as an agent of change and increase opportunities for underrepresented members of our communities. Our committee will continue to foster positive change within Providence, at our portfolio companies and in the communities where we live and do business. We strongly believe that actions speak louder than words, and we are united in our efforts to support equality at Providence and throughout our industry.
Providence partners with organizations that have developed successful programs to support diversity within our communities. We are proud to partner with the following groups:
Diversity Partner Organizations
In addition to our ESG and diversity and inclusion initiatives, Providence has several employee-led affinity groups that bring together and empower employees.
Providence Women’s Roundtable
The Women’s Roundtable is committed to offering educational engagement opportunities to encourage women at Providence to confidently advance their careers in our industry. The program includes women who are already working directly in private equity as well as those who are interested in doing so.
Since its inception, the Women’s Roundtable has hosted a series of informational sessions to educate women at Providence as well as women in investment banking more broadly. For instance, the Women’s Speaker Series spotlights women leaders within our network and grants them an opportunity to share their experiences, career insights and advice with women at the firm. Laura Desmond, operating partner at Providence and founder and CEO of Eagle Vista Partners, officially launched the series, and Providence has subsequently held events hosted by other executives from across the portfolio.
Community Involvement Initiatives
Providence is proud of our philanthropic culture and is committed to giving back to the communities where we live and do business through volunteer efforts and charitable acts. The firm has several longstanding charitable partnerships, as well as new partnerships and commitments that further support our mission of enacting change within those communities and our own.
Providence understands the importance of allowing our employees to express their own interests outside of the programs and resource groups that are currently offered. We understand that when people come together collectively, they are able to have a greater impact and drive more substantive change. We encourage our employees to form additional resource groups and promote philanthropic initiatives that are reflective of their own interests, and we support their efforts to do so.
Transparency and Disclosure
In November 2007, Sir David Walker and the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA) led an effort to craft Guidelines for Disclosure and Transparency in Private Equity. That publication, which is also known as the “Walker Report,” made specific recommendations for improving the level of public disclosure by private equity firms operating in the United Kingdom. Because we believe in the importance of enhancing disclosure and transparency within the private equity industry, Providence voluntarily conforms to those recommendations. The Providence portfolio companies that fall under these guidelines can be found here.