More than 25 years ago John Elkington coined the phrase “Triple Bottom Line” of People, Planet and Profit and then more recently he tried to ‘recall’ it and recognised the need for a ‘new wave of Triple Bottom Line innovation and deployment’. The integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors (first mentioned in 2004 in a study, Who Cares Wins) into investment processes and decision-making is the most recent attempt to tackle a wide spectrum of complex issues that traditionally are not part of financial analysis. Yet, ESG frameworks that are developed and deployed in the venture industry are fragmented and are influenced by many other frameworks (from other asset classes and related activities, such as impact).
In 2015 United Nations adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (which are closely interlinked with the ESG concepts), addressing some of the world's biggest challenges in an interconnected way. Empowering more entrepreneurs and raising awareness among venture professionals to tackle these challenges is key to achieving the ambitious goals that the UN set for 2030.
ESG in VC's aim is to gather learnings, views and opinions from people and organisations who care about ESG issues and help each other to play a role in addressing the environmental crisis and securing a fairer society.