Unlock outsized long-term growth through purpose and shared value creation
What our businesses are doing
We’re proud of the work many companies in our portfolio are already doing to align their core business model with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Here are some examples of ways in which Verdane’s portfolio companies are contributing to the objectives of the SDGs today, and ways in which we are working with management teams to expand their company’s value proposition in line with the SDGs.
EasyPark helps drivers find available parking and EV charging quickly, helping to reduce the 30% of urban driving miles that are wasted searching for parking.
momox, Europe’s largest re-commerce site, enables consumers to find suitable pre-used alternatives to newly purchased goods, reducing waste and providing a marketplace for circular economy.
Danelec Marine offers maritime owners and operators the ability to transmit key operational metrics from ships in transit in the middle of the ocean to the cloud, in order to track and improve their vessels’ energy- and resource-use efficiency, reducing both cost and emissions.
The Humble Co. is a global health & wellness company offering reliable and innovative products designed by Swedish dentists, that are good for you and kind to our planet.
We worked with various of our ecommerce holdings to produce a handbook of Sustainability Initiatives in e-Commerce, detailing best practices and case studies from across the portfolio on ways in which these businesses can improve the sustainability of their supply chain, logistics, packaging, and last-mile delivery.
We worked with Mustad, a leading global provider of sport fishing hooks, to remove plastic from their packaging, which is often opened near lakes, rivers, or oceans.
We have supported BEWiSynbra through their implementation of Circular, in which the company has developed infrastructure for collecting and recycling EPS products, creating a circular supply loop for their core product and thereby creating the world’s first recyclable EPS.
We believe that strengthening sustainability practices will benefit companies in the short and long term. The direct positive impact on the environment or social issues also translates into economic gains, benefitting our funds’ investors.
The change is fundamental
We believe that the coming decade holds the potential to fundamentally reshape social and environmental conditions for the better. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which provide a blueprint until 2030, represent a shift in awareness and intention that we think will prove to be the same sort of structural growth opportunity that digital technology has catalysed – not a sector-based opportunity, but a theme which permeates every sector of the economy, and society at large.
Businesses that operate in line with global social and environmental objectives, including the SDGs, will not only be on the right side of history. They are also more likely to generate outsized returns, as governments continue to price in externalities, and investors and consumers increasingly favour sustainable businesses. We believe that the most successful businesses will be guided by a purpose which is jointly defined by commercial success and a broad concept of stakeholder value. To this end, we work with all of our companies to improve their sustainability alignment and integrate this into their value proposition and culture.
As long-time investors in tech-enabled businesses, we have been at the forefront of digitalization trends for well over a decade. The businesses we invest in have often had significant overlap between their business models and the objectives laid out in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, long before those goals were actually established.
Innovative use of technology will be the single most important component in reducing the resource intensity of our economies. As investors in growing tech companies, our strategy has been built around this theme in one way or another since our founding in 2003.
Our sweet spot
We made our first cleantech (as it was then called) investment over 10 years ago, and have been buying carbon offset quotas ever since.
Our investments in software are helping to digitalise the workplace and automate manual processes, while our ecommerce investments are providing consumers with alternatives to traditional retail, which suffers from an inefficient last-mile distribution system and a pollutive real estate footprint. Our energy and resource efficiency investments are facilitating the transition to clean energy and less wasteful raw material systems.
The last several years have seen a radical shift in public opinion and political engagement around sustainability, which we believe will create entirely new markets and lead to rapid growth of some existing markets, opening up a wide range of compelling business and investment opportunities.
Strong returns support good causes
In our two most recent funds, over 50% of our investors are not-for-profit organisations, which means that the returns our companies generate go toward good causes, such as funding retirement pension programs for public workers or supporting universities.
In addition, 10% of profits from Verdane’s operations goes to the Verdane Foundation, which provides charitable donations to non-profit organizations dedicated to positive social or environmental change. The Foundation also makes investments in companies that have positive impact as a core component of their mission and identity, but which are not eligible for investment from our other Verdane funds.
Integration of sustainability risk in our investment decision-making process
Verdane is committed to adhering to the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) ((EU) 2019/2088) and making available sustainability-related information with respect to our funds and investment process.
It is increasingly clear that megatrends related to sustainability will drive a reallocation of economic value over the coming decades, with certain sectors and business models better positioned than others for consistent growth. We believe a careful consideration of these developments is a cornerstone of a successful investment selection process. This includes not only a negative screening in which businesses which are clearly unsustainable are excluded from investment consideration, but also a positive screening element whereby Verdane is more likely to consider an investment in a company whose business model is clearly aligned with sustainability megatrends, and where this alignment supports a robust financial case.
Sustainability considerations are an integrated part of our investment selection process, and training and elevation of ESG and sustainable growth principles within the team are achieved through internal workshops as well as external training, conferences and seminars. In 2019, we revised our Investment Committee Materials to further integrate sustainability-related value creation and risk frameworks as part of the core underwriting and evaluation criteria for investments. When evaluating a potential investment during the sourcing stage, we take into consideration any risks and opportunities relating to sustainability factors. In the due diligence phase, ESG is integrated into Verdane’s information request list and Investment Committee Materials. The latter has templates for assessing the potential ESG risks in each portfolio company (and mitigation strategies) as well as the opportunities for building on current aspects of ESG that the company is doing well. Our investment professionals are expected to detail how sustainability-related trends may impact a potential investment over the course of Verdane’s ownership period and beyond, and to discuss these with the Investment Committee. The identification of potential ESG risks and/or opportunities may impact the Investment Committee discussions and selections, especially if identified as material and/or high impact. During Investment Committee discussions, ESG is a standard item on the question/agenda list.
More information on Verdane’s ESG strategy can be found in our Sustainability and ESG Policy.