Reports
Published: 14 September 2022

ESG Pulse Check: Getting the Basics Right for Start-ups and Venture Capital Firms

While venture capital firms are a critical force in shaping the future as they invest in the leading start-ups and disruptive technologies, the start-ups themselves have largely been left out of the conversation when it comes to ESG. Through this insight report, the World Economic Forum aims to highlight what start-up and scale-up companies are thinking and doing on the ESG front, and the assistance they are seeking to ensure that they can avoid greenwashing and implement standards and strategies early on.

While venture capital firms are a critical force in shaping the future as they invest in the leading start-ups and disruptive technologies, the start-ups themselves have largely been left out of the conversation when it comes to ESG. Through this insight report, the World Economic Forum aims to highlight what start-up and scale-up companies are thinking and doing on the ESG front, and the assistance they are seeking to ensure that they can avoid greenwashing and implement standards and strategies early on.

Key findings from the report include:

  • ESG should not be approached as a stand-alone topic but be embedded into key corporate strategies and decision-making, ideally from the beginning so that it scales with a company.
  • Having a practical and start-up friendly ESG framework or toolkit would be highly useful for companies and investors alike.
  • Support from the entire start-up ecosystem, especially investors, is helpful for start-ups as they plan, execute and measure their ESG strategies.
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