According to new research, 76% of the top 500 venture capital-backed startups in the UK have not taken any action to measure or offset their carbon emissions. These companies have collectively raised $40 billion in VC funding. The highest-ranking venture capital firms in terms of climate action scored only 37 out of 100, while the lowest scored 3. Fintech companies, including Monzo and Oaknorth Bank, were found to be the most proactive in addressing climate change, while companies like Doccla and Multiverse performed poorly.
The research, conducted by climate startup Supercritical, evaluated actions such as emissions measurement, carbon reduction, offset purchases, and the presence of climate-related roles within companies. Edtech companies, followed by climate tech, food, transport, and real estate, scored the highest on average. The research also revealed that the average cost for companies to measure emissions and purchase high-quality offsets is £61,635 per year, equivalent to £4.98 per employee per week.
Supercritical co-founder Michelle You emphasized the responsibility of the tech community to demonstrate climate leadership, stating that addressing the climate crisis is the most significant challenge of our time. The report also noted that younger companies founded since 2016 were more likely to measure their carbon footprint compared to established players. The research highlights the need for greater commitment and action from VC-backed startups in order to address climate change effectively.
In conclusion, the majority of the top VC-backed startups in the UK have failed to take any measures to measure or offset their carbon emissions, despite raising significant amounts of funding. Fintech companies were found to be the most active in addressing climate change, while Venture Capital firms received low scores for climate actions. The research emphasizes the importance of effective climate leadership and encourages greater commitment from the tech community to tackle the climate crisis. It also highlights the relatively low cost for companies to measure emissions and purchase high-quality offsets, suggesting that there are feasible solutions available to address climate change.