StartGreen Capital's sustainability policy is dated March 10, 2021 and consists of three parts:
- The impact policy: what impact StartGreen Capital wants to make and how it wants to achieve this. And also: how impact is measured and reported in the StartGreen Impact Report. With this policy, StartGreen Capital mainly focuses on how it wants to increase the positive impact of portfolio companies. All StartGreen funds aim to achieve a measurable positive effect on the environment and society (in accordance with the SFDR's definition of 'sustainable investment').
- The ESG policy: how StartGreen Capital identifies relevant ESG risks and opportunities at companies and how these are integrated in the entire investment process. This policy is mainly aimed at how StartGreen Capital can reduce the effects of companies on the environment. We map sustainability risks and analyze their financial impact.
- The internal sustainability policy: how StartGreen Capital tries to deal with people and the environment internally as consciously as possible .
Learn more about how we handle Sustainability Information (SFDR)
1. Our impact policy
Our focus on sustainability
Sustainability is a broad concept. Different organizations and experts interpret the concept in their own way. StartGreen Capital opts for a broad approach when financing companies. We finance companies with an explicit sustainability objective as well as companies that do everything within their abilities to make a transition to a sustainable business model. StartGreen Capital believes that such a broad approach allows for more impact than financing only new and fully sustainable initiatives.
Sustainable Development Goals
StartGreen Capital has chosen to use the Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for determining the intended and realized impact. The SDGs are 17 sustainability goals set by the United Nations. They provide a blueprint for solving the biggest societal challenges of the moment, such as the global food problem (SDG 2), gender equality (SDG 5), and the energy transition (SDG 7). Together, the SDGs serve as a roadmap towards achieving peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and in the future (read more about the Sustainable Development Goals). StartGreen Capital only provides financing to companies that make a positive contribution to at least one of these 17 SDGs.
Our Theory of Change
In 2018, StartGreen Capital has drawn up a Our Theory of Change to clarify what the organization does, for whom and why. A Theory of Change is a visualization of the activities that an organization undertakes, followed by how the activities lead to certain effects (outcomes) and social objectives (impact) in the short or longer term. With the activities that are enabled by StartGreen Capital, the organization creates value for entrepreneurs and investors. In addition, StartGreen contributes to the development of the Dutch impact investmentsector in the Netherlands. StartGreen Capital wants to transform impact investment from a niche activity to mainstream. StartGreen Capital's ultimate impact objective is to contribute to the 17 SDGs through financing to entrepreneurs. To make concrete how entrepreneurs contribute to these goals, we have determined a number of fixed indicators (KPIs) for each SDG with which we can measure and monitor progress and results. We have formulated these indicators as objectively as possible and can preferably be aggregated. Examples are the number of kilowatt hours of renewable energy generated, the number of sustainable products sold or the amount of CO2 saved.
StartGreen Capital monitors its impact in order to disclose it to stakeholders and to improve strategic decision making. It demonstrates our vision: that financial and impact returns can go hand in hand. Comparable to regular funds, our financial returns are readily and transparently communicated to investors. Besides financial returns, impact returns are an integral part of StartGreen Capital's vision, which necessitates the disclosure of report on impact returns as concrete as possible. In addition, StartGreen Capital wants to be able to make strategic investment and portfolio management decisions based on accurate impact data.
The process of impact measurement is comparable for all StartGreen Capital labels and follows this flow diagram:
StartGreen Impact Report
Every year we present the impact made in our Impact Report. In it you can read about developments in the past year, among other things. You will also find interviews and various examples of companies that we have financed. Read us Impact Report for 2021.
2. ESG policy
StartGreen Capital provides financing (investments and/or loans) to companies that fit the standards and values of its funds. Some companies that request financing (often unconsciously) do not (yet) comply with the values on environmental, social or administrative aspects during the application process. To identify and bridge the discrepancy between corporate values, StartGreen Capital applies its ESG Policy. This policy explicitly examines whether the applying company may exhibit adverse effects (“adverse impact”) on sustainability factors (ecological, social and employment issues, respect for human rights, and the fight against corruption and bribery). In addition, an analysis is performed for each company on whether there are significant sustainability risks (an environmental, social or governance event or circumstance that, if it occurs, could cause a substabtial negative effect on the value of the investment). The aim of the ESG Policy is to identify both risks and opportunities (for improvement). The ESG policy relates to the following three phases in the investment process:
The ESG scan is a questionnaire that must be completed by the investment team together with the applying company. This ESG scan contains the mandatory and (where relevant) voluntary indicators that have been developed by the European Union regarding the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (specifically the indicators from the Principal Adverse Sustainability Impacts Statement, as shown in Annex I of the draft Regulatory Technical Standards). Based on the proportionality principle and the materiality principle, some items have been deliberately omitted (for example because they are not relevant for the type of companies in which StartGreen Capital invests). Additionally, an evaluation is executed whether the company acts in accordance with the “Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact” and (if it concerns a multinational company) the “OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises”. The ESG scan focuses on the following topics:
An extended version of the ESG scan is available on request.
3. Internal sustainability policy
StartGreen Capital wants to make impact possible with its financing of various companies. In addition, it also strives internally to be as conscious as possible with people and the environment.
Sustainable workplace in the SDG House
StartGreen Capital is located in the SDG House of the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam. The SDG House is a community of approximately 50 entrepreneurs and organizations that focus on one or more SDGs. The members try to accelerate the realization of impact through exchange and cooperation. In addition, the SDG House offers sustainable and social housing for its members, with care and attention for matters such as waste separation and organic catering. StartGreen Capital also takes its own measures in the field of sustainability. For example, the organization works as paper-free as possible. In addition, StartGreen Capital encourages sustainable commuter traffic. Employees use public transport and shared bicycle subscriptions as much as possible and when they use a lease car as part of their work, they drive hybrid. In 2021 the StartGreen Capital office will be redesigned, using recycled and sustainable materials and furniture as much as possible.
Diversity and gender balance
An inclusive society in which everyone has equal opportunities is very important to StartGreen Capital – which is why we also strive for diversity within our own organization. In addition, research has shown that diverse teams are more innovative and perform better. StartGreen Capital has had a balanced management team since its inception and knows diversity in all departments. For example, the male-female ratio within the management team is 60:40% and within StartGreen Capital as a whole 47.5:52.5%. In 2019, StartGreen Capital founded the Borski Fund together with Simone Brummelhuis of The Next Women to stimulate female entrepreneurship.
Knowledge sharing and development
The sustainability team provides annual internal workshops and brainstorming sessions where knowledge is shared in the field of sustainability, financial products and services and relevant legislation and regulations. StartGreen Capital also offers employees the opportunity to further develop job-related and/or personal competencies through internal and external training. In its work, the StartGreen Capital team consciously and actively tries to propagate the DNA and mission of the organization, in order to jointly increase understanding and support for sustainable investment and entrepreneurship. StartGreen Capital employees regularly give presentations at events or universities to inform and inspire others about how financial and social returns can go hand in hand.
StartGreen Capital's crowdfuningplatform Oneplanetcrowd has been B Corp certified since 2016. B Corps are companies that meet social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability requirements. B Corps strive for an inclusive and sustainable future with a good balance between social impact and making a profit. From a long-term vision, we continuously work on improving the value chain, optimizing impact and creating good work facilities. In addition, the quality mark offers access to a valuable network of other B Corp certified organizations. Oneplanetcrowd was recertified in 2018.
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