GEF is a pioneer in environmental investing. As one of the first environmentally focused investors, GEF has made sustainability its mission with profitable investments in businesses that support the environment and promote clean energy and sustainable natural resources uses. GEF works with its portfolio companies to ensure that they adhere to high environmental standards in their business operations. GEF has integrated stringent Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles into investment decision-making and portfolio management processes. These principles are articulated in GEF’s ESG Policy, which has been approved by the firm’s Board of Directors. GEF investment teams around the world are supported by dedicated ESG resources. Since 1990, GEF’s experience has demonstrated that managing companies to international environmental standards reduces risks and liabilities, improves financial performance, protects portfolio companies’ and GEF’s reputations, and increases value to investors upon exit.
GEF believes that sustainable investing includes attention to the workers and communities in and around our portfolio companies. GEF focuses on ensuring safe working conditions and creating employment opportunities through company growth, new business models, and links to local supply chains. GEF encourages its portfolio companies to maintain good stakeholder and community relations and provide amenities such as clean water, healthcare, education, and training, where needed—as these programs increase productivity and loyalty among employees and in the community. With GEF’s focus on clean energy and environmental services, its portfolio companies produce and sell socially beneficial products and services, such as micro-grid electricity in rural India and energy efficiency solutions to retailers in the United States.
As an SEC-registered fund manager since 1992, GEF maintains strong internal corporate governance processes and fiduciary functions, and has regularly passed comprehensive regulatory compliance audits. GEF recognizes the value and benefits of maintaining a culture based on strong governance and transparency, which has been developed over 22 years of investing in over 20 countries and in a variety of sectors. For our portfolio companies, especially in emerging markets, GEF plays a critical role in ensuring good board and governance procedures and shareholder rights. GEF works with companies to improve financial systems and reporting, ensure business integrity, and develop the capacity of management teams. GEF’s strong culture yields several benefits and primarily serves as the key to early risk identification and mitigation. GEF compliance policies prevent conflicts of interest among stakeholders, including employees, portfolio companies, and limited partners. GEF is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investing (UNPRI).