Environmental, Social and Governance Policy
We believe that financially driven startups with a holistic sustainable approach along their value chain have the potential to not only change industries but also to have a positive impact on the world we want to live in.
As a financial investor, we are aware of the impact we have with the decisions we make. We have thus developed a framework to integrate ESG across all areas of our business practice and would like to make our actions transparent to foster collaboration with the community.
Partner with the right companies
As part of every due diligence, we assess the “Impact Score” of the startup along the 17 SDGs of the United Nations. The startup is given a scoring between -2 (very negative impact) and +2 (very positive impact) where applicable, addressing both the current and the expected SDG development in the future. We exclude any potential investment with a negative aggregate score or with a single SDG-rating equal to -2 (“red flag”).
Impact Scoredownload our dd template
Bring them to the next level
We include a Sustainability Clause in all term sheets and investment agreements. This contract states that each portfolio company shall, within reasonable time following the signing, adopt and maintain an ESG policy. Such policies and measures shall be discussed with and reported to the Board. We support the management with the commitments and recommend frameworks to enable the management to establish this ESG policy.
To help portfolio companies with implementing an ESG policy, we have initiated and designed an ESG workshop format for startups which currently pilots the concepts with selected portfolio firms.
Lead by example
We are active supporters of Leaders for Climate Action and are ClimatePartner-certified climate-neutral by reducing our carbon footprint through internal food and travel policies, and by compensating the remaining.
We are active supporters of Women Start.up! Initiative and Female Founders. We regularly host events together to encourage more female founders in our startup community and support female founders in getting access to capital.
We constantly want to learn and exchange with other VCs to develop our approach further. Together with TechFounders, we host monthly best practice sharing sessions with impact VCs and financially driven VCs.
UVC Partners is an alternative investment fund manager within the meaning of the German Investment Code (Kapitalanlagegesetzbuch, KAGB) and as such publishes the following information in light of the consideration of sustainability-related aspects in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 November 2019 on sustainability disclosure requirements in the financial services sector (the “SFDR”).
Unless information is explicitly provided in relation to a specific fund managed by UVC Partners, the following statements refer to the management and investment decision-making processes of UVC Partners in general. UVC Partners addresses sustainability risks in its investment decision-making process. ‘Sustainability risk’ means an environmental, social or governance event or condition that, if it occurs, could cause an actual or a potential material negative impact on the value of the investment. The main concerns UVC Partners pays attention to are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (“SDG”) published by the United Nations.
UVC Partners documents, assesses, and publishes the ESG-related information to its investors on a regular basis (i.e., quarterly reports, annual general meetings, etc.). Further, UVC Partners regularly reviews the implemented policies to ensure that they address new and emerging risks as well as investors’ concerns.
UVC Partners does not consider principal adverse impacts of investment decisions on sustainability factors. ‘Sustainability factors’ mean environmental, social and employee matters, respect for human rights, anti‐corruption and anti‐bribery matters. UVC Partners does not use sustainability indicators. Considering the numerous legal uncertainties currently related to the application of the provisions of the SFDR and the Regulatory Technical Standards (“RTS”) – in particular with respect to the consideration of adverse impacts – and the administrative burden resulting from such uncertainties, UVC Partners is not in a position to commit to such standard in light of its fiduciary duty to the fund and its investors. UVC Partners will constantly monitor and review the evolution around such regulations and standards and intends to change its position on adverse impacts once (i) a best practice has evolved among market participants, (ii) there is clear guidance by the administrations on the application of such regulations and (iii) the consequences of a commitment towards the consideration of principal adverse impacts are reasonably clear to UVC Partners.
In addition to the recognition and compliance with applicable law, all employees of UVC Partners undertake in accordance with Article 7 of Regulation No. 345/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of April 17, 2013, on European venture capital funds to comply with internally developed ethical and professional standards (“code of conduct”). The wording is based on the code of conduct of the Federal Association of German Equity Investment Companies (Bundesverband Deutscher Kapitalbeteiligungsgesellschaften) and the European Private Equity & Venture Capital Association of October 2008 and April 2009. Further, UVC Partners incorporates guidelines as endorsed and/or published by Invest Europe from time to time which, as at the date of this publication, are the international private equity and venture capital valuation guidelines as published by the IPEV and which are constantly amended to address ESG-related issues. Moreover, UVC Partners is a member of the Leaders for Climate Action (“LFCA”) and hence includes provisions promoted by LFCA into contracts for prospective portfolio companies in addition to the internally developed ranking methodology. In particular, our investment contracts state that each portfolio company shall, within a reasonable time following the signing, adopt and thereafter maintain in effect an ESG policy. In detail, these activities include the following:
Adopting a climate policy and implementing measures to become climate neutral within latest 12 months. Evaluating and establishing best practices of its business activities regarding environment, society and governance. Such policy and measures shall be discussed with and reported to the Board. UVC Partners will support the management with the commitments mentioned above. To specify, UVC Partners will recommend a framework and workshop format to enable the management to approach and establish this ESG policy. The funds managed by UVC Partners (“UVC Funds”) promote Startups with a holistic sustainability approach along their value chain, because UVC Partners believes that those have the potential to not only change entire industries, but to shape the world we want to live in.
This disclosure was published in March 2021 and last updated in February 2022.