What if start-ups looking for growth capital could be encouraged to take their environmental impact into account from day one? Together with a group of leading VCs, we have made this happen.
Together with our members from the venture capital industry, we have evolved our Green Pledge into what we call “The Sustainability Clause”. It is now a fixture in every term sheet and shareholder agreement of a group of leading venture capital firms and binds all companies they fund to climate protection.
When start-ups adopt a sustainability mindset from the very beginning, this will have a decisive influence on reaching our common goal of fighting climate change.
Martin Weber, Partner at Holtzbrinck Ventures
The sustainability clause will be integrated into both term sheets and shareholder agreements. As a result, companies commit to measuring their CO₂ emissions and to actively work on reducing them . This includes, for example, adjusting their travel guidelines or switching to a green electricity provider. In addition, offsetting emissions through investing an equivalent amount into a climate protection project should be budgeted for from the start.
In December 2019, the first agreements including the newly-implemented sustainability clause were signed. Raising awareness for climate protection and CO₂ emissions is essential if future economic activity is to go hand-in-hand with sustainability.