Growing sustainable businesses which are great employers and good corporate citizens

Growing sustainable businesses which are great employers and good corporate citizens

For Hg, responsible investing means growing sustainable businesses which are great employers and good corporate citizens, whilst also generating superior risk adjusted returns for the millions of pensioners and savers who are invested with our clients. Our time and money support the sustainable growth of knowledge businesses enabling them to change how their customers work and provide quality employment opportunities for thousands of people worldwide.

We want the businesses we invest in to be genuinely focussed on doing well for all stakeholders including employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders and the wider society. We firmly believe that responsible business practices help generate superior long-term performance. As such, our RI approach supports the backbone of our investment philosophy – to invest in growth companies and sectors, rather than turnaround or distressed investing.

This is not just a screening process. As part of our RI approach, we take an active interest in how our companies manage environmental, social, and governance (‘ESG’) issues. We encourage, support and stretch the companies we partner with to strive for best practice responsible business standards.

Hg has been a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (‘UNPRI’) since 2012 and since then we have continued to increase our ambitions and ESG commitments.

Read Hg’s Responsible Investment Policy:

Read Hg’s Responsible Investing Report 2017:

How we integrate Responsible Investing into our investment process

Investment screening

  • When considering potential new investments, we screen them against our exclusion list, which outlines the sectors, businesses and activities in which we will not invest.
  • A red flag report identifies high level concerns arising from sectors, geographies and preliminary diligence results.


Due Diligence

  • During due diligence, we assess companies for compliance with relevant laws in relation to environmental, social, governance, health and safety, bribery and corruption issues.
  • We also consider the inherent ESG risk of the company and carry out an associated ESG review detailing risks and opportunities in relation to our Responsible Business framework.



  • We take an active approach to managing ESG during our ownership. This starts with an ESG onboarding and maturity assessment within the first months of acquisition to prioritise ESG topics and agree an action plan.
  • As part of our on-going engagement on ESG, we conduct a maturity assessment of our businesses to identify areas for improvement where Hg can support the companies to realise their ambitions within and beyond our Responsible Business framework. The assessments are updated at least annually.
  • We organise face-to-face events for our management teams to share best practice, network and receive support.



  • Upon realisation, we aim to articulate the increased value from improved ESG performance with case studies and performance metrics.

Our responsible business framework

Hg’s Responsible Business framework outlines key ESG areas of focus and how Hg can support our businesses. The framework is used to assess prospects both before investment and businesses we own throughout our ownership. It focuses on three key areas:


There are certain minimum ESG requirements that Hg expects from all our businesses. These include:

  • Governance and Business Integrity, such as code of conduct, appropriate controls, board composition and appropriate health & safety and grievance procedures.
  • Risk and Compliance, including compliance with all laws and regulations, active risk management, as well as standards and policies to combat bribery, corruption, money laundering and other malpractice.
  • Data and Cybersecurity, which includes Hg’s minimum standards for cybersecurity along with appropriate information protection practices and GDPR compliance.


One of the most important assets of our businesses are the employees. A diverse workplace with engaged and motivated employees is vital for growth and business success. We look at employees from four aspects:

  • Diversity of talent and equal opportunities irrespective of ethnicity, gender, disability and background.
  • Engagement and motivation by promoting transparent communications, health and wellbeing, learning opportunities, recognition and good leadership.
  • Grow businesses and talent, including organic job growth, healthy staff turnover, talent management and succession planning.
  • Purpose and culture, including appropriate and value driving vision, mission, values, norms and behaviours.


We want all our businesses to strive for positive external impact by acting transparently and contributing to society through their business practice, charitable and community support and supplier and customer relations. Our businesses contribute to society in a number of ways:

  • Community engagement including community engagement initiatives, apprenticeships, charitable giving and volunteering.
  • Environmental impact – The majority of our businesses have low carbon footprints and minimal impact on the environment. We still encourage them to consider how they can improve their energy use and waste management, as well as reduce business travel.
  • Positive relationships with key external stakeholders including customers and suppliers: for example, by responsible pricing and sales and supplier relationships.
  • Transparency of company commitments and progress, including external reporting and sustainability communications.

Hg’s Own Operations

Our Responsible Business framework applies just as much to Hg as it does for our businesses. We strive to be a responsible investor, business and employer in a number of ways:

  • We uphold the highest standards of business conduct. All employees are required to abide by Hg’s Guidelines for Business Conduct and Ethics, as well as our Anti-Corruption Policy.
  • We are committed to be a world class employer, by creating a diverse and inclusive workplace where everyone is welcomed, motivated and stretched. We strive to develop a diverse pool of high calibre employees and staff and are dedicated to talent management and development to give everyone at Hg the opportunity to perform to the best of their ability.
  • We strive to have a positive impact on society by building positive external relationships, act with transparency, minimise our environmental impact and give back to communities. Each year we donate 1% of our total profits to charitable causes.

These commitments form part of Hg’s core set of “Values,” which is our way of thinking, behaving, and conducting ourselves.

Read our Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement for more information: