Limited partners are pushing private equity firms to integrate environmental, social and governance issues into their investment programs, but most PE firms are still in the early stages of figuring out how to factor in ESG. The Institutional Limited Partners Association is playing an important role. “ILPA is working to align both LPs and GPs through resources that will move the industry forward,” says the organization’s website. To that end, the group recently introduced an ESG Assessment Framework, designed to help LPs: evaluate and benchmark GP responses to due diligence efforts; inform goal-setting conversations with GPs; and measure ESG integration progress over time. For more on the framework, see senior reporter Brandon Zero’s recent column. Mergers & Acquisitions is also playing a role in helping PE firms navigate ESG goals. In our November/December issue of the magazine, we will recognize the 2021 PE Innovators in ESG. This inaugural list will honor the PE firms that are pioneers in integrating ESG considerations into their investment strategies. We will soon be announcing a Call for Nominations.

This is one of five annual Honors programs Mergers & Acquisitions produces, including The Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A; The Top 10 Middle-Market Deals of the Year; The Rising Stars of Private Equity and the upcoming PE Leaders in DEI, in the September issue of the magazine. I’d like to hear which firms you think are doing an outstanding job in ESG. Please email me at: [email protected]. And I hope to see you at our upcoming virtual events: M&A’s Leaders in DEI Speak, on Sept. 22, and the PE Innovators in ESG Speak, on Dec. 1.

Mary Kathleen Flynn