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 developed criteria and qualitative standards which define when an investment may present a sustainability risk. Against that background, every Startup is evaluated against the 17 SDGs and a scoring between -2 (very negative impact) and +2 (very positive impact) is given where applicable. The scoring addresses both the current and the expected SDG development. Based on the individual scorings, an aggregated Impact Score is being calculated and reported within the investment-related documents (i.e. investment proposal). In case the aggregate Impact Score is positive, and no single SDG-rating is equal to -2, an investment is possible from an ESG/sustainability perspective.
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 considers principal adverse impacts of its investment decisions on sustainability factors. The present statement is the consolidated principal adverse sustainability impacts statement of UVC Partners. ‘Sustainability factors’ mean environmental, social and employee matters, respect for human rights, anti-corruption and anti-bribery matters. The indicators are applicable to investments in investee companies. UVC Partners has identified the principal adverse sustainability impacts of the investments and has developed policies on the identification and prioritization of principal adverse sustainability impacts and indicators. The methodology selected assesses the principal adverse impacts and, in particular, how those take into account the probability of occurrence and severity of adverse impacts, including their potentially irremediable character.
In particular, every new investment opportunity is screened upon the 17 SDGs in general and those not applicable are not further investigated on. More specifically, the respective SDGs and the focus of evaluation are follows:
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.
Further, and together with SYSTEMIQ, UVC Partners initiated and designed an ESG workshop format for startups and currently pilots the concepts created therein with two portfolio firms. SYSTEMIQ is a systems change company that partners with business, finance, policy-makers, and civil society to make economic systems truly sustainable. SYSTEMIQ combines a high-level research with high-impact, on-the-ground work. Further, SYSTEMIQ is a “think-and-do” tank that sparks good disruptions and operates with purpose at our core. Both portfolio firms have finalized their respective ESG strategy and received approval of the strategy from their board. Based on the outcome of the workshop as well as the piloted strategy adjustment of two portfolio firms towards ESG, UVC Partners and the sustainability consulting company akzente as well as the startup accelerator TechFounders have published an ESG Playbook for venture capitalists and startups during by the end of 2020. The thematic joint venture with akzente and Techfounders will generate unparalleled expertise in helping companies to integrate sustainability and in supporting startups professionalize and scale.