New Report: Private Equity Profits from Disaster

September 7, 2023

PESP released its latest report: Private Equity Profits from Disaster. As climate change accelerates and impacts more communities around the world, the need for skilled labor in the disaster restoration industry grows. Increasingly, private equity firms seeking high returns for themselves have come to dominate the disaster recovery sector, reducing workplace standards, overcharging communities and exploiting disasters to extract fees and profits without regard to the workers and communities harmed by their practices. 

After the massive efforts required post-Hurricane Katrina and the increasing frequency and magnitude of climate disasters, private equity firms saw an opportunity to consolidate the market by buying up smaller companies. Some private equity firms that own companies in the disaster restoration industry are also contributing to climate disaster by investing in fossil fuel companies — profiting from both creating and cleaning up climate catastrophe. For example, Blackstone profits from disaster on both sides through fossil fuel assets like the Gavin coal plant in Ohio while also owning disaster restoration company SERVPRO. 

From January 2020 through June 2023, private equity firms acquired 72 companies that specialize in disaster restoration. Private equity acquisitions in the sector have increased year over year, with consolidation occurring in all regions across the United States.

Read the report here for more information about private equity investments in disaster recovery.


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