More than 20 leading venture capital firms have joined forces to develop a sustainability clause, which will commit all newly financed companies to take part in more climate protection initiatives going forward.

The partners include European VC heavyweights like  Picus Capital, Project A, Northzone, Holtzbrinck Ventures, Global Founders Capital and Cherry Ventures.

The Sustainability Clause was developed in cooperation with the Leaders for Climate Action (LFCA) initiative. ˜As investors, we bear a great responsibility and must live up to it. Young companies play a major role in shaping our common future in the age of digitization. A sustainable orientation from the very beginning provides a decisive influence on our joint chance to get the climate crisis under control, Martin Weber, Partner at HV Holtzbrinck Ventures.

˜Startups get a lot of attention because of their innovative power and are perceived as beacons. We want to use this radiance together for sustainability in business. New structures are created with every startup and we use this opportunity to firmly anchor sustainability from day one’ Alexander Samwer, Founding Partner of Picus Capital.

The Sustainability Clause will be integrated into the future set of rules and regulations between investors and their portfolio companies (i.e. term sheets and shareholder agreements). The clause requires companies to measure their CO2 emissions, to implement reduction measures such as adjusting travel policies (favouring rail to air travel) or to switch to a green electricity provider. In addition, compensation measures, i.e. the financing of climate projects, are to be evaluated using the strictest international certification standards (Gold Standard or similar) and included in budget planning. In addition, the clause also includes the sensitization of employees, partners, suppliers and customers to climate protection.