Leaders for Climate Action (LFCA): German Venture Capital Firms Introduce Sustainability Clause
Munich/Berlin, 19. January 2020 – Germany’s and Europe’s leading venture capital firms commit themselves and their portfolio companies to sustainability and make a significant contribution to climate protection. This measure should act as an example for other start-up ecosystems and industries.
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 Project A, Acton Capital, Northzone, Holtzbrinck Ventures, Global Founders Capital and Cherry Ventures.
The Sustainability Clause was developed in cooperation with the Leaders for Climate Action (LFCA) initiative, a community of more than 300 leading digital entrepreneurs in German and Europe, including founders of Acton portfolio companies like Stephan Bayer (Sofatutor), Patrick Andrä (HomeToGo), Boris Wasmuth and Kai Bolik (GameDuell), Christoph Cordes and Marc Appelhoff (Home24) and Marco Vietor (audibene). All supporters of the initiative committed on the “Green Pledge” and are actively involved to take climate action on personal and company level. Besides the goal of making the digital industry CO2 neutral, the initiative is calling for the immediate establishment of an efficient CO2 pricing and the transformation towards 100% renewable energy.
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.
Jan Christoph Gras, co-founder of LFCA, considers the digital sector the industry of the future, leading the way towards further commitments to climate protection: ‘If anyone can show that rapid, green transformation is possible, it’s the young companies.’
‘Our goal is to trigger a domino effect that will reach other industries and especially other startup ecosystems around the world – We need Climate Action, now!’
Jan Christoph Gras (LFCA)