Our Role as an Active Owner

Driving an ambitious sustainability agenda in our investee companies is central in Kinnevik’s role as an active owner. We believe operating in a responsible manner is the key to achieving long-term profitable growth.


The GRC Standards

For Kinnevik, sustainability is about creating long-term shareholder and social value by building well governing companies that contribute positively to society. Kinnevik’s general expectations in relation to our investee companies’ sustainability performance are outlined in our Corporate Responsibility Policy. In 2014, Kinnevik initiated the development of a structured framework to define GRC and sustainability best practices for our companies, to measure performance and to set priorities and roadmaps. Kinnevik’s GRCStandards were developed based on stakeholder dialogues, peer benchmarking and industry best practice.

The GRC Standards comprise 64 standards divided into six sections and are weighted according to their importance to our stakeholders, as well as their relevance to our investee companies’ performance. An overview of the GRC Standards is provided in the table below.

 

SECTION

EXAMPLE CONTENT

WEIGHTING

Organisation and structure
  • Structure of responsibilities
  • Agenda of the Board
  • Management incentives
11%
Governance
  • Membership and committees of the Board
  • Code of Conduct
  • Whistleblowing system
32%
Risk management
  • Policy and framework
  • Organisation
8%
Compliance
  • Business ethics and anti-corruption
  • Privacy and data protection
  • Anti-trust/competition policy
20%
Corporate responsibility
  • Supply chain compliance
  • Employee development, health, safety and wellbeing
  • Human rights
  • Environment
23%
Information security
  • Business continuity
6%

 

Outcome of the 2018 GRC assessment

The assessment for 2018 included 24 (18) companies, 6 (5) public and 18 (13) private, corresponding to ca 99% (98%) of Kinnevik’s portfolio value. A key reflection from this year’s assessment is that most companies have improved their GRC scores. For example, Betterment has implemented a robust risk management framework to monitor all high risks and efficiency of any mitigating actions. Global Fashion Group has mapped their private label supply chain and audited their material suppliers to ensure compliance with the applicable supplier code of conduct.

The main challenge for our investee companies is setting the right tone at the top on GRC and sustainability by active participation by the board and management team. Early stage companies are also generally struggling with balancing GRC development and growth. Further, although information security has been a focus area for 2018 many companies are still in early stages of development and therefore tend to have lower scores. 

 

SECTION

MAXIMUM SCORE

TOTAL SCORE 2017 
(weigthed by NAV)

TOTAL SCORE 2018
(weigthed by NAV)

Organisation and structure111010
Governance322828
Risk management867
Compliance201717
Corporate responsibility231818
Information security643

TOTAL


100

81

83

 

Target for 2019

The targets for the reporting year 2019 are to improve the scores across all sections of the GRC Standards for our existing investee companies and to establish strong foundations for GRC and sustainability performance for any new companies that Kinnevik may choose to invest in during 2019. 

From our Sustainability Report 2018

Active Ownership (pdf)