Understory Climate Tech and Sustainability Newsletter #71

Hello everyone! As we wind down August, we are also gearing up for our September startup showcase event! We have some exciting companies and speakers signing up and hope to see you there. Rather than giving you quick hits from the news this week, we want to focus on a graphic we saw on ESG program and components that make up an ESG program. It’s worth looking at and consider its implications. We are also excited for our new episode with Big Idea Ventures. You can listen on multiple podcast platforms. Thank you for your continued engagement and support of this community. We are growing and connecting with each other on Linkedin, Slack, and 1-1 conversations! Have a great week. 💚

📚 Worth Reading and Listening

We saw a very interesting and compelling graphic from NossaData and it’s about what’s “above the line” or at the tip the iceberg of a ESG program in a company compared to what’s “below the line.” Regardless of the analogy we/you use, the concept is clear. An ESG program to support a company-wide ESG mandate consists of many parts and is not one thing. At Understory, we agree with this and believe that this graphic conveys what makes ESG and climate actions hard and also full of opportunities for corporate transformation, innovation, and talent development.

If your company is building out an ESG mandate, remember this consists of multiple dimensions requiring cross-functional collaboration with implication on organization structure, incentive program, talent pipeline, technology infrastructure, and budgeting.

If you are an investor, you should start thinking about which of the areas contributing to corporate ESG mandates have the biggest opportunities of impact and returns.

If you are looking for sustainability or ESG job, consider which area represents your biggest strengths and where you have the most transferrable skills.

Worth Listening. Our new podcast episode with Abby Lyall of Big Idea Ventures! Abby is so passionate about the space and shares what she looks for when she invests in companies and also what programs Big Idea Ventures offers.

🚀 Funding and Congrats!

Nitricity, a San Francisco, CA-based agtech startup with technology to produce renewable nitrogen fertilizer at point-of-use, closed a $5m seed funding round

Cox Enterprises announced the acquisition of BrightFarms, an indoor farming company and provider of locally grown packaged salads.

Beta Hatch, an agtech platform, raised $10 million.

Apeel Sciences, a foodtech company, raised a $250m Series E - valuing the company at $2 billion.

Aspiration, an ESG focused financial institution, is going public via a SPAC, valuing the company at $2.3 billion. Aspiration was recently featured as one of our "Startup Spotlight" companies!

Goldman Sachs acquired NN Investment Partners, a top-ranked European ESG investment manager, for approximately €1.6 billion.

Prieto Battery, a Colorado-based developer of solid-state advanced rechargeable batteries, closed on the first tranche of its Series C financing.

WeSpire, a Boston-based provider of an employee experience platform for Environment, Social & Governance (ESG) initiatives, raised $13M in Series B funding.

💡 Startup Spotlight

Cirrus-Shower - a French-based company looking to reduce water consumption when we shower. “The shower head uses water-atomization technology to reduce water consumption by 75%, helping people to adopt a sustainable consumption. Using less water also means using less energy to heat this water.”

🎧 Podcast

NEW! Abby Lyall of Big Idea Ventures: investing in foodtech
Climate Neutral: certifying climate claims
AeroShield: a clear (and energy efficient) window to the future
Just Salad: Pioneering Zero Waste in Restaurants

The Understory Podcast is also available on SoundCloudApple PodcastsAmazon Music, and Google Podcasts.

⚙️ Jobs

Find and share your open positions on the Understory Slack channel.

Marketing Director at THIS

Communications Manager with Climate Neutral

Head of Product, Bus Dev Director, Engineers at Nitricity

CEO of the Science Based Targets Initiative

VP, Sustainability at Macy’s

Product Owner at ZigZag Global

Sr. Program Manager, Net Zero Carbon & Sustainability for Grocery at Amazon

Marketing Manager at Goodr

Director, Energy & Sustainability Services at JLL

Production Team Member at Living Ink

ESG Impact Director at CDC Group

Senior Vice President of Impact at Bombas

Multiple Roles at Return Rabbit

Director of Social Impact at Minecraft / Microsoft

Open Innovation Sustainability Segment Lead at Accenture

Director, Circular Economy at Mitsubishi Chemical America

Global Sustainability Manager, Food Program at Google

Business Development Director at Act Analytics

Climatetech Financial Analyst at Climate Collective

Multiple Roles at Rheaply

🗓 Events

September 15: Startups Driving Sustainability - September Showcase

October 21: Startups Driving Sustainability - October Showcase

December 1: Startups Driving Sustainability - December Showcase

Nominate a speaker or apply today to present at one of our showcases. We are currently working on exciting lineup for our fall events.

📧 Stay in Touch!

You don’t have to wait for our weekly newsletter for all the latest content. Join us on Slack or follow along on LinkedInInstagram, and Twitter to see real-time updates.

Until next week!