Sustainability: an Opportunity Guided by Legislation

Insights | 28 May 2024

In today’s business landscape, sustainability is no longer just a buzzword but a key driver for success. With an increasing focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors, companies realize the importance of integrating sustainability into their business strategies. With more precise legislation guiding this shift towards sustainability, companies in the early phases have never had a better time to embrace this opportunity. In my experience, the vision of a sustainability-integrated strategy needs to be present from the beginning. Adding it as an afterthought becomes even more demanding and expensive later on.

My thoughts, in short:

Integrated Sustainability Improves Your Pitch and Possibilities.

By integrating sustainability into your start-up’s business model, you showcase your dedication to social and environmental responsibility and bolster your appeal to potential investors. Investors are increasingly drawn to sustainable and responsible companies, recognizing the long-term advantages of such investments. Incorporating sustainability into your pitch attracts investors and paves the way for new partnerships and collaborations, amplifying your business’s potential.

Standardized ESG Reporting in the EU

The European Union has been at the forefront of promoting sustainability through standardized ESG reporting. The EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) requires financial market participants to disclose how they integrate ESG factors into their investment decisions. This regulation provides transparency and accountability and builds credibility and trust, giving investors the reassurance they need to make informed decisions. Companies can gain credibility and trust from investors and stakeholders by applying these standards early on.

The CSRD Regulations Aims

The proposed Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) aims to enhance further transparency and comparability of sustainability information disclosed by companies. This directive will require companies to report on various sustainability indicators, providing a comprehensive overview of their ESG performance. By aligning with these regulations, companies can stay ahead of the curve and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability.

Sustainability is a New Responsibility for the Board of Directors

As sustainability emerges as a pivotal driver for success, the onus of integrating it into business strategies rests on the board of directors. Boards are critical in setting the stage for sustainability initiatives and ensuring their integration into the company’s overarching strategy. By prioritizing sustainability at the board level, start-ups can foster a culture of sustainability that permeates throughout the organization, driving long-term success.

Value of Intangibles Becomes Key in Maximizing Company Value

At every stage of a company’s journey, the value of intangibles such as brand reputation, employee satisfaction, and customer loyalty escalates. By prioritizing sustainability and ESG factors, companies can bolster these intangibles and optimize their company value. Sustainable practices can boost brand loyalty, employee retention, and customer trust, ultimately propelling long-term success.

In conclusion, sustainability is no longer just a trend but a fundamental opportunity for start-ups and more mature companies guided by legislation. By integrating sustainability into their business strategies, companies can improve their pitch, comply with regulations, and enhance their overall value at every step of their lifetime. Embracing sustainability as a new responsibility for the board of directors and prioritizing intangibles can lead to long-term success and growth. Companies that seize this opportunity early on and prioritize sustainability will attract investors and contribute to a more sustainable future.

In the end, both talent and investors will hold companies accountable.

If you want to discuss this further, contact me at


Writer: Sophie Jolly

Sophie is a Partner heading Capital Market Communications at HTGP