Podcast: executive sessions – the ABCs of ESG – MiddleGround Capital
August 15, 2023

Podcast: executive sessions – the ABCs of ESG

Podcast Links:

  • Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/executive-sessions/id1680963825
  • Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/1GdcyjuOW2dXFi3tRxOchX?si=gAIPJAVnRJ-O9MdgJAlhRA
  • Amazon Music: https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/f1f10f7c-a626-4ae4-91d9-a5243ab47a9a/executive-sessions
  • Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5idXp6c3Byb3V0LmNvbS8yMTI3MjQwLnJzcw==


On MiddleGround’s fourth episode of executive sessions, Clayton Gullett leads discussions with two guests: Madelyn Tutewiler, Director of ESG, and Managing Director of ESG, Mike Bridge. This episode covers:

  1. The importance of involving ESG in businesses
  2. Raising minimum full-time pay to $25/Hour by 2025
  3. Equitable hiring to reflect local communities
  4. How we bring ESG to life in portfolio companies


The importance of involving ESG in businesses

ESG has recently gained significant momentum in investing and private equity. It helps provide guidelines for firms that aim to be more conscious of their environmental impact on the world and supportive of the communities in which they operate while abiding by the best governance practices.

Our goal is to create a business that maintains sustainable practices while generating returns, and while those goals are often thought of as conflicting – they aren’t! ESG practices are just good business. Raising wages is good for the workforce, and good for drawing in talent while reducing turnover. Reducing scrap produces less waste in the environment while maximizing your inputs. 

Raising minimum full-time pay to $25/Hour by 2025

When a customer receives a product, the way that product was made rarely crosses their mind, and in the world of manufacturing, production is tiresome, difficult, and even dangerous. Appropriate compensation for these intense jobs is rare and low wages are a major factor in the manufacturing labor shortage. Pay increases and adequate benefits are imperative to attracting good talent, which is why we are raising the minimum hourly wage to $25 an hour or the living wage equivalent.

Equitable hiring to reflect local communities

Diversity is key to making well-rounded decisions. Making sure that perspectives across ethnic, educational, gender, and all varieties of backgrounds have a seat at the table should be top of mind. Across our portfolio, we are working to ensure that the manufacturers we employ are representative of the communities around them. Not only does this ensure that business decisions reflect the interest of those communities, but it also ensures ALL local communities benefit from the job creation we’re investing in.

How we bring ESG to life in portfolio companies

One of the most difficult aspects of ESG is consistent, accurate data collection. We set out over a dozen performance indicators that we track regularly, to ensure that we’re keeping ourselves accountable and making progress toward achieving our goals. The ESG initiatives we select are based on a system of collaboration between the ESG team and our operations team. While the ESG team sets the strategic target setting for metrics and helps the companies identify opportunities for improvement, our operations team helps to execute the plans that are developed. It requires the use of everyone’s skills and is vital in bringing plans to life with these portfolio companies.