Europe's leading venture capital firms have been working together with us to implement a clause for more climate protection which will oblige all newly financed start-ups to sustainable business operations in the future. Martin Weber, partner at HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, confirmed the importance of the sustainable orientation of young companies:
As investors, we carry a great responsibility and must live up to it. Young companies play a major role in shaping our common future in the age of digitalization.
The clause will be integrated into both term sheets and shareholder agreements - the set of rules between the investor and the company. As a result, companies will commit themselves to measuring their CO₂ emissions and working on reduction measures. These include, for example, the adjustment of travel guidelines (preference for rail instead of air travel) or the switch to a green electricity provider. In addition, compensation by investing the equivalent amount in a climate protection project will be part of the budget planning.
Among the partners are the most well-known VCs in Europe: Project A, Earlybird, Global Founders Capital, Picus Capital, Holtzbrinck Ventures and Cherry Ventures are just some of the supporters of the sustainability clause (a complete list of all partners and the official press release).
In December 2019, Earlybird and Holtzbrinck Ventures signed new agreements with the implemented sustainability clause. Awareness of the issue regarding climate protection and CO₂ emissions is essential if continuous economic activity is to go hand in hand with sustainability. The clause is a prime example of a lighthouse project: Integrating climate protection right from the start without discussion and thus guaranteeing sustainability from the very beginning.