Blackstone, the private equity powerhouse with $205bn (€160.9bn) in assets under management and a client roster including pension funds and endowments, is to install solar panels at its portfolio companies to save costs and improve environmental performance.
The initiative, across the firm’s private equity, real estate advisory arms, is part of a “focus on sustainability” at the companies it manages and advises.
New York-listed Blackstone, co-founded by industry pioneer Stephen Schwarzman, said the systems would be free of charge and be owned, operated, and maintained by third party investors.
Portfolio companies will buy solar power via long-term power purchase agreements and solar photovoltaic development firm Smart Energy Capital will provide project development and maintenance.
“Blackstone’s latest sustainability initiative complements our on-going success in reducing energy costs and driving environmental performance improvement acrossour portfolio,” said Don Anderson, Blackstone’s Chief Sustainability Officer.
“Our portfolio companies and clients can easily take advantage of this program to speed the application of renewable technologies across our retail, industrial, and hospitality companies.”
The move reflects an increasing awareness of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues among the private equity industry’s marquee names.
In June Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts (KKR), said incorporating ESG factors was “key” to its success. And rival firm Carlyle is working with Dutch pension management giants PGGM and APG to help it improve its ESG practices.
Blackstone was founded in 1985 by Schwarzman and Peter Peterson and has more than 1,500 limited partners (investor clients), including public and corporate pension funds, academic endowments and charitable foundations, sovereign wealth funds and others. Blackstone announcement