As we have covered previously, the number of Australian investors interested in sustainable investment sits at an all-time high (Link to previous article). Despite this trend, the opportunity that offers the greatest chance at delivering massive change and similarly sized returns is often overlooked.

That opportunity is startup investment.

At Vellum, we believe that real change that benefits the planet can only be achieved by actively nurturing great ideas and revolutionary technologies from infancy. This means diversifying away from pruning the leaves of established mega organisations to fit within ethical criteria, and instead helping cultivate the seeds of a more sustainable tomorrow.

Despite the existing enthusiasm from Australian investors, there is still a lack of clarity around how investors can support real, tangible change and make their money work harder for their interests. At Vellum, we have found that tools such as EnergyLab’s taxonomy for impact investors are particularly useful in addressing this issue.

With the primary aim of demystifying the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals’ 169 targets and 231 indicators, the taxonomy is designed to make SDG-aligned clean tech startup investing simpler than ever before.

Within the taxonomy, EnergyLab puts forward a list of thirty-seven categories of the most common cleantech startups and assigned an SDG they “primarily contribute towards as well as any SDGs they secondarily support”. This is a significant framework and is one that aligns with our interests in promoting greater transparency from organisations and clearer ESG returns for investors.

Investors who wish to positively transform the way companies operate, how we use technology, and by extension the sustainability of the global economy, should be looking first for that which underpins all successful ventures: a great idea.

We know that funding predictable, common organisations will net predictable, common results. By looking to support great ideas during infancy, you not only choose the change you want to see in the world, you maximise the potential financial growth of your investment. With ESG aligned and sustainability focused investing, we know that that big returns – both fiscal and sustainable – require thinking big.