Assessment of the climate protection and sustainability potentials of innovative start-ups
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Score4Impact: Enabling climate protection in startups

The Score4Impact project develops an efficient and highly automated assessment of start-ups with regard to their climate protection and sustainability potential. This will enable capital providers, start-up promoters and start-ups to make a precise assessment. This leads to an increase in investments in start-ups with high greenhouse gas reduction potential and to increased climate protection activity by previously “non-green” start-ups.

Considering the special features of start-ups

The evaluation concept is highly innovative and has not been available in this form before. Previous projects and actors in the field of corporate sustainability assessment focus on established companies and do not consider the specifics of start-ups. Previous methods and assessment tools can therefore only be insufficiently applied to company formations and start-ups.

There is growing interest in sustainable finance on the part of capital providers and the start-up scene. In August 2019, more than 100 well-known digital entrepreneurs launched the Leaders for Climate Action initiative to send a clear signal to politicians and society for more climate protection. Twenty German venture capitalists also made a statement for sustainability. At the beginning of 2020, they announced that they would include a sustainability clause in their term sheets and shareholder agreements with start-ups and oblige them to measure their CO2 emissions.

Assessing the sustainability potential of innovative start-ups

The aim of the Score4Impact project is to develop suitable, web-based assessment services for investors, funding providers and start-ups that enable a time- and cost-efficient as well as directionally reliable assessment of the climate protection and sustainability potential of innovative start-ups and thus increase the flow of capital into start-ups with high climate protection and sustainability potential.

The assessment concept builds on the DIN-SPEC 90051-1 Standard Sustainability Assessment of Start-ups, which was developed under the leadership of the Borderstep Institute and with the participation of ImpactNexus and SDG INVESTMENTS staff in a broad multi-stakeholder process as part of the DIN Sustainability Standard for Start-ups (DIN-Connect) project.

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