Our responsible management approach
As a long-term and listed investor, GBL has developed an ESG Policy, reflecting the core values that guide GBL on environmental, social and governance issues. It presents the commitments and implementation guidelines regarding all three ESG pillars.
As a responsible company
In spite of its non-material direct impact from an environmental and social standpoint, GBL values ESG responsibility and awareness. The group has a long history as a responsible employer and demonstrates integrity and strict ethical standards. For more information please refer to the section 2 of our ESG Report 2021.
As a responsible investor
GBL’s material impact is primarily indirect, i.e. through the companies composing its portfolio. Incorporating ESG factors into its investment analysis, from the pre-investment phase to the post-investment phase, enhances performance over the long term. This is further described in section 3 of our ESG Report 2021, which details GBL’s ESG positioning as a responsible investor and reviews the key commitments of its portfolio companies.
United Nations Global Compact principles
GBL is formally committed to the United Nations Global Compact (“UNGC”) initiative since 2018. Adhering to the UNGC and its 10 principles (covering human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption) allowed GBL to cover all general areas that could be impacted by its activities.
GBL’s ESG report has been prepared as part of the Annual Report 2021 in accordance with (i) the Directive 2014/95/EU on non-financial reporting (transposed into the Belgian law of September 3, 2017), (ii), the Global Reporting Initiative ("GRI") Standards - Core option and (iii) the Sustainability Accounts Standards Board (“SASB”) – Asset Management & Custody Activities guidelines. The report covers the calendar year 2021 (i.e. from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021).
PwC has provided ISAE 3000 limited assurance on selected environmental and social KPIs, marked with a Greek small letter beta (ß) of the Annual Report 2021 presented in accordance with the management guidelines as set out in section 1 of the Annual Report 2021.
Considering the challenges and threats of climate change, GBL publicly endorses the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and supports the adoption of the Task force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (“TCFD”) recommendations and the development of long term adaptation and mitigation climate strategies for GBL and its portfolio of participations.
Under its 2025-2030 ESG commitments, GBL aims to maintain a climate-neutral company status.
Since 2021, GBL is committed to the Science Based Targets initiative (“SBTi”). In January 2022, GBL’s climate targets aligned with a 1.5°C pathway have been approved by SBTi.
Key ESG commitments of portfolio companies
The portfolio companies identify and address their ESG impact and associated risks within the framework of their own internal control. This section highlights their strategic ESG accomplishments, commitments and goals.