Reflections on the BVCA ESG Conference – ESG in VC

Publish Date 9 Jun 2023
Categories Insights
Venture Capital (VC) provides finance and operational expertise to start-up businesses. VCs predominantly invest in technology-based businesses, such as Greentech, which will be key in helping us adapt and transition to our Net Zero and a nature positive future.

The surge in upcoming regulatory requirements and pressures from LPs, has enhanced the need for VCs to onboard ESG strategies within their portfolios. At the recent BVCA ESG conference, a half-day stream was dedicated to this subject matter, shining a light on how VCs are integrating ESG into their approaches.

The VC strand also included a fireside chat between Henry Philipson from ESG_VC and Guy Battle, the founder of Social Value Portal. The Social Value Portal has created a platform to help companies interweave social value into their business. A key takeaway from Guy was the need for small organisations to start by choosing 5-10 social metrics to focus on, which are most relevant and material to their business and stakeholder group and not get overwhelmed with setting too many KPI’s that are not core to their business.

The final panel explored ESG across VC stages and sectors. Key takeaways included the importance of working with companies from the onset to embed ESG, not over-burdening founders with too many ESG demands, and the importance of not creating KPIs for metrics companies are not yet able to quantify or measure.

Panellists discussed the elements of ESG that should be standardised, compared to those that require a more specialised approach. It was further highlighted that ESG will continue to develop and become more refined for VC, making it easier for performance metrics to be measured and reported.

You can read our deep dive into ESG within VC here, where the BVCA Head of Sustainability interviewed Ben Robson (Molten Ventures) and Victoria Ferguson (MMC Ventures), who sit on the Responsible Investment Advisory Group. Alternatively, if you would like more information on the BVCA work on VC, you can contact our Venture Capital Senior Manager, Chris Elphick.


Neave Lloyd
Policy Executive, BVCA

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