Environmental Social and Governance (ESG)
At Gridiron, we understand the value of integrating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations into our investment process. As stewards of capital, we build long-term relationships through trust and respect, and we view sustainability and governance initiatives as a way to create value across the portfolio. This value is created by improving products and services to better suit customer needs, building brand value, recruiting and engaging a high-quality workforce, reducing costs, reducing risks, and improving efficiency.
We have established a strategy for integrating ESG matters into key investment and portfolio management activities, which includes oversight by the Managing Partners and Chief Operating Officer of our firm.
For each portfolio company or potential portfolio company investment, we incorporate an assessment of material ESG risks and opportunities in the investment analysis and decision-making process. We integrate ESG factors into investment decisions by identifying ESG risks and opportunities prior to acquiring portfolio companies, and we continue to monitor them through the life of the investment.
Key Due Diligence Focus Areas:
Ensuring appropriate health and safety standards are in place, and that there exists a robust risk management approach.
Reviewing necessary business ethics and anti-corruption policies and processes, the quality of financial reporting and actions of the auditing firm, and efforts related to cyber security and data privacy.
Undertaking a regular review of material environmental incidents, emissions, effluents and waste, and looking for disclosure of carbon measurements and data related to resource use.
Reviewing workforce data (including employee diversity), recruiting and retention programs, and policies to address anti-discrimination and equal employment opportunities.
Focusing on relationships with multiple stakeholders, including clients, employees and their relationships with the communities in which they operate.
ENGAGEMENT WITH OUR PORTFOLIO COMPANIES
While each portfolio company is different and has specifically tailored industry and company initiatives, we seek to share best practices across our entire portfolio.
Because we control most of our portfolio company boards, we are able to provide oversight and direction of ESG activities and goals, tracking activities and ensuring adherence to established goals. Our intent is to strengthen ESG awareness, processes, and standards at our portfolio companies, while ensuring their initiatives align with Gridiron’s fiduciary responsibilities.
Our portfolio companies operate within a range of ESG capabilities. Some have advanced programs, while others are in the early stages of developing their processes.
Monitoring portfolio company performance on ESG issues is a standard part of our investment approach. Gridiron Managing Partners receive detailed monthly updates on ESG Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) from each investment lead who has a portfolio company board position.
Each funds’ ESG profile and any emerging ESG-related matters are reviewed by the fund’s General Partners at each quarterly meeting, and quarterly reports are provided in advance of each board meeting.
SPOTLIGHT ON SUSTAINABILITY AT OUR PORTFOLIO COMPANIES
- First proprietary Reverse Osmosis Technology and Membrane Bioreactor Water Filtration System in the US.
- Recovers and reuses 50% of the water used in the paper-making process.
- FSC, Green Seal, and Rainforest Alliance Certifications, making Royal Paper a recycling and sustainable paper industry leader in North America
- One of only six footwear manufacturers worldwide earning the distinction of a Recognized Responsible Footwear Manufacturer by the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA).
- First and only U.S. manufacturer to earn this prestigious designation!
TRAVEL NURSE ACROSS AMERICA
- Named one of the Best Places to Work in Arkansas for the sixth year in a row.
- Donated 5,000 masks to hospitals suffering from COVID PPE shortages in 2020.
BUSINESS ETHICS AND COMPLIANCE
Gridiron is committed to conducting its own business ethically, with integrity, and in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, including federal securities laws.
Our Chief Compliance Officer oversees the firm’s compliance program. Gridiron maintains policies and procedures designed to promote the highest standards of professional and ethical conduct. Those policies and procedures are reinforced with annual compliance training on topics such as:
• Code of ethics
• Anti-corruption and anti-bribery
• Cyber security and data privacy