Anthesis, the largest group of dedicated sustainability professionals globally, and one of the UK’s fastest-growing private companies , has secured a significant minority investment from Palatine Private Equity, a responsibly-driven, mid-market private equity firm.
This backing from a top private equity house comes as Anthesis also achieves the prestigious B Corp accreditation, given to businesses that are shown to meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and legal accountability. Both announcements cement Anthesis’ position as the firm that will activate sustainable performance during this critical ten-year period, named by the UN as the ‘decisive decade’ due to the ambitious action needed to deliver sustainable development.
With the world’s attention on COP 26 in Glasgow in November, where 197 countries and territories will report on their progress to a net-zero economy, Anthesis is committed to amplifying its impact to tackle the world’s climate emergency. The world needs to reduce net annual greenhouse emissions by at least 40GT by mid-century to align with the IPCC’s 1.5⁰C climate ambition .
Based on the current number of clients Anthesis is working with to set Science-based Targets, develop Net Zero strategies and implement GHG emissions reduction programs at-large, paired with the growth ambitions achievable through Palatine’s investment, Anthesis is setting its own goal to support its clients to avoid, reduce, and remove at least 3GT of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. This is equal to reducing or removing over half of the United States’ annual emissions  (5.29 GT), the second-highest country behind China for emissions, or equal to the UK’s annual emissions (0.37GT) over the next eight years.
Established in 2013 and growing upwards of 20% in revenue annually, Anthesis’ 600 experts will benefit from Palatine’s award-wining ESG framework, unique expertise in returns-focused impact investing, and its highly successful track record in buy-and build, which has included completing more than 200 acquisitions to date. The investment will propel the digital and consulting firm’s ambitious strategic plans across the decade’s most material global systems: net-zero impact; carbon remediation; product circularity; land use; and inclusive economies.
Stuart McLachlan, CEO of Anthesis, commented, “We have ten years to effect change. Our market is now awake to the reality of climate impact and the need for unsustainable brands and organisational models to transform. Anthesis is positioned in the middle of these commercial and sustainable performance drivers. We are constantly looking at how we can scale our impact by helping our clients navigate through these constraints, risks, and opportunities.”
McLachlan continues, ”While we have achieved strong growth since the Company was formed in 2013, we need to accelerate progress, and I am delighted that Palatine is joining us on this journey. Palatine understands that the way business repositions their brands and operations to become a force for good will determine future performance, or more relevantly sustainable performance.”
The financial markets have responded to this agenda with an explosion of interest in environmentally and socially conscious businesses, with the impact investment market globally valued at $715 billion . Anthesis’ funding will strengthen its market-leading position, enabling it to continue to grow by acquisition and fast track its impact through digitalisation, while ultimately helping businesses around the world to accelerate their sustainability strategies.
The acquisition combines investment from both Palatine’s Buyout Fund and its Impact Fund, which is the first dedicated returns-focused impact fund launched in the mid-market to back profitable companies which have a positive impact on the environment or society.
Beth Houghton, Partner and Head of the Impact Fund, said, “Anthesis is an outstanding purpose-led business and a trusted partner to global, household name brands, major corporates and forward-thinking cities, as they work to address one of the great social and economic challenges of our time, sustainability.
“Anthesis’ mission-driven approach aligns with our long-term commitment to place purpose and responsibility at the heart of our investment strategy. We see tremendous growth potential as more progressive businesses seek out expert support to embrace sustainability in a meaningful way. We are thrilled to be working closely with Stuart and the Anthesis team and take the business to the next level.”
From designing a waste ‘track and trace’ tool for the UK Government and managing Tesco’s 10,000-supplier network, to certifying Amazon’s Climate Pledge Friendly programme and supporting Target with its Scope 3 Science Based Target, Anthesis is proud to support its 1000 clients, including 25% of the FTSE 100 and 65 of the Fortune 500, with their sustainability ambitions. Since its inception, Anthesis has acquired 13 businesses including impact innovation strategist GoodBrand and 200-strong Spanish consultancy, Lavola.
 Sunday Times Fast Track 100, 2020