Being a sustainable company is no longer an option for tech entrepreneurs
It’s just a new condition for business.
3 questions to Marie-Gabrielle Sorin, Operating Partner Sustainability & Impact de Ring Capital.
1. Entrepreneurs have a new societal role to play, especially tech entrepreneurs?
We know that in the coming years, every company will have to prove its positive contribution to society. Entrepreneurs are facing a double challenge.
First, a new pressure from their shareholders: talents seek purpose, clients and consumers look for transparency, investors ask for impact assessment, regulations are increasingly demanding, etc.
Second, there is an increasing urgency for economic growth to stick to the trajectory of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are the conditions for ensuring social equality on one hand and for fighting global warming on the other hand. The IPCC experts’ report that was released a few days ago strongly reminds us of this*.
As a result, being a sustainable company is no longer an option for entrepreneurs, it is just a new condition for business.
Furthermore, Tech sector is seen as an obvious enabler of the sustainable transition, with its ability to provide new solutions, to create market’s disruptive innovation or to use data and AI. Thus, tech entrepreneurs are particularly expected to act and grow with sustainability and positive impact on top of mind.
2. What role should investors play in this transition towards sustainability?
With a new record of €5.4 billion of funds raised in 2020 in France, investors are in the front line of supporting sustainable growth of companies. As we are close partners of entrepreneurs at a crucial stage of their growth, we have the responsibility to provide more than money and to help them to put sustainability at the heart of their strategy, business model and practices (whether in terms of governance, environmental impact, corporate culture, stakeholder relations, society commitment…).
With our overview on best pratices in our ecosystem, we are able to help them become sustainable Tech champions, ready for facing the economy of tomorrow.
Financial performance should no longer be the only criterion for growth and success, there needs to include social and environmental impacts.
3. Is sustainability a real asset for (hyper)growth?
Sustainability is a duty and an asset! It’s a lever for business performance and growth that is still underestimated. A gap in business performance of 13% is measured between companies that implement sustainable strategies and those that do not.
I’m convinced that we need to go beyond traditional ESG reporting and to put sustainability at a strategic level for our portfolio companies. This way, they will be more able to attract talent and engage employees, to win new markets and access to funding, to anticipate future regulations, to control risks and reduce expenses, to gain competitive advantage and improve reputation.
That’s why my mission is to be an “Operating Partner”: the purpose is to integrate sustainability as a key business driver and to create a strong and bold value proposition about sustainability, for our portfolio companies as well as for our ecosystem.
Entrepreneurs need allies to help them create long-term and shared value, not only for shareholders, but also for their employees, their whole ecosystem and society at large. At Ring Capital, we want to be this ally.