Sustainability

Services

The GEC sustainability programme is key to delivering our scaling for impact mission. It entails a multi-stage sustainability assessment process, performed by our GEC assessment team. It is designed to select those startups that deliver innovative technologies, processes and business models and contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals or the Paris Agreement climate targets. The second part of the sustainability programme is the service offering to the startups in our portfolio aimed at scaling the positive impact, avoiding and mitigating potential negative impacts and building a responsible business framework.

Assessment

Sustainability is central to the evaluation of the startups that enter any of our programmes at the Global Entrepreneurship Centre. The assessment process consists of different stages in which our internal GEC assessment team evaluates the investment potential of startups and their capacity for successful commercialisation, as well as their sustainability performance and impact potential. The GEC assessment team is made up of internal business development, investment, science and sustainability experts. Through questionnaires, startup interviews and consultation of industry experts the team assesses sustainability performance in different business areas, while also assessing the main potential impacts throughout the startup life cycle. 

Services for Startups​

The GEC sustainability programme is an all-encompassing and practical programme on impact and ESG management practices that is offered to all startups in the GEC portfolio. The different modules are based on known frameworks and standards – yet tailored to a startup business development stage – and delivered in cooperation with our partners. As part of our GEC Academy curriculum, we offer workshops as well as individualised support, providing the startup with knowledge and tools to develop a solid and ‘investor-ready’ impact and ESG management and reporting system.

Sustainability Q&A

We promote innovative companies with sustainable technologies, processes and business models for sustainable impact. When we talk aboutimpact“, we mean our ambition to ensure that the business ideas of the companies we support unleash far more potential than simply delivering an already necessary ESG performance.

The business models, working methods, technologies and products of the respective startup must contribute to solving current sustainability bottlenecks in the core areas defined by the GEC food, textiles, construction, housing and mobility. We focus on whether the startup contributes to lasting positive change according to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This primarily means directly improving one or more of these goals while avoiding and mitigating unintended negative change in other outcomes. It must be the DNA of the company to want to initiate positive change, to pave the way for a better impact on our environment and to do good.

When dealing with startups, ESG maturity is usually limited, so there is no direct ESG redline. The readiness to implement sustainability practices is more important for us. We ensure that there is a willingness to invest time in sustainability practices. We also carefully define the sustainability gaps in the four verticals through expert consultation and then look for innovative solutions to fill these gaps.

Our sustainability program does not limit itself to ESG. We cover diverse topics: First and foremost is thelmpact Purpose”. For this we use frameworks like the “Impact Management Project Framework” or the “Theory of Change” to help founders define the impact purpose of their startup and the core positive change they strive to achieve. We also use a “Product Impact Heatmap to highlight the main potential positive and negative impact a product could have and we map a simplified maturity grid, advising on potential mitigation activities throughout the product lifecycle. In addition, we develop a “Circular Business Model” with them in several workshops. The workshops are designed to help them to understand the concept of circular economy, and especially the innovative business models that support the transition toward the circular economy.

Above all, it is the GEC’s network of experts and investment opportunities that startups can benefit from. Without viable networks, sustainability ambitions ultimately remain just ambitions. With this network, we offer startups interested in sustainability a unique added value that gives them a first-mover advantage: they can come to the negotiating table with potential investors with sustainability practices that exceed current market expectations, or position themselves to customers with sound and robust sustainability claims.

GEC Sustainability Team

Camille Vicier, Lead Sustainability Manager, cvicier@gec-scaleup.com

Lisette Fortanier-Weege, Sustainability Manager, lfortanier@gec-scaleup.com

Henrik Nohr, Sustainability Manager, hnohr@gec-scaleup.com