EnergyLab releases taxonomy for SDG-aligned startup investing

EnergyLab, James Tilbury
EnergyLab CEO James Tilbury

EnergyLab, Australia’s largest cleantech startup accelerator, has developed a tool for investors interested in increasing the alignment of their portfolios to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The taxonomy enables a fund manager to quickly assess the relevance of a portfolio of startups to the environmental SDGs. 

“Institutional investors are increasingly pledging to invest in alignment with the SDGs,” claims EnergyLab CEO, James Tilbury.

“However, a lack of tools makes it difficult to identify investments that are SDG-aligned and assess their impact. This is particularly true for startups, for which data is harder to come by than for other assets such as listed entities.”

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EnergyLab has contributed to the solution by releasing a taxonomy for SDG-aligned startup investing. The taxonomy identifies 37 categories of cleantech startups across six industries. Each category is assigned a primary SDG that it impacts most significantly and directly, as well as secondary SDGs that the category also contributes to. 

In the report, EnergyLab also assessed over 300 cleantech startups against the taxonomy.

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Findings from EnergyLab’s analysis include:

  • Two thirds of Australian cleantech startups are primarily targeting SDG 7, ‘Affordable and clean energy’
  • Almost 90 per cent of Australian cleantech startups support SDG 14, ‘Life below water’ when both primary and secondary impacts are taken into account
  • Only about 10 per cent of Australian cleantech startup are also deep tech startups, commercialising technology based on new scientific discovery or meaningful engineering innovation
  • Less than 20 per cent of Australian cleantech startups are led by women

The taxonomy and analysis can be downloaded here.