India: In India, startups provide unparalleled hope for economic development and job creation. Industry sources project 35-65% of the economic growth and 100 million jobs being created by these businesses by 2030. Increasingly, startups are also driving new business best practices.

The Green Startup Pledge is the world’s 1st climate pledge for startups and an example of India’s leadership in building a green economy.

The pledge will be launched at UNFCCC COP27 at Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt, on the 12th of November as well as at the Bangalore Tech Summit on the 19th of November with the Chief Minister of Karnataka.

The Green Startup Pledge (GSP) has been developed as a collaboration between ACT For Environment and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and is in alignment with achieving the UN’s net zero emission target by 2050. It is backed by India’s leading VC funds and supported by entrepreneurs including Nithin Kamath, Deepinder Goyal, and Bhavish Aggarwal.

The pledge is a global public commitment by a startup to build and grow both economically and ecologically by integrating or transitioning to sustainable business operations, with a goal of attaining net-zero emissions by 2050. It will be initiated with Indian startups and aims to scale globally with startups from around the world.

The pledge framework has been designed to be responsive to the dynamic nature of startup growth and the importance of building for the new economy. With the ability to integrate into regular business operations, the pledge is neither a distraction from their core business nor should it demand any extra expenditure.

Startups committing to GSP will benefit from frameworks that are flexible, streamlined, and aligned with their business operations. Reporting will be streamlined and stage-relevant. A resource platform of tools, resources, and reputable vendors will be made available to support implementation with the aim of building better from the beginning or transitioning economically.

“We are confident that the Indian startup ecosystem will lead the transition towards a more sustainable economy by building businesses of the future which integrate sustainability into their core business principles. The Green Startup Pledge will drive this transition, support startups in scaling with sustainable practices, and providing resources so that India can deliver on its climate promises,” said Prashanth Prakash, Co-founder – of Accel India and a member of the board at ACT.

“There is a strong economic argument and environmental justification for creating a climate pledge with a sustainability framework that’s tailored to the development cycles and realities of start-up operations. We believe such an initiative is fundamental to sustainable innovation and as it aims to create a common platform for innovators to collaborate and leverage resources tailored to their needs,” said Anirban Mukherjee, Partner and Managing Director at BCG.

“Climate may not be top of mind when building a high-growth business, but it is increasingly important. Sustainability can have significant business benefits – with customers, employees, investors, on the bottom line and for the planet. Zomato has already taken pioneering steps in this direction and we are excited about the GSP because it helps startups incorporate sustainability into core business operations in a way that builds better and delivers business results,” said Deepinder Goyal, Founder – Zomato. 

“Climate isn’t a distant threat, it’s here and now. In order to have a realistic chance of combating it, we all have to make changes, both big and small. At Zerodha, we’ve been mindful of this for a very long time. The pledge will help drive this deeper and also hopefully inspire others.” said Nithin Kamath, Founder – Zerodha. 

The Green Startup Pledge aligns with ‘net zero by 2050’ goals & related scientific measurement, feeds into the Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR) while offering streamlined reporting and a focus on sound business as the core.

By Mansi