Read more about the sustainability performance in our companies in our Sustainability Report 2019:
The Kinnevik Standards
Kinnevik has developed a structured framework to define best practices for our companies, to measure performance and to set priorities and roadmaps, called the Kinnevik Standards (the “Standards”). They were developed based on stakeholder dialogues, peer benchmarking and industry best practice.
Kinnevik’s investment team, supported by the Sustainability Function, is responsible for implementing the Standards in our investee companies. At its core, the Sustainability Function is a business development function with the purpose of supporting our companies to put the necessary structures, processes and culture in place to be successful over the long term.
The Standards mirror our material topics and comprise 64 standards across the three dimensions of sustainable development: economy, society and environment.
Kinnevik performs a yearly assessment of all our material investee companies, public and private, based on the Standards. Following the completion of the assessment, Kinnevik scores the investee companies on their fulfilment of each standard. The development of the scores can be tracked over time for the total portfolio and for individual companies.
Sustainability performance in our portfolio companies 2019
A cornerstone of our sustainability work is the active dialogue with our companies. Kinnevik provides high-level strategic as well as hands-on assistance. For example, we have provided some of our companies with concrete input and recommendations on the content and design of their Code of Conduct and internal control environment. We have invited our portfolio companies to two Our Group platform events focusing on sustainability performance, see page 21. We have also assisted in building best practice frameworks to identify, mitigate and manage risks and to build strong governance structures. We aided some companies in identifying sound whistleblowing systems and in developing strong information security structures. Following the roll-out of our D&I framework, we have assisted our companies in implementing diversity and inclusion aspects in key policies and provided support and examples of how to create a more inclusive work culture.
A key focus area in 2019 was to develop sustainability roadmaps in companies we invested in during 2018. Most of the companies were in early stages of their journey and did not have structured workstreams around sustainability initiatives. Most new companies with regulated businesses created subcommittees of the board to oversee the development of initiatives across different aspects. Kinnevik also assisted the companies to set up internal governance structures such as risk groups and governance committees, responsible for driving progress. One of the main challenges for our early stage companies is balancing growth with sustainable business development.
A key focus area during 2019 has been diversity and inclusion. In line with Kinnevik’s high expectations outlined in our D&I Framework, many of our companies have made strong progress by implementing key policies and setting up training for employees, among other initiatives. As a result, many have become more attractive employers with equal opportunities and well-being in focus. D&I is a long-term commitment and many companies have plenty of room for improvement and this will continue to be an important initiative in the coming years.
As the climate crisis escalates, Kinnevik and our portfolio companies are responding. With our active support, our companies are increasingly taking action to reduce their environmental impact. In addition to the examples below, many of our companies are running initiatives with a general trend being that companies that are more mature have the more mature climate initiatives. During 2020, Kinnevik will continue to engage with our portfolio companies to support, encourage and influence them on their journey towards environmental responsibility, focusing on those companies with the greatest carbon footprints.