Mergers & Acquisitions names the 2021 PE Innovators in ESG, including, Blackstone.

Blackstone’s $731 billion in assets is getting a larger ESG talent team. The firm, founded in 1985, named its first chief sustainability officer in 2018. James Mandel, Ph.D. now holds the title, and is joined by five senior-level ESG positions and the newly created role of global head of ESG for private equity, recently filled by Amisha Parekh. The firm also recently hired Jean Rogers, founder of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, to lead its expanding global ESG effort.

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The team will oversee carbon emission reductions in real estate and other portfolio areas. It’s a mission Blackstone sees with new urgency. Only last year, the firm announced plans to reduce emissions across its portfolio companies by 15 percent.

There are caveats. The reductions apply only to companies in which Blackstone’s stake confers control of energy usage, and can be achieved over the first three years of the investment. Fund managers will need to diligence potential targets carefully to deliver on double digit emissions reductions. Investments like the March acquisition of circular filtration and remediation system maker Desotec from EQT could become more frequent.

Blackstone is also participating in the Carlyle and Calpers-led initiative to standardize on metrics.