Notre approche RSE

Investir dans la Croissance Durable

Bien avant que la RSE s’immisce dans le paysage du private equity, nous avions conscience que la responsabilité sociale des entreprises leur permettait d’améliorer leurs perspectives de croissance et de mieux gérer les risques, de réduire la consommation de ressources et d’améliorer l’efficacité opérationnelle. C’est une question de bon sens. Nous avons créé Argos Wityu avec la RSE comme source d’innovation et de nouvelles opportunités.

« Chez Argos Wityu, nous voulons soutenir la croissance durable et la création de valeur en allant au-delà d’une approche purement financière»

Gilles Mougenot

Managing Partner

Les Actions RSE de nos Sociétés

Pour être durable, la croissance d’une société doit s’appuyer sur un système de gestion responsable qui prend en compte les facteurs environnementaux, sociaux et de gouvernance (ESG). Opérant au niveau européen, Argos Wityu encourage et soutient toutes les entreprises de son portefeuille sur ces questions.

Coralie CORNET

MEMBRE DE L’EQUIPE RSE CHEZ ARGOS WITYU

Rapport ESG 2021

Chiffres Clés

Emplois créés

+9.3% TCAC
Pour un total de 8 675 ETP

FORMATION

481€ par employé et par an

ENVIRONNEMENT

95% des sociétés accompagnées par Argos Wityu sont engagées dans des initiatives environnementales

19 (100%)

Nombre de sociétés du portefeuille avec un plan d’action RSE

Rapport

 

INTRODUCTION

Les entreprises du portefeuille Argos Wityu accordent une grande importance à l’empreinte environnementale de leurs activités et de leurs employés. En 2020, les sociétés Argos ont approfondi leur gestion environnementale et elles ont bien l’intention de faire de même en 2021.Nous sommes conscients qu’en raison de la nature industrielle des opérations de certaines de nos entreprises, la pertinence de la mise en œuvre de la gestion environnementale est encore plus importante.

Actuellement, 4 entreprises (sur 18, contre 2 l’année dernière) surveillent activement leur empreinte carbone, et 4 autres ont fixé des objectifs pour le faire en 2021. 9 entreprises ont formellement déclaré leur démarche environnementale, et 12 entreprises (contre 10 l’année dernière) recherchent constamment des initiatives pour réduire leur consommation d’énergie.

MATÉRIAUX ET DÉCHETS

Parmi toutes les initiatives environnementales, le suivi de la gestion des déchets est le plus fortement géré. 89 % (contre 82 % en 2019) des entreprises ont mis en place une politique de gestion des déchets et se sont engagées à évaluer en permanence l’impact environnemental de leurs activités. Les entreprises que nous accompagnons ont lancé des programmes de reforestation pour compenser les impacts de la production (par exemple, Lineas et Juratoys) et ont effectué des décontaminations de sites historiques.

Certaines de nos entreprises ont également introduit des politiques de réparation plutôt que de remplacement afin de prolonger la durée de vie des produits. Par ailleurs, d’autres entreprises ont accordé une plus grande importance aux ingrédients utilisés dans leurs produits, en recherchant des ingrédients plus respectueux de l’environnement et plus sains.

 

TRANSPORT

Nos entreprises sont particulièrement bien placées pour réduire les émissions de CO² en stimulant les initiatives de transport. Les politiques actuellement en place sont le covoiturage et l’autopartage ainsi que l’introduction de véhicules électriques dans le parc automobile.

Nos entreprises ont l’intention d’étendre leurs initiatives de transport par des politiques de travail à domicile, l’introduction de voitures hybrides rechargeables dans la flotte, l’élimination progressive des véhicules diesel et la stimulation des transports publics.


INTRODUCTION

Les sociétés de portefeuille jouent un rôle clé dans la promotion du développement durable en créant des emplois et en assurant des conditions de travail décentes qui favorisent l’égalité des chances. En tant que fonds d’investissement privé axé sur la croissance, Argos Wityu soutient les entreprises de son portefeuille dans leurs efforts de création d’emplois.

La crise Covid-19 a eu un faible impact négatif sur notre base d’employés qui, en raison du mix d’activités, est restée limitée. Les sociétés de notre portefeuille les plus exposées à la crise sont la société de logistique Lineas et la société alimentaire Compagnie des Desserts. Si ces sociétés ont perdu un nombre limité d’employés, Cohedron, Olinn, Zodiac Milpro et Fabbri ont toutes connu une croissance de leurs effectifs.

 

Les Actions RSE d’Argos Wityu

INITIATIVE SUR L’EMPREINTE CARBONE.

Depuis 2020, chaque bureau Argos Wityu a initié le projet de calculer son empreinte carbone, avec le soutien de la Fondation GoodPlanet, une organisation non gouvernementale soutenant l’écologie et le développement durable.
La volonté d’Argos Wityu est de compenser son empreinte carbone via le financement de projets initiés par la Fondation GoodPlanet. Cette fondation soutient des projets de solidarité reconnus pour leurs bénéfices en matière de sensibilisation et de lutte contre le changement climatique et la perte de biodiversité. Ces projets concernent entre autres l’accès à l’énergie, la valorisation des déchets, l’agriculture durable, la sylviculture, les écoles bioclimatiques, la conservation de la biodiversité.

CONTRIBUER À UNE SOCIÉTÉ PLUS VERTE

L’empreinte carbone 2020 consolidée de tous les bureaux d’Argos Wityu a diminué de 39% par rapport à 2019 (à 396 tonnes) – principalement grâce à la réduction des voyages en avion. Argos Wityu a financé le montant total de 8 700 € à Natuurpunt, qui utilisera ce financement pour créer 4 350m² de nouvelle forêt dans le quartier de Bruxelles. En outre, chaque bureau s’est engagé à réaliser des initiatives du vendredi, dans lesquelles l’équipe donne du temps à une bonne cause de son choix.
En mars 2022, Argos Wityu s’est mobilisé en faveur de l’Ukraine. Les membres de l’équipe Argos Wityu ont collectivement uni leurs forces pour faire un don à Médecins sans frontières. Plus de 52 500 € ont été collectés en interne. Ce montant a été abondé par Argos Wityu, portant le montant total du don à plus de 105 000 €.

MEMBRE UNPRI et iCi

Argos Wityu est fier d’avoir rejoint l’UNPRI et d’être signataire iCi. Si nous nous sommes toujours engagés à appliquer des principes ESG de premier plan dans nos pratiques, en rejoignant l’UNPRI et l’iCi, Argos Wityu s’est engagé à faire de l’ESG une partie de sa mission principale.

En s’associant à l’UNPRI et l’iCi, Argos Wityu s’engage à appliquer les directives du groupe tout au long des étapes d’investissement, de la gestion du portefeuille, des processus de désinvestissement et de la gestion au sein de sa propre entreprise.

PERIMETER, OBJECTIVES AND DEFINITION

This document covers all the entities of Argos Wityu in Europe and aims at presenting the reasons why Argos Wityu does not consider principal adverse impacts of investment decisions on sustainability factors. Adverse impacts refer to the negative consequences of investments on ESG factors.


HOW WE MONITOR ADVERSE IMPACTS


At Argos Wityu, we firmly believe that corporate social responsibility enables a company to improve its outlook for growth and manage risks more effectively. Such an approach makes it possible to reduce resource consumption and to improve operational efficiency, working conditions and employee relationships. It’s a source of innovation and new opportunities.

On a daily basis, principal adverse impacts are closely monitored by Argos Wityu throughout the investment process, from the due diligence phase to exit. Moreover, Argos Wityu asks its target investments to provide a certain amount of adverse impacts indicators on a quarterly basis:

• Environmental: carbon footprint, environmental approach, initiatives taken to decrease
energy consumption, waste management, etc
• Social: inclusion of women in the company and at the Executive Committee, etc
• Governance: presence of a code of conduct, existence of an anti-corruption policy, depth of the compliance function, etc

Finally, Argos Wityu engages with each target investment on an action plan to improve on material ESG aspects. In doing so, Argos wishes to positively improve the impact of its investments on ESG factors.


WORKING HAND IN HAND WITH TARGET INVESTMENTS TO PROVIDE YOU WITH
THE PRINCIPAL ADVERSE IMPACTS STATEMENT

At Argos Wityu, ESG issues have always been an integral part of our business model for many years. In this context, we have already voluntarily implemented ESG declarations to investors since 2013.

Due to the recent introduction of regulatory requirements on this subject, we are currently adapting our ESG reporting in order to comply with the new indicators set out in the Disclosure Regulation (Regulation EU 2019/2088) that will come into force from 2022 (reference period in 2022 and first statement on 30/06/23 at the latest).
We are making great progress thanks to the active engagement of our companies in transforming themselves to constantly improve their ESG Key Performance Indicators.

For these reasons, and in line with the dispositions of the Disclosure Regulation, we have chosen not to report publicly for now on the principal adverse impacts of our investment decisions on sustainability factors. Our investors will however continue to receive on a quarterly basis their ESG reporting as well as any tailored reporting already provided on these matters. As requested by the Disclosure Regulation, we will provide the full set of KPIs asked by this Regulation on 30/06/2023 at the latest.

THIS POLICY AIMS AT ENSURING THE ALIGNMENT BETWEEN THE BEHAVIOUR OF ITS EMPLOYEES AND
THE LONG-TERM OBJECTIVES OF ARGOS WITYU.

Argos Wityu applies a remuneration policy that is consistent with effective risk management and does not encourage excessive risk-taking, may they result from financial or sustainability risks. This policy aims at ensuring the alignment between the behavior of its employees and the long-term objectives of Argos Wityu. It also wishes to dissuade any risk-taking that is deemed excessive or unacceptable by the company.

The content of Argos Wityu’s remuneration policy is in line with the requirements of the AIFM Directive (Directive EU 2011/61/UE) as well as article 5 of the Disclosure Regulation (Regulation EU 2019/2088) on the transparency of remuneration policies regarding the integration of sustainability risks.

Given the size of the Company’s workforce and for the sake of simplification, Argos has decided to extend the principles of this remuneration policy to all employees of the Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM).

Our remuneration policy takes all risks into account, may they be financial or sustainability risks, and aims at ensuring consistency between employee behavior and the long-term objectives of the company. The implementation of this remuneration policy takes into account the size and internal organization of the AIFM, as well as the nature, diversity and complexity of its activity.

For its beneficiaries, the provision of carried interest allows them to invest in the long run alongside their investors, ensures an optimal alignment of interests between investors, employees, their partners and society and promotes a sound and effective risk management system.

The compliance officer integrates the issue of remuneration into the potential risks of conflicts of interest. This procedure is put in place to minimize the risks in this area. A control of its application is integrated into the compliance officer’s internal control program.

PERIMETER AND OBJECTIVES

This document covers all the entities of Argos Wityu in Europe and aims at presenting how its policies integrate sustainability risks in its investment decision-making and investment advice processes.

DEFINITION AND IMPORTANCE OF INTEGRATING SUSTAINABILITY RISKS

A sustainability risk means an environmental, social or governance event or condition that, if it occurs, could cause a negative material impact on the value of the investment.

At Argos Wityu, we firmly believe that corporate social responsibility enables a company to improve its outlook for growth and manage risks more effectively. Such an approach makes it possible to reduce resource consumption and to improve operational efficiency, working conditions and employee relationships. It’s a source of innovation and new opportunities.

Our ESG methodology and the integration of these risks into our investment strategy thus allows us to achieve the following objectives, as stated in our Responsible Investment Code:

  • Comply with all applicable laws;
  • Endeavour to reduce adverse impacts and enhance positive effects of the business on the environment, employees and all stakeholders;
  • Remain pragmatic and use ESG as drivers for value creation;
  • Commit to continuous improvements with respect to environment, social matters and governance
  • Work over time to apply relevant international best practice standards, with appropriate targets and timetables for achieving them; and
  • Communicate with our partners on their socially responsible initiatives and performance.

 

INTEGRATION OF SUSTAINABILITY ISSUES AND ENGAGEMENT WITH TARGET INVESTMENTS

Argos Wityu is committed to integrating ESG throughout its investment decision-making process, while adapting its approach to each investment to ensure an appropriate and effective strategy. With the support of the ESG team, the investment team is responsible for the implementation of this policy during the different phases of the investment process.

Pre-acquisition: assessment of ESG risks and opportunities

During the pre-acquisition phase, Argos Wityu analyses both financial and ESG drivers through the following steps:

  1. All investments must comply with Argos Wityu’s ESG standards. These include the respect of an exclusion list and of Argos Wityu’s Responsible Investment Code.
  2. An ESG due diligence questionnaire is then conducted by Argos Wityu’s investment teams. This questionnaire enables Argos Wityu’s teams to identify the main ESG-related growth drivers and risks. The questionnaire is based on the documents available, the results of our due diligence measures as well as discussions with target investments’ management. A short synopsis of the main risks and opportunities identified is then included in the notes for the Investment Committee.

Once a target investment is deemed appropriate by the Investment Committee, measures are taken to ensure a thorough ESG knowledge of the target investment and work on an ESG action plan:

  1. Before the closing, an external ESG review is carried out by external advisors in order to better measure identified areas of ESG risks and opportunities uncovered during the internal ESG due diligence phase. The focus of this review is threefold:
    • Identify a small number (typically 1-3) of ESG drivers that could create value or avoid risks of value destruction (reduction in energy consumption, reduction of employee turnover, reputational issues, etc)
    • Put in place an Action Plan to leverage those drivers over a multi-annual period (use of technology using less energy, long term bonuses, etc)
    • Identify ESG Key Performance Indicators to follow this Action Plan (energy consumption in watts per day, employee turnover rate)
  2. Argos Wityu ensures that ESG commitments with target investments are formalized in writing through the following elements:
    • The inclusion of relevant ESG representations and warranties in the Sales and Purchase Agreements (SPAs) signed with target investments
    • The insertion of the following elements in the Shareholders’ Agreement concerning target investments:
      • the recognition of the ESG Principles, stating that value-creation can be obtained from non-financial aspects
      • the need for target investments to comply with Argos Wityu’s Responsible Investment Code
      • the necessity of sending a quarterly reporting to Argos Wityu on ESG aspects (Human Resources and ESG KPIs, advancement of the action plan, etc).

Argos Wityu is committed to integrating ESG throughout its investment decision-making process, while adapting its approach to each investment to ensure an appropriate and effective strategy. With the support of the ESG team, the investment team is responsible for the implementation of this policy during the different phases of the investment process.

 

Investment period: engagement, monitoring and support

Following the acquisition, one key ESG action is chosen based on materiality, in accordance with the management of the target investment. The goal is to monitor and support the target company in order to bring the necessary changes to attain a more sustainable future.

During the holding period, each target investment must send a quarterly reporting to Argos Wityu on the following matters:

  • Reporting on quantitative Human Resources KPIs common to all portfolio companies. These include aspects like headcount, turnover, training intensity, injuries and absenteeism
  • Reporting on ESG KPIs that embody the following elements:
    • Environmental: carbon footprint, environmental approach, initiatives taken to decrease energy consumption, waste management, etc
    • Social: inclusion of women in the company and at the Executive Committee, etc
    • Governance: presence of a code of conduct, existence of an anti-corruption policy, depth of the compliance function, etc
  • Reporting on progress on the firm’s ESG Action plan

Upon reception of the reporting, Argos Wityu’s investment teams ensure that an ongoing engagement with the target investment’s firms is made by:

  • Ensuring that HR and ESG KPIs action plan are properly monitored and recorded
  • Challenging management progress on HR KPIs and ESG KPIs
  • Questioning whether new actions / KPIs should be added

Finally, the key ESG action specific to each target investment is to be discussed at the target company’s board level at least once per year.

 

Exit: capturing the potential ESG value-added

ESG Due Diligences at Exit are only put in place in the following cases:

  • When the topic is of specific interest given the industry (for example when the company is in a sector known for its pollution risks such as extractive or metal transformation industry, or other social risks such as labour in the apparel industry) and/or given the company’s positioning in the value chain, or
  • When the illustration of how ESG action created value or limited risks on value creation is reasonably material

In this case, an ESG Vendor Due Diligence is carried out by an external advisor. The goal is to:

  • Describe the company’s behavior in ESG area
  • Identify how implementation of the ESG Action Plan created value
  • Use HR and ESG KPIs collected in quarterly reporting during the investment period
  • Demonstrate that the ESG Action Plan did have an impact on the evolution of KPIs (reduction of waste, energy consumption, employee turnover, …)

 

Focus on climate change and biodiversity risks (French Energy & Climate Law)

Argos Wityu takes into account the impact of its investments on climate change and biodiversity in its ESG investment-decision process, in particular through:

  • The monitoring of the environmental indicators of targets analysed
  • The implementation of an engagement policy with target investments in order to improve their impact


INTEGRATION OF SUSTAINABILITY RISKS THROUGHOUT ARGOS WITYU’S ORGANISATION

Focus on the ESG Team

At Argos Wityu we believe that ESG must be taken into account and therefore we have a dedicated ESG team that communicates on these matters and answers to the top management. They mainly work on:

  • Collecting ESG KPIs for our portfolio of companies with the help of the investment teams
  • Maintaining a portfolio-wide view of HR and ESG KPIs
  • Exchanging best practices and examples of actions

Our ESG team also raises awareness and trains our staff on ESG with regular ESG coffees and annual trainings on ESG topics.


The dissemination of ESG practices throughout the organisation

Sustainability risks are considered in a cross-divisional approach by all Argos Wityu’s teams:

  • Integration of sustainability risks in research work and exchanges with target investments
  • Involvement of asset managers in the effective integration of ESG principles and the understanding of their impact on target investments
  • Quarterly ESG reporting put in place towards Argos Wityu’s investors

Our Risk, Compliance and Internal Control teams are dedicated to ensuring that ESG criteria are duly taken into account during the due diligence phase and monitored throughout our relationship with the companies in portfolio. They work closely with our ESG dedicated team and our investment team aiming at improving our ESG standards.

 

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