This article was published on April 28, 2023

Major VCs unite in alliance to help startups and investors reach net zero

Building a venture industry movement to combat climate change

Major VCs unite in alliance to help startups and investors reach net zero

A group of over 23 VCs across Europe and the US have joined forces this week to guide startups and their early-stage investors towards net zero, in an effort to decarbonise the global economy and the venture capital industry.

The Venture Climate Alliance (VCA) consists of both generalist and climate-focused firms, and its members manage a combined $62.3 billion in assets, according to Crunchbase figures.

To begin with, participating VCs pledge to inventory their Scope 1-3 emissions and, in turn, reach either net zero or negative emissions for their own operations (such as office energy consumption and employee commuting) by 2030 or earlier.

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VCA’s members will also encourage their portfolio startups to align with the net zero goals by 2050 or sooner, and will help founders in setting the right targets for their businesses. For climate-focused companies, this could include support to existing efforts. For non-climate-focused companies, this could entail providing access to additional resources, such as specific tools and methodologies.

Once startups have set their net zero transition goals, the VCA will offer further assistance depending on their needs, such as supporting response mechanisms to climate-related risks, or adapting to regulatory developments.

The alliance’s members will share annual updates on both their own and their portfolio companies’ progress.

“Our goal is to bridge the gap between what’s happening in public markets, where hundreds of companies have made bold forward-looking net zero commitments, and early stage innovation, which has the potential to decarbonise legacy industries through a combination of better products, more efficient processes, and lower costs,” said Alexandra Harbour, founder & chair of the VCA and a principal at Prelude Ventures — one of the alliance’s founding members.

“By harnessing the collective expertise of top venture capitalists from both sides of the Atlantic, the VCA has the potential to significantly influence the funding decisions that shape the future of climate startups and technologies,” added Danijel Višević, Founding Partner at VCA member World Fund.

The Venture Capital Alliance counts 10 founding members: Prelude Ventures, Capricorn Investment Group, DCVC, Energy Impact Partners, Galvanize Climate Solutions, S2G Ventures, Union Square Ventures, Tiger Global, World Fund and 2150.

The following firms are also participating: Obvious Ventures, Congruent Ventures, Valo Ventures, Clean Energy Ventures, Fifth Wall, Overture Ventures, Blackhorn Ventures, Spring Lane Capital, Azolla Ventures, Systemiq Capital, The Westly Group, Innovation Endeavors, and ReGen Ventures.

The VCA is also an official partner of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) and the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions as part of its Race to Zero campaign.

Membership to the alliance is open to any VC that agrees to pledge to its commitments.

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