Investment management firm Eurazeo announced today that it has appointed Sophie Flak, Managing Partner, CSR and Digital, to its Executive Committee. The firm also announced new sustainability targets, launching its new ESG initiative, O+, aimed at achieving zero net carbon by 2040 at the latest and playing a role in bridging the widening social gaps.

Flak joined Eurazeo in 2013, after serving as Corporate Social Responsibility Executive vice President and Executive Committee member at AccorHotels. She currently sits on the supervisory boards of Seqens, Europcar and Redspher. She is a member of the French Digital Council, a member of the EFRAG working group on non-financial reporting standards and serves as President of the non-profit organization Research on Yoga in Education.

Virginie Morgon, CEO of Eurazeo, said:

“Sophie Flak is a principled woman who has spent over seven years making Eurazeo a pioneering force in CSR and digital in the private equity market. In the current context where economic models are undergoing a fundamental shift, Sophie has the skills we need to step up the speed of transformation for our portfolio companies. Her appointment coincides with the launch of O+, which bolsters Eurazeo’s ambition to become a catalyst for positive change in society. I am delighted she is joining the Executive Committee, to which she will bring her expertise in sustainable development and tech.”

According to Eurazeo, the decision to include the CSR head to the Executive Committee demonstrates the firm’s commitment to sustainable and responsible investment, as well as the strategic importance of the new O+ initiative.

Flak said:

“I am honoured to be joining Eurazeo’s Executive Committee. I would like to thank Virginie Morgon and the Executive Board for the trust they are placing in me and my team. This appointment demonstrates the central position Eurazeo has been giving CSR matters in its strategy for several years now. I am proud to fly the flag for the O+ program to bring about positive change in society by promoting a low carbon, more inclusive economy.”

Eurazeo stated that the establishment of its 0+ initiative positions the firm as the first in its sector to set the ambitious goal to achieve zero net carbon by 2040, in alignment with the Science Based Targets initiative. The investment manager’s efforts will include reducing carbon risk and exposure to carbon costs, integrating carbon measurement at each stage of the investment cycle, and investing in low carbon economy assets, such as those offering significant potential to cut emissions. The firm will set an exclusion policy, precluding investments in carbon-intensive assets, or those counter to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

The firm’s plans also include implementing decarbonisation plans in accordance with the criteria of the Science Based Targets initiative for both the company and for portfolio companies, in order to achieve net zero emissions by 2040 at the latest.

On the social front, Eurazeo will promote a more inclusive economy, by advancing gender equality, access to social protection and equal opportunities. These initiatives will revolve around three primary objectives: combatting gender inequality, enabling access to social protection cover and value creation, and supporting equality of opportunity by creating a fund, with initial capital of €3 million, to support non-profits working in support of education and child welfare.

 Commenting on the new 0+ initiative, Virginie Morgon said:

“Eurazeo is a pioneer among its peers, leading the way in the ESG space for nearly 15 years. As CEO of an investment firm supporting more than 430 companies, I see the benefits our ESG expertise brings to our stakeholders every day. For each of our portfolio companies, ESG is a means to drive value creation and performance improvements. As the challenges presented by the climate crisis increase in severity, we believe it is imperative that we do our part and strive to be as sustainable as possible. It is for this reason that our firm is launching O+ the new step of its ambitious environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy focused on climate and inclusion. Our commitment to ESG is in line with our convictions, our history and our identity. By promoting a low carbon and more inclusive economy, we want to drive positive change in society.”

Sophie Flak, added:

“ESG has always been a key priority for Eurazeo. Today, we are facing a society shift. Given the increasing effects of climate change, conflicts over resources are set to escalate, as well as social and geopolitical crises. We need to rethink our models! It is the very condition of our continued performance and resilience. As investors, it is our responsibility to select the companies that will be able to adapt and thrive in this new economic and social context, and it is also our duty to support them through this transition. Climate change and social inclusion are the most critical challenges of our time. In our line of business, we can have an exponential effect to bring about positive change. And we are determined to do so.”