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ESG for Early-Stage
In the world of startups, incorporating policies and practices for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues is often seen as something for later-stage companies. We challenge that notion.
We believe that it’s far easier and more effective to integrate ESG from the beginning, making the next generation of startup companies more diverse and inclusive, more conscious of their employees’ health and safety, and better able to serve their communities and the environment.
What is ESG?
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria are a set of standards for a company’s operations.
Environmental criteria consider how a company performs as a steward of nature.
Social criteria examine how it manages relationships with employees, suppliers, customers, and the communities where it operates.
Governance deals with a company’s leadership, executive pay, audits, internal controls, and shareholder rights.
Certain 500 Global Funds maintain an ESG Policy
The purpose of an ESG Policy is to ensure that a fund takes a responsible approach to investment throughout its investment cycle and recognizes the potential impact of its companies on the environment, workers, communities, and society, as well as the potential impact of climate change on the companies in which the fund invests.
Specifically, the policy can help to:
Account for material risks and potential opportunities which may make the business more or less attractive for investment.
Advise companies on ESG value creation opportunities.
Encourage the building of diverse and inclusive teams.
Build and scale technology responsibly.
Contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals
Zuby Onwuta on Inclusive Innovation for Tech Startups
Zuby shares his incredible personal journey with disability, and inspiring story of becoming a founder and entrepreneur in residence at Verizon for disability-focused products (as well as an astronaut-in-training!). We discuss not only how, but WHY startups should build inclusion into hiring, company culture and product development cycles.
Diversity, Equity and Belonging Strategies for Startups
Cornell discusses his experience as a corporate leader in the DEI, mental health and wellbeing space, what works for building strategies around belonging, diversity and wellbeing, and how companies can facilitate cross cultural dialogue and establish more inclusive environments.
The Indigenous Ally Toolkit
Join us for a fireside chat on being an ally to Indigenous communities with the CEO and founder of Diversio, Laura McGee, and Product Manager and Content Designer Dylan Hopkins. Diversio uses AI to help companies, including startups, be more inclusive.
Reid Blackman on Ethics in Tech
We discuss how to create organizational and product development ethics with KPIs, and how to operationalize them across the organization.
Ganes Kensari on Cognitive Bias in Decision Making and AI
Ganes discusses why deeply understanding good data stewardship matters for early-stage startups, getting the foundations in place to enable meaningful consumption of data over the long-term, how leaders can overcome cognitive bias in decision making and champion good data stewardship from the early stages, and suggesting questions to embed in the product development process to eventually ensure you're getting ROI from data.
Kat Zhou on Anti-Patterns in Tech
Kat covers the basics of anti patterns in tech: what they look like, why they're problematic, and how to avoid utilizing them in your own products.
Ferry Heilemann on Environmental Management for Startups
Hear about Ferry's own experience as an entrepreneur implementing environmentalism at a startup, about the work of his organization Leaders for Climate Action and how they intend to reshape the role startups play in climate activism, and his insights on how investors might consider environmental impacts in a company's valuation.
Paula Goldman on Ethics in Tech
Paula discusses the rapidly-changing landscape for ethics in tech, frameworks for implementing ethics at the organizational level and across product development, and sharing specific examples and case studies to highlight key issues in this increasingly important area.
Coded Bias: Film Screening and Director Q+A
Coded Bias explores the fallout of MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini´s startling discovery that facial recognition does not see dark-skinned faces and women accurately, and her journey to push for the first-ever legislation in the U.S. to govern against bias in the algorithms that impact us all.
Eliza Erskine on How to B-Corp for Startups
Eliza specializes in helping early-stage companies implement sustainability into their business models and strategies. She speaks on why startups should consider B-Corp certification, does a detailed walk-through of the process, and answers questions about the process, benefits and challenges for early-stage companies.
Sal Giambanco on Culture for Startups
Sal shares his thoughts on building a culture that prioritizes the wellbeing of all of a company's stakeholders, starting with employees and extending to community, customers and supply chain.
Lyel Resner on Responsible Tech as a Business Imperative
We discuss the growing intersection of technology, business, politics, and social responsibility. And why now more than ever, responsible tech is a business imperative.
Mike Stopka on Environmental Sustainability for Startups
We discuss how early-stage companies can get started right now implementing sustainability in meaningful and strategic ways, build credibility with investors, customers and suppliers around environmental and social responsibility, and updates on the key ESG issues we should all be following.
Jeremie Bacon on Startup Environmental Stewardship
We discuss why it's essential startups focus on environmental stewardship from day one, where to get started and common pitfalls to avoid, advice for communicating on ESG with investors, customers and suppliers.
Paul Estes on the Market Signals around Gig Economy
We discussed Paul Estes' take on the current market signals around the gig economy following the Deliveroo IPO, what that means for all tech businesses, post-pandemic trends around engaging with gig workers, and how early stage startups can start developing a gig economy strategy.
Ilene Lang on Gender Equity for Startups
Ilene discusses her experience as a pioneering tech executive in the 1980s and 90s (at Lotus Development Corporation, then as the founding CEO of AltaVista Software, Inc.), and her work at the global forefront of thought leadership and research to accelerate progress for women through workplace inclusion.
Alaina Harkness on Water Conservation for Startups
Some topics Alaina discussed are where to look for water hidden in the supply chain, the state of water innovation and the water conservation movement globally, how startups can support the Blue Economy, and tips on what startups can do today to help protect local water resources.
Mariah Lichtenstern on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Startups
As an investor and operator, Mariah shares her expertise on implementing DEI within company culture, what it is that signals to investors a company is serious about DEI, and an overview of the Startup DEI Pledge, which she helped design.