Polaris Sustainability Report 2022

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Introducing our Digital Sustainability Report

We are happy to present our latest Polaris Sustainability Report in a new digital format instead of a conventional document.

By transitioning to a digital format, we can make real-time updates and over time integrate multimedia and interactive features into our report. This allows us to create a more dynamic and engaging experience. With this digital online Sustainability Report, we invite you to explore our progress, initiatives, and future aspirations.

If you need this report as a separate document, you can also download the content as a PDF here.



  • Polaris Management A/S (“Polaris”) is a fund manager based in Copenhagen, Denmark, and is the issuer of this sustainability report.
  • Polaris Management A/S manages funds under the name Polaris which makes investments in mid-sized business in the Nordic region. On the 31st of December 2022, we had two investment strategies that managed three active funds with a total of EUR 1.3bn in assets under management:
    • Polaris Private Equity strategy: majority equity investments
    • Polaris Flexible Capital strategy: junior debt and minority investments
  • Our investors are reputable institutions based in the Nordics and in Europe.
  • We have a responsibility towards our many stakeholders, and we are committed to promoting sustainability throughout Polaris to honor this responsibility. We work with sustainability for two reasons:
    • It is a moral imperative – it is the right thing to do.
    • It is an integrated part of long-term value creation.
  • Within the scope of sustainability, we include assessments and management of potential social, environmental, and economic impacts according to the internationally agreed principles for sustainable development consisting of the UN Guiding Principles and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational enterprises. These are our Sustainability Principles.
  • Our commitment to sustainability is executed broadly throughout Polaris and affects our activities throughout our investment process, active ownership and exit as well as the operations of our portfolio companies in our different investment strategies and in the operations of Polaris Management A/S.
  • We believe that the sustainability related risks and opportunities are unique for each company. Each of our mid-sized companies are also in various stages of their sustainability journey. In addition to this, the way that we are able to impact each of our companies, and how we collaborate with them, is dependent on the governance rights we have in each case, which differs between our different investment strategies. We must therefore evaluate the situation of each potential investment and portfolio company individually and also ensure that our way of working with sustainability allows for individualization in approach and adaption to each company’s situation and our governance rights, while making sure that we adhere to our general principles and minimum requirements. We therefor develop a general approach to sustainability for all of Polaris and then operationalize these for each investment strategy based on their specific situation.
  • To be transparent about how we address sustainability across Polaris, we report on the status and progress of our work regularly and this is our third annual sustainability report. In our position as majority owners, we are able to provide more detailed information about the developments in the portfolio companies in the Polaris Private Equity strategy. In addition to our public sustainability reporting and policies relating to sustainability, we provide our investors with more extensive information concerning the performance of our portfolio companies.
  • Our industry is subject to many extensive regulations and various industry guidelines, and we invest significant resources in ensuring that we are continuously compliant and act in accordance with these. As an Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM), our funds fall under the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation 2019/2088 (“the SFDR”). Our approach to sustainability described in this report is applied to our most recent active funds in our private equity strategy, Polaris Private Equity IV and Polaris Private Equity V, launched in 2015 and 2021, and they therefor fall under SFDR – Article 8. The first fund in our newly launched strategy, Polaris Flexible Capital, also fall under SFDR – Article 8. These strategies and funds constituted 100% of our invested capital per 31.12.2022.

Letter from our managing partner

Since our last report, we can again look back and see that sustainability continued to increase in importance, both for us in our role as an investor in Nordic mid-sized companies as well as for our portfolio companies. At the same time, the complexity is also increasing with new regulations and a myriad of standards and interpretations of what is sustainable and how to measure it. We expect this situation to continue and require us to continuously adapt and develop the way we structure our work.

We are happy to continue to see many examples of how our portfolio companies in our private equity funds create value from sustainability initiatives. By addressing their impacts and showing progress, they are able to increase their competitiveness, improve their attractiveness as employers and sometimes even decrease their costs. Our portfolio company Link Logistics is a great example as they are now providing their customers with regular data on the emissions from Link’s products and can start to advise them on how to make reductions. Their efforts were also recognized as they won Polaris Excellence Model Award in Sustainability in 2022.

Our commitment to the UN Guiding principles and OECD Guidelines for Multinational corporations remain and is at the core of our work with sustainability. Our portfolio companies are also continuously on-boarded on this management system and conduct impact due diligence on their own operations with the help of our advisors in the area. We are happy to see that this approach is built into the new EU regulatory framework.

As part of our process to continuously develop our sustainability structure and performance, we continued our close collaboration with our portfolio companies. An important way of doing this is through Polaris Sustainability Group where we regularly gather the sustainability leads in our companies to discuss key developments and share experiences and best practices.

As part of our overall commitment to sustainability, we consider sustainability related risks and opportunities, including Principal Adverse Impacts on sustainability factors (“PAIs”) as defined by the recent EU regulations (SFDR). We therefore for the first time published a PAI statement for Polaris Management A/S for 2022. This is available publicly on our web site (sustainability-related disclosures). Our investors are also increasingly focused on sustainability and showing an increasing interest in how we work and notably data on our actual status, performance and progress. We are now reporting extensively to many of them on our activities in Polaris as well as in our portfolio companies in our private equity funds according to various standards and templates. We also shared the detailed calculations and data per fund and portfolio company underlying our PAI statement with all investors. Although this requires a lot of resources from us and our companies, we want to be transparent and we appreciate the close dialogue we have with many of our investors on sustainability.

Sustainability continues to be a focus area for Polaris and we will continue to develop our work in this area across our investment process. We believe some years remain until this area will standardize and mature so we need to work closely together to find a way forward that directs as much resources as possible to real improvements. We invite our stakeholders to engage with us in this process.

Jan Johan Kühl | Managing Partner | Polaris Management A/S

“We believe some years remain until this area will standardize and mature so we need to work closely together to find a way forward that directs as much resources as possible to real improvements."

Our progress

Explore the highlights of our work during the year

How to navigate our sustainability reporting

The purpose of our sustainability reporting is to provide an overview and status update on the work with sustainability at Polaris. The following sections define how we structure our work with sustainability and provide a comprehensive overview and status of our work.

1. Sustainability at Polaris

This section is an introduction to sustainability in Polaris along with the highlights of the period.

2. Our Sustainability Strategy Go to section

Outlines our Sustainability Strategy at Polaris across investment strategies, including our ambitions and approach to working with sustainability as an investment manager, hereunder;

  • How sustainability plays a role in our investment strategy, investment process and ownership process
  • Our main focus areas within sustainability
  • The frameworks and standards we use and why we use them

3. Polaris Private Equity Go to section

How we are working with sustainability in our private equity strategy and in our portfolio through ‘Polaris Sustainability Program’, how our portfolio is performing, and the progress on our sustainability focus areas.

4. Polaris Management Go to section

Summary of our work with sustainability in our own organization in Polaris Management and our office in Copenhagen. As with our portfolio companies, we have also conducted the work that is outlined in ‘Polaris Sustainability Program’ internally and provides a status hereof in this section.