Together with the global professional network 100 Women in Finance, Swisscom Ventures has held a webinar on ESG for startups. The speakers pointed out the opportunities that await aspiring companies if they address sustainability topics at an early stage.
Integrating ESG (environmental, social and governance) criteria into a company’s strategy and implementing them operationally is no longer just a voluntary exercise for well-established companies. Nowadays, every company is required to act responsibly towards society and the environment. Stakeholders of all kinds urge them to do so.
Four experts and 220 participants
For Swisscom Ventures, sustainability is a key requirement for the startups it invests in. Swisscom Ventures was therefore very keen on hosting a webinar on ESG for startups, together with 100 Women in Finance. Isabelle Cohen Solal (Senior Consultant at COHerence&SOLutions) moderated the webinar, asking questions to Dominique Mégret (Head of Swisscom Ventures), Carole Miller (Startup Advisor at Netmentora) and Muriel Richard-Noca (Co-founder and Chief Engineer at Clearspace). 220 people from all around the world attended the webinar.
ESG increases profit
One thing became clear in the discussion: ESG and performance are not mutually exclusive – on the contrary: studies show that integrating ESG clearly leads to higher profit. Above all, startups that focus on ESG gain the trust of investors as well as potential customers. Moreover, they are more successful in attracting and retaining talent. Integrating ESG is often the one factor that really makes the difference in an overcrowded and highly competitive market.
ESG is a must-have
Dominique Mégret explains that incorporating ESG criteria can get a startup premium funding. Especially for public investors, ESG is a must-have. However, Dominique warned against using ESG as a marketing trick. He says the main thing is that the commitment for sustainability is sincere. He recommends startups to rather start small and stay genuine.
ESG is a chance for Europe
However, ESG does not only represent significant opportunities for startups. It also is a great chance for the European market as a whole. According to Dominique Mégret, Europe has put emphasis on social and environmental aspects for a long time. Europe, therefore, has a leading edge over other markets with regards to the increasing importance of ESG.
For Swisscom Ventures it is clear: ESG needs to be part of the business – of any business. Only a company that takes society and the environment into consideration can be successful in the long run.
To view the webinar, please click here.