"The outcomes of COP28 only serve to further reinforce the need for every business to be part of the change and embrace their role in building a sustainable economy."
- Emma Bickerstaff, Managing Director at Holtara & Head of ESG Product at the Group
On the 30th November 2023, government representatives from across the globe gathered in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to decide how to limit and prepare for future climate change. This was the 28th annual United Nations (UN) climate meeting and likely the most controversial with UAE remaining on the world’s top ten oil-producing nations. Despite this, COP28 saw international agreement on the need to “transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems.”
In 2019, Apex Group (‘the Group’) was one of the first in the industry to launch an ESG solution. But with the transition away from fossil fuels remaining at the top of the international agenda, the Group has decided to merge internal expertise with recently acquired MJ Hudson to launch a new sustainability services brand, Holtara.
Holtara aims to bring a level of robustness to ESG data with a global team of sustainability specialists helping clients set meaningful targets and identify improvement pathways. The sustainability subsidiary hopes to move beyond the ESG ‘tick-box approach’ which promotes greenwashing, to help clients implement real change.
Holtara has been designed to simplify and streamline ESG reporting to enable clients to comply with global regulation and align with industry frameworks. Its advisory service, delivered by 80+ ESG specialists, provides advice on topics such as carbon & climate, impact, DEI, and supply chain, as well as assist with setting realistic ESG commitments and ESG-related business decisions. The platform is powered by leading data tools with the aim of being a sustainability partner throughout the investment life cycle, from policy & regulatory compliance to exit planning.
Emma Bickerstaffe, Head of ESG Product at the Group, will lead the initiative, reporting to Chris Mulhern, Chief Product & Technology Officer. She believes greater political and shareholder scrutiny of ESG claims means there’s now an “urgent need for accurate data, transparent reporting, and meaningful sustainability commitments.”
“We recognise the importance of combining platform and people services to not only simplify and streamline ESG reporting, but also to ensure expertise is on hand to help clients focus on the most material topics, verify collected data and prioritise initiatives to improve performance year on year,” she explained.
Peter Hughes, Founder & CEO of the Group said Holtara is an “important milestone in our ESG journey, and through bringing together the existing Apex ESG offering, and the additional expertise brought in through the MJ Hudson acquisition […] we can deliver a powerful offering.”
“Holtara enables us to empower the private markets to both achieve their financial goals, while making a positive impact on the world around them,” he concluded.