ESG_VC, an industry-led initiative backed by more than 250 venture capital firms across the UK and Europe, has launched its annual data collection, delivered in partnership with the BVCA.
The data will be collected by participating VC firms between 9 October and 15 December using the ESG_VC Measurement Framework, a free tool used by investors with portfolio companies to benchmark performance against a standardised set of metrics. The framework also provides companies with a set of ESG objectives for the next 12 months – ESG_VC subsequently offers access to an annual programme of training to make progress against these targets.
This year’s data collection will use an updated edition of the ESG_VC Measurement Framework, incorporating a series of key updates that have been surfaced by member firms, LPs, and industry bodies over the course of its use during the past year.
For the third year, the BVCA will be helping to deliver this work through acting as ESG_VC’s data and research partner. As the industry body for private capital, the BVCA is pleased to be able to support an initiative that provides a vital insight into the positive impacts delivered by venture-backed businesses on our economy, our society, and our environment.
In 2023, the BVCA worked with ESG_VC to analyse data collected from 450 portfolio companies backed by leading venture capital firms including Balderton, Beringea, Mercia and Par Equity. This research – which can be found online here – found that:
- A growing proportion of venture-backed businesses are measuring their carbon footprint, with the figure standing at 16% of companies analysed versus 11% in the prior year.
- 60% of portfolio companies have a policy or strategy to support staff with their mental health and wellbeing.
- However, 45% of companies analysed did not have any women on their boards.
This year’s data collection was launched earlier in October following The Road Ahead, a summit for ESG_VC member firms hosted in partnership with the City of London Corporation, BDO, Orrick, and HSBC Innovation Banking.
As part of this discussion, members of ESG_VC such as Cambridge Innovation Capital, Lakestar, Atomico and Molten Ventures highlighted the pressing need for more robust data on ESG performance among start-ups. However, the discussion - which also included speakers from Legal and General Capital and the British Business Bank - highlighted the need for a proportional and supportive approach to embedding ESG within start-ups.
ESG_VC provides investors with a suite of resources, including the ESG_VC Measurement Framework, that are tailored for early-stage companies and designed to empower them to move ahead on their ESG journey.
To participate in this year’s data collection, firms will need to download the ESG_VC Measurement Framework – which is available to download on ESG_VC’s website – and distribute to portfolio companies to complete.
Once completed, firms will work with ESG_VC to aggregate the data and submit to the BVCA by Friday 15 December. This data will then be analysed by the BVCA’s research team and published in Q2 2024.
If you have any questions about how to participate in ESG_VC and this year’s data collection, please contact Henry Philipson, co-founder of ESG_VC. If you have any queries related to research and data analysis, then please contact the BVCA research team.
Authored by Henry Philipson, Co-founder ESG_VC and Suzi Gillespie, Head of Research, BVCA