NiroImpact: The Importance of ESG for Private Market Investment

The Importance of ESG for Private Market Investment

As the world becomes increasingly aware of the impact of business practices on the environment and society, there is a growing trend towards considering Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors in investment decisions. While the public markets have been grappling with ESG for some time, the private markets have only recently started to embrace it. This article will explore the reasons why private market investors should prioritize ESG, and how it can contribute to long-term success and sustainable investment returns.

What is ESG?

ESG is a set of criteria used to assess a company's environmental impact, social responsibility, and governance practices. Environmental criteria include things like energy efficiency, carbon emissions, and waste management. Social criteria focus on issues like human rights, labor standards, and community relations. Governance criteria assess a company's leadership, management structure, and accountability.

Why Should Private Market Investors Prioritize ESG?

There are several reasons why private market investors should prioritize ESG. Firstly, it has been shown that companies with strong ESG practices outperform their peers in the long-term. A study by MSCI ESG Research found that companies with high ESG scores outperformed their low ESG score peers by 2.5% per year over a 10-year period.

Secondly, ESG factors are increasingly important to stakeholders, including customers, employees, and investors. Companies with strong ESG practices are better able to attract and retain top talent, as well as retain loyal customers. This can lead to increased revenue and a stronger brand.

Finally, ESG investment can help to mitigate risk in a portfolio. Companies with poor ESG practices are more likely to face regulatory challenges, legal issues, and negative media coverage. Investing in companies with strong ESG practices can help to mitigate these risks and provide long-term stability for a portfolio.

How to Incorporate ESG into Private Market Investment

Incorporating ESG into private market investment is not as straightforward as in public markets, where there are established indices and ETFs. However, private market investors can still make a positive impact by using ESG criteria to screen investment opportunities, and by actively engaging with portfolio companies on ESG issues.

One way to screen investment opportunities is to use ESG ratings provided by companies such as MSCI ESG Research or Sustainalytics. These ratings can provide a good starting point for investors looking to incorporate ESG into their investment process.

Another approach is to engage with portfolio companies on ESG issues. This can be done through regular communication and engagement with company management, and by voting on ESG-related shareholder proposals. By actively engaging with portfolio companies on ESG issues, private market investors can help to drive positive change and contribute to long-term sustainable investment returns.


Private market investors have a unique opportunity to make a positive impact through ESG investment. By considering ESG factors in investment decisions, investors can contribute to long-term success, increase returns, and mitigate risk. With the trend towards ESG growing, it is increasingly important for private market investors to prioritize ESG in their investment processes.

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