White Deer Energy’s Environmental, Social, and Governance Policy
White Deer is committed to investing in businesses that enable more sustainable, reliable, affordable, and secure energy resources. Proactively adopting and implementing Environmental, Social, and Governance (“ESG”) processes is critical to achieving those outcomes by measuring and managing the impacts of the firm and its portfolio companies. By managing ESG risks and opportunities against a backdrop of climate change, evolving market preferences, and increased ESG-related regulation, White Deer and its portfolio companies will be better positioned to enhance value creation for our stakeholders.
Incorporating guidance from our portfolio companies, Limited Partners, investment team, and industry experts, White Deer is committed to achieving the highest standards of ESG performance in its portfolio, with a particular focus on:
- Emissions Avoidance
- Community Engagement
- Recruitment and Diversity
- Board Composition
- Operating Policies
- Climate Risk
The policy is intended to establish a framework for ESG management throughout White Deer’s investment life cycle. It applies to all White Deer employees, the firm’s operations, and all majority-owned investments. It extends to how we manage our stakeholder relationships, how we conduct our internal operations, and how we strategically position the firm.
White Deer’s influence over each company in which we invest varies. In cases where White Deer is a minority shareholder or has limited influence to implement a full ESG program, we will promote the adoption of portions of this policy where reasonable. For companies where White Deer is a majority investor, we will partner with management to implement a holistic ESG program.
White Deer commits to responsible ESG management by:
- Incorporating ESG factors into investment screening, analysis, and due diligence to identify ESG risks & opportunities.
- Establishing ESG programs at new investments within reasonable time periods and fostering a culture of continuous improvement.
- Monitoring and managing ESG risks & opportunities for the firm and its investments through an annual ESG assessment process, utilizing best practices and independent standards, including SASB, GRI, and TCFD metrics.
- Ensuring transparency by reporting White Deer’s ESG goals and performance to its investors and key stakeholders.
- Assigning responsibility for the implementation of White Deer’s ESG Policy to leaders of the firm and executives at portfolio companies.
Investment Screening & Due Diligence
During the pre-investment process, White Deer will determine whether a target investment (i) presents substantial ESG-related risks or benefits and (ii) exhibits alignment with White Deer’s ESG Policy. The results of this diligence will be reported to the investment committee and included in the investment committee memoranda.
During the first 6 months of White Deer’s ownership in a new investment (or longer as appropriate for each company), White Deer will partner with company management to create an ESG program and establish annual goals and objectives for identifying and acting on ESG-related risks and opportunities.
Ongoing Monitoring & Reporting
White Deer will seek to maintain transparency in its ESG reporting and investment decisions by annually reporting on our ESG progress and outcomes. White Deer commits to align with the voluntary framework of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).
Utilizing the Value Reporting Foundation’s Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Standards, the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) Disclosures, and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) as reputable frameworks, White Deer and portfolio company management teams will identify material ESG KPIs and annually assess and report portfolio company performance against those KPIs. These KPIs will include Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 GHG emissions as well as reporting of TCFD’s Annex D metrics, which seek to normalize GHG emissions to financial performance. White Deer not only views GHG emissions measurement, both absolute and intensity-based, as a mechanism by which we can facilitate the decarbonization of our investments, but also as a tool to highlight ESG-related risks and opportunities to each company’s business model — particularly Scope 3 (value chain) emissions.
This ongoing monitoring and reporting process is designed to contextualize opportunities for improvement, define next steps for White Deer’s governance of ESG performance across its investments, and provide stakeholder transparency.
Governing ESG Policy Implementation
The full investment team at White Deer shares responsibility for driving the adoption of this policy at the firm and each portfolio company. As board members and partners with portfolio company management teams, implementation and adoption of ESG policies at each company will be included in annual management incentive plans and reviewed during quarterly board meetings. The CEO and CFO of each portfolio company will be held responsible for managing and implementing an ESG program for their company that meets or surpasses White Deer’s objectives as laid out in this policy.