2021 has witnessed the mainstreaming of ESG in venture capital, which has historically been a lagging asset class. The power of technology continues to make headlines, but not always for the right reasons. Investors have a responsibility to harness their power for a fair and inclusive society by not only committing to a Responsible Investment Policy but by integrating ESG into their due diligence. This is one of the key developments we made at Talis this year.
At Talis, we think ESG can be more than just risk mitigation. Identifying material issues early on and embedding sustainable practices will create long-term value not only for Talis and our companies, but for society. As a Seed and Series A investor, we have an opportunity to engage our companies on ESG practices early on, mitigating many of the challenges that growth-stage businesses may find when implementing best-in-class ESG practices later down the line.
Post-investment, our founders are offered the opportunity to opt-in for additional support on ESG. We go beyond providing guidance to our founders by helping them affect tangible, positive change through our FutureProof Programme. The programme is designed to help founders execute on their ESG priorities through tailored strategies that caters for their individual needs. It’s been great to see the reception of this programme from our portfolio companies and their drive to embed ESG practices, despite the day-to-day challenges that early-stage businesses face.
We remain committed to industry-wide initiatives that help to standardise and promote ESG integration. That’s why we’re a member of VentureESG and ESG_VC. Without broad industry collaboration, ESG data collection by VCs could put an unfair burden on portfolio companies.
As a fund, it’s crucial we lead by example. This means committing ourselves to Net Zero by 2030, and ensuring we measure, reduce and report our Scope 1, 2 & 3 annually. We are making commitments to improving diversity and inclusion through all aspects of the fund. We know there’s a lot more work to do, but we look forward to continuing and improving on our execution of this strategy going into 2022.