Baltic Ventures Limited, a not for profit company limited by guarantee, “Baltic Ventures”, is on a mission to support game-changing founding teams who are building the solutions and businesses of tomorrow and to provide a platform to accelerate early stage tech businesses, no matter where they are based.
We launched in 2023 in the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool and this ESG Policy sets out Baltic Ventures’ approach to responsible investment and to the management of Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) issues within our operations and our business activities. We aim to set out the principles that the firm aspires to and the procedures that Baltic Ventures has implemented in order to meet our ESG goals and standards.
We are defining ESG as, and including within this definition:
- Environmental: eco-efficiency; biodiversity; the pollution and contamination of land, air and water, and related legal and regulatory compliance; waste management; management of scarce natural resources; climate change impacts; and the development of new technologies, products and markets such as sustainable products and services.
- Social: the treatment of employees including their pay; health and safety; labour conditions; human rights; any form of discrimination, harassment or victimisation; diversity and inclusion, supply chain management; and the treatment of all stakeholders including customers and communities.
- Governance: anti-bribery and corruption; business ethics; accountability; transparency; conflicts of interest and the governance of environmental and social factors.
This ESG Policy covers all of Baltic Ventures activities and all Baltic Ventures staff are required to adhere to this ESG Policy.
Baltic Ventures’ Approach to ESG
Baltic Ventures has been established because we believe that great companies can come from anywhere, not just capital cities, and that entrepreneurs are the gamechangers for a better world. Our purpose is to unleash entrepreneurial potential, champion the region we have been founded in and to accelerate sustainable change.
ESG is at the core of Baltic Ventures’ purpose and values. We recognise the integral role that ESG issues have on the success of our portfolio companies (both positive and negative) and that, given the wide-reaching impact that our portfolio companies will have, tech ecosystem enablers and investors like Baltic Ventures are in a unique position to bring lasting change in the world. We want the businesses we work with through our accelerator programmes, angel syndicates and other activities to be genuinely focussed on doing well for all stakeholders including their own employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders, the environment and the wider world at large. We firmly believe that responsible business practices help generate the superior long-term performance of the companies that adopt them.
At Baltic Ventures, ESG is a process we use to screen potential cohort companies in our programmes. We also work with our portfolio companies, through the content of our programmes and with our team of coaches and mentors, to support them to better manage ESG issues and actively encourage and support our portfolio companies to strive for the very best ESG standards.
Baltic Ventures’ Commitment to ESG
ESG is firmly embedded within Baltic Ventures’ operations and across our entire approach to our portfolio companies. Baltic Ventures’ commitment to ESG includes:
- Maintaining strong ESG governance within Baltic Ventures’ own operations: Every member of the Baltic Ventures’ team has overall responsibility for implementing this ESG Policy. Where required we provide staff with specific training and resources to help them fulfil the organisation’s ESG commitments.
- Encouraging strong ESG engagement by portfolio companies: Baltic Ventures encourages and supports the companies and the founders we work with to actively engage with the ESG implications of their business activities. Our approach is not only about mitigating risks, but also about adding value by using ESG factors to improve business practices. Through our programmes we work with our portfolio companies to provide additional support on implementing best practices. We encourage the introduction and implementation of a strong governance and management structure for each portfolio company. We also support companies to design and implement a Diversity & Inclusion Policy.
- Application phase: As part of our screening process of applicant companies to the Baltic Ventures accelerator, the Baltic Ventures’ team assesses a company’s ESG-related risks and related factors (including potential issues related to diversity, environmental impact, climate change, ethics, anti-bribery and corruption). Where appropriate or deemed necessary, Baltic Ventures will also instruct external experts to perform additional ESG due diligence on potential portfolio companies. If the Baltic Ventures team concludes that the ESG risks related to a potential applicant cannot be appropriately mitigated in a reasonable timeframe, the company’s application to the Baltic Ventures accelerator will not be progressed.
From a Diversity & Inclusion standpoint Baltic Ventures aims to find and work with the best and most ambitious founders from a diverse set of demographics, backgrounds, and experiences. Baltic Ventures’ application process is designed to ensure we evaluate opportunities from a diverse perspective and identify biases and blind spots. We capture a variety of metrics to measure the diversity of the companies and founders we are engaging with.
Ways in which Baltic Ventures implements our ESG Policy:
Baltic Ventures commits to implementing our ESG Policy in a range of appropriate ways including, but not limited to:
- During the accelerator: During the accelerator programme we seek to support cohort companies with improving their ESG performance through the inclusion of masterclasses, lunchtime seminars and mentoring on subjects such as B-Corp principles, establishing sound environmental policies, principles of responsible stakeholder capitalism, being a living wage employer, coding ethical and accessible products, ethical data practices and embedding diversity, equality and inclusion principles into the business culture.
- Engaging with our angel syndicate on ESG issues: Baltic Ventures aims to have broad transparency on ESG topics with the angels that invest into Baltic Ventures cohort companies. To this end, Baltic Ventures will include ESG information in annual investor reports to angels.
- Engaging with the LCRCA and our Strategic Advisory Board: During quarterly reviews with the LCRCA and at bi-annual Strategic Advisory Board meetings Baltic Ventures will provide updates on ESG considerations relating to our cohorts, programme and company.
- Engaging with wider stakeholders: Baltic Ventures engages with a broad range of stakeholders on a local, national and international level. Since our launch in 2023 Baltic Ventures:
- Is a signatory of the Investing in Women Code. In signing this code we have committed to support the advancement of female entrepreneurship in the United Kingdom by improving female entrepreneurs’ access to tools, resources and finance from the financial services sector. A diverse and inclusive business ecosystem is good for customers, entrepreneurs, businesses, investors, and society. HM Treasury and the signatory firms share a commitment to work in partnership to make the United Kingdom one of the most attractive countries in the world to start and grow a business by advancing female entrepreneurship in the United Kingdom. The Investing in Women Code recognises that there is already valuable work underway by individual organisations to help women who are seeking to start or scale up their businesses. Signatories to the Investing in Women Code aim to build on this ongoing work. As a signatory to the Investing in Women Code, we are committed to a culture of inclusion and to advance access to capital for female entrepreneurs.
- Is a member of the ImpactVC community, a community that recognises that the most important companies of the next decade are solving the world’s most pressing challenges and venture capital has a huge role to play. ImpactVC is a community of VC’s and accelerators accelerating impact within venture. ImpactVC gives VCs the community and resources they need to do this, aiming to fundamentally tilt the venture ecosystem towards impact.
- Is a signatory of the Fair Employment Charter that has been established to make the Liverpool city region the fairest, most equitable place in the country to work or run a business in. As a signatory we are committed as an employer to providing safe workplaces supporting a healthy workforce; fair pay and fair hours; inclusive workplaces that support staff to grow and develop and a voice for staff to help deliver justice in the workplace with opportunities available for young people.
- Has developed the Baltic Ventures Startup Bootcamp powered by OneTech in which we provide opportunities to under-represented founders to start and grow a tech business.
- Provides Office Hours and other open and free events creating opportunities for founders to access the funding and startup ecosystem
- Is a sponsor of the Liverpool City region Tech Climbers whose mission is to showcase and celebrate scaling tech businesses in growth regions across the UK. The annual tech climbers list highlights tech businesses who are creating impact by solving world problems, generating economic growth and creating positive environmental and social outcomes; delivering innovation with cutting-edge, ground-breaking technologies and digital advancements and to remarkable scalable business ideas that are seen as attractive to investors with impressive growth records to date.
- Sponsors and supports local community groups and grass root initiatives
- Provides opportunities for up and coming talent through its Talent program
- Considering our environmental footprint: Baltic Ventures is conscious about the environmental impact of our day-to-day operations. We measure our carbon footprint and consistently seek opportunities to reduce our carbon impact through reducing unnecessary travel, working with local suppliers and minimising supply chain impact and recycling.
- Promoting diversity, inclusion and equality: Diversity and Inclusion is embedded at the core of our organisation. Baltic Ventures’ aim is to be a leading accelerator platform that contributes meaningfully to a better future. We are an equal opportunities employer and we respect the diversity of our people. Our aim is to attract, motivate, develop and retain a diverse and talented group of people while also providing a working environment that promotes both inclusion and equality. We have an inclusive culture and practice open sharing of information, transparent decision making and provide an accessible environment for all. We offer flexible and part-time working employment contracts. We provide employees with training budgets to support them to upskill based on their needs. A wellness budget allows employees to access goods and services to support their health and wellbeing.
Principal Adverse Impact Statement
Baltic Ventures does not currently undertake a full analysis of the principal adverse impacts of its programme application process and portfolio companies on sustainability factors as set out under the European Union Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation 2019/2088 (“SFDR”). When the finalised Regulatory Technical Standards supplementing the SFDR are published and the rules are made clear and parallel UK legislation is clarified Baltic Ventures intends to align with the relevant requirements by developing processes to gather information on the sustainability impact of its portfolio companies.