The ESG Starter Pack for Early-Stage Software Startups
In too many software startups ESG ends up being annual reporting exercises, with limited connection to your actual operations. ESG is also often seen as two extremes: a very narrow scope (e.g. diverse hires and not traveling so much), or a comprehensive ESG assessment to identify all actions and KPIs relevant for you.
Our goal with this ESG Starter Pack is to help software startups find the middle road and execute the critical first steps of their ESG journey. The underlying idea is a step-by-step approach: rather than trying to implement everything immediately, you should rather focus on what is most relevant for your stage. As your business grows, you can later refine and build on what you set in place earlier.
“Any company listing or being acquired will need to have their ESG matters in check. We strongly recommend companies to start building their ESG foundation early to make it a core part of their culture and growth.” - Patrik Backman, OpenOcean GP
In addition to improving the world, the short and medium-term benefits software startups can gain from ESG are:
Easier to attract and retain employees
Improved decision making and use of resources
Higher chance to secure future financing
Reduced risk of legal liabilities
Head start in B2B sales and B2C customer preference
We also warmly welcome fellow early-stage VC investors to use the KPIs in the ESG Stater Pack as a starting point for reporting requirements set out by the new EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) Article 8. We hope that this KPI framework can help us investors to consolidate our annual reporting requirements, and create a common language on the most relevant ESG KPIs for software startups.