Environmental • Social • Governance

Onex has been a responsible investor for 36 years and views sound governance and good environmental and social practices as key tenets of successful investing.

“In our 1987 Annual Report – our first after going public – we wrote that a guiding principle of our firm is to invest in ‘living, breathing’ companies, not share certificates. We have always done well by investing responsibly and believe ESG dimensions are important value creation and risk mitigation levers.”
– Gerry Schwartz, Chairman & CEO


Onex’ leadership supports the continuous enhancement of the Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) program, which is stewarded by the ESG Committee. The ESG Committee has membership from each investing platform and the corporate office. In addition to enhancing Onex’ holistic approach to ESG, the Committee enables the sharing of best practices across investment platforms and operating companies.

Onex is a Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (“SASB”) Alliance Member and has also adopted the American Investment Council Guidelines for Responsible Investing (“AIC Guidelines”). With a global, sophisticated investor base and investment platforms that include industry leading businesses in a wide variety of sectors, we strive to apply and share principles of our environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) framework across our business.

Our ESG Principles

Be responsible

We encourage environmental stewardship and protection throughout the businesses in which our platforms invest.

Protect our people

We support an equal, diverse, inclusive and safe work environment.

Be ethical and transparent

We adhere and expect the businesses in which we invest to adhere to the highest level of ethical conduct, fairness and transparency.

Monitor and manage

Across our platforms, we seek to engage in an ESG dialogue with the companies we are analyzing and/or investing in to understand how they manage their most material ESG issues and will monitor the results. Onex’ private equity funds require all operating companies to develop, adopt and maintain effective ESG programs supported by annual reporting and certifications.

As a publicly listed company since 1987, our governance policies have consistently evolved and expanded to ensure our practices meet or exceed regulatory requirements. In 2016, we adopted the AIC Guidelines, which were developed under the umbrella of the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investing. In 2017, we established our Integrated ESG Framework. In 2019, Onex’ leadership supported the firm to become a SASB Alliance Member. We formally consider the SASB financially material and industry specific metrics across our investment platforms throughout the investing lifecycle. These steps did not mark a change in how we do business or our view as to the importance of responsible investing, but rather are formal acknowledgements of the standards we have always believed are fundamental to successful investing.

Our ESG Strategy

We invest our own capital and that of investors from around the world, including public and private pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, family offices and high net worth individuals. We recognize that integrating ESG considerations into investment decisions can have a direct influence in creating value and mitigating risk for our shareholders and investors. We consider SASB’s financially material and industry specific issue areas across our investment platforms throughout the investing lifecycle. We also avoid investments which we believe provide harmful or unacceptable products or services.

Investor & Asset Manager

As an investor and asset manager, we understand that developing stronger and more stable companies facilitates growth, risk mitigation and improved results. We understand the positive impact ethical and stable companies can have in bolstering local communities, workforces and society in general.

Thought Partner

With 35 years of investment and management experience, we have developed a successful approach to investing within each of our platforms. Our private equity funds pursue opportunities in partnership with talented management teams to effect change and build market leaders. Our private equity funds typically acquire a control position, which allows us to drive important initiatives, such as improved ESG standards, and effectively support change at our businesses. Our private credit and wealth management platforms make non-control investments and seek to engage with company management on ESG matters.

Responsible Investor & Respected Community Member

We are committed to our stakeholders – shareholders, investors, employees, operating companies and the communities we operate in. We also have the opportunity and motivation to be mindful of ESG issues, which form an important part of our investment and management decisions. We believe responsible investing requires ongoing discussion and continuous learning and improvement.

Our ESG Commitments

Responsible Investing & Environment

Onex has formally adopted the AIC Guidelines and SASB metrics to systematically consider ESG risks and opportunities in potential investments while also relying on our operational depth and lengthy experience as an asset manager.

All Onex investment platforms perform extensive due diligence and research on prospective investments to identify and address significant risks and opportunities, including ESG matters, using internal experts as well as external legal, environmental and/or other specialist advisors as appropriate. We also avoid investments which we believe provide harmful or unacceptable products or services.

Across our platforms, we seek to engage in ESG dialogue with potential and existing investments to understand how material ESG issues are managed. Onex’ private equity funds have developed an ESG Due Diligence Questionnaire that is completed on every operating company in which they invest. The identification of key ESG risks and the development of a post-closing plan to address them, is part of our investment approval process. Our private credit and wealth management platforms consider ESG factors throughout the investing lifecycle.

The SASB disclosure topics serve as the starting point for deal teams in the diligence of ESG issue areas:

SASB Dimension SASB Disclosure Topic

GHG Emissions

Air Quality

Energy Management

Water & Wastewater Management

Waste & Hazardous Materials Mgmt.

Ecological Impacts

Social Capital

Human Rights & Community Relations

Customer Privacy

Data Security

Access & Affordability

Product Quality & Safety

Customer Welfare

Selling Practices & Product Labeling

Human Capital

Labor Practices

Employee Health & Safety

Employee Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion

Business Model & Innovation

Product Design & Lifecycle Management

Business Model Resilience

Supply Chain Management

Materials Sourcing & Efficiency

Physical Impacts of Climate Change

Leadership & Governance

Business Ethics

Competitive Behavior

Mgmt. of the Legal & Regulatory Environment

Critical Incident Risk Management

Systemic Risk Management

Social: Diversity & Community Values

Onex recognizes that a diverse team and inclusive environment is a competitive advantage and contributes to our continued success as an investor and asset manager. We encourage and support Onex employees to be charitable, both with their time and their capital, to important causes in our communities.

Recent examples of our commitment to social and community values include:

  • Onex has adopted a Diversity and Inclusion Policy, which supports gender diversity and “diversity other than gender” objectives throughout the organization;
  • Onex is committed to the continued professional development of women at the firm. We periodically sponsor a multi-day leadership communications program created exclusively to help women develop into future leaders; and
  • Onex team members across its Toronto, New York, New Jersey and London offices directly participate in, and are encouraged to volunteer their time to, local charitable causes and community-based initiatives, including supporting shelters for abused women and families, homeless outreach programs, hospital fundraising initiatives, tutoring and mentorship programs, and various food and clothing drives. Many Onex team members, both senior and junior, also volunteer in leadership roles of numerous charitable boards and committees. See the Onex in the Community page for more details.








Sound Governance

Responsible governance throughout Onex and across our investing platforms is fundamental to the success of our organization. As an investor and asset manager, Onex, our team members and our investors demand a high level of governance oversight, which builds trust and confidence in Onex’ stewardship of capital.

Maintaining sound governance practices requires continual assessment of governance trends, regulations and recommended practices and how they can be applied to our business. Equally important for Onex is to monitor, understand and apply lessons learned from governance successes and miscues experienced throughout our organization and our industry. Our private equity funds’ governance structure for controlled operating businesses include the following core elements:

  • Majority independent boards and committees that meet quarterly or more frequently if required;
  • Quarterly and annual audits of financial statements in accordance with IFRS principles; and
  • Corporate governance policies, including whistleblower, codes of business conduct and ethics, anti-bribery, anti-corruption and environmental policies, backed up by appropriate training and testing programs, must be implemented with any material issues reported directly to Onex’ private equity funds.

We also maintain strict conflict of interest, technology usage/cybersecurity and anti-harassment policies, which are reinforced to Onex team members through:

  • Quarterly compliance certifications;
  • Anti-sexual harassment training;
  • Code of conduct and ethics training; and
  • Cybersecurity training.

ESG in Action

Onex is pleased that many of the operating companies in its private equity funds have taken the initiative to design and implement ESG programs that demonstrate leadership in their respective industries and sectors. There are various examples of ESG successes across the Onex private equity portfolio. Below are a few examples that aim to highlight recent achievements and developments.

SIG Combibloc Group

SIG Combibloc Group (“SIG”) is a progressive leader in integrating ESG policies and practices into its worldwide operations. Acquired by Onex in March 2015, SIG is the second-largest provider of aseptic carton packaging globally, providing beverage and food producers with comprehensive aseptic packaging systems, including proprietary filing machines and a corresponding portfolio of carton sleeves and closures. As an operator of 11 production facilities worldwide, SIG’s 5,000 employees serve a mix of leading multinational and regional customers in over 40 nations.

SIG Logo

SIG strives to be Way Beyond Good. As part of its ESG commitment, SIG has set an objective to be a net positive company by contributing more to society and the environment than it takes out across its entire value chain. By 2030, SIG aims to halve its environmental impact and double its benefit to society by procuring all raw materials from certified responsible sources and offering the most sustainable packaging solutions available in the market.

To go Way Beyond Good, SIG:

  • Uses only responsibly sourced paperboard from suppliers that are certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) and is creating packaging made from 100% renewable materials;
  • Is reducing greenhouse gas emissions and is developing cartons with the lowest environmental footprint;
  • Is creating a workplace that supports its people’s growth and promotes sustainable lifestyles through good working conditions and fair treatment of communities; and
  • Launched the Cartons for Good project, which aims to support farmers’ livelihoods, promote children’s nutrition and education and cut food waste around the world.

SIG’s mission to go Way Beyond Good on climate change includes meaningful targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:

  • SIG has committed to reduce its scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 and 60% by 2040 – from a 2016 base year. This includes direct emissions from operations (scope 1) as well as indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy (scope 2). SIG has further committed to reduce emissions per litre packed 25% by 2030;
  • Most recently, SIG was one of an elite group – currently around 100 companies worldwide – to have its emission targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, a collaboration between Carbon Disclosure Project, the United National Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature; and
  • SIG purchases energy in Thailand and China that is certified by the GoldPower Global Renewable Energy Standard and actively seeks out procurement of green energy in other jurisdictions.

SIG published its first Corporate Responsibility Report in 2016.

Click here for more information.


Onex in the Community