Meeting the ESG Imperative with Venture Building and Investing

Fueled by a global push for clean energy and the U.S. government’s plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, Global 1000 companies are ramping up investments in sustainability, and more broadly, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives. Sustainable investments in the U.S. alone jumped to $17.1 trillion last year, up 42% from 2018. 

“ESG-focused corporate venturing is the fastest growing sector of Mach49’s business. With a focus on execution, we partner with our clients to bring their sustainability initiatives to market — enabling their commitment to clean energy and a circular economy,” commented Paul Holland, Managing Director of our Corporate Investing Practice and former cleantech investor at Foundation Capital.

Across all of our client work with investments and incubations, ventures focused on the circular economy, sustainable energy, sustainable mobility, EV fleet management, and intelligent infrastructure have remained a top priority. 

In a July 2021 panel discussion hosted by Global Corporate Venturing (GCV), Holland spoke with Halliburton Labs’ Scott Gale and Schneider Electric’s Grégoire Viasnoff about the pioneering role they are playing in cleantech and sustainability efforts.  

A View into Schneider Electric and Halliburton Labs

Schneider Electric

This multinational energy management company has been incubating new ventures with Mach49 since 2018. Together with Mach49, Schneider Electric also started a CVC arm, SE Ventures, in the same year. SE Ventures launched a $565 million fund dedicated to investing in renewable energy, smart structures, and industry 4.0. SE Ventures maintains an active role in these investments, serving as a strategic advisor and accelerator for these high-potential startups. 

Grégoire Viasnoff, Incubation Business VP at Schneider Electric, explained that “Right now, we are facing a revolution. We are facing a world which is fast growing. If you want to generate any kind of growth, you need to have energy.” He highlighted the vital role that Schneider Electric plays in creating a sustainable future as a leading energy provider. 

Schneider Electric was recently named the most sustainable company in the world by Corporate Knights. Heriberto Diarte, Founder and Managing Partner of SE Ventures, emphasized Schneider Electric’s new focus on the circular economy, stating that “Schneider Electric has always been committed to investing in people and the planet, but we have increased our focus on sustainability because it’s the right thing. We all need to learn to do more with less. Together, Schneider Electric with our R&D and domain expertise and SE Ventures with our ventures’ innovations can lead the energy revolution.”

Historically, corporate incubator design has a 92% failure rate. By contrast, SE Ventures has achieved an almost unheard of 100% success rate in CVC. SE Ventures has spawned: eIQ Mobility, an EV fleet as a service offering; Clipsal Solar, a top Australian residential solar energy provider; and Dash Energy, an intelligent energy monitoring solution. 

Halliburton Labs

In 2020, Mach49 aided in the launch of Halliburton Labs’ clean energy scaling program, which works to provide sustainable startups with access to Halliburton's lab facilities, technical expertise, and business network. Their mission is to expand the cleantech industry and promote sustainable growth through the acceleration of ESG ventures.

Scott Gale, Executive Director at Halliburton Labs, shared the underlying inspiration that motivated Halliburton Labs’ shift into climate-focused venturing. “For us, it's a recognition that it's real -- change is coming. Two years from now, five years from now, 50 years from now, the energy system of the future will look very different than it looks today.”

Halliburton Labs recently announced the second cohort of startups selected into the program’s collaborative environment to advance and scale clean, affordable energy, with ventures such as Alumina Energy, Lonada, Parasanti, and SurgePower Materials. 

The Time for Climate Tech is Now

Yates adds urgency to the ESG imperative: “The time to take action in favor of sustainability-focused venture building and investing is now. We have entered into a new era of cleantech investment, with startups and large corporations both doubling-down on green solutions.”

Ready to launch into ESG venturing? Get in touch to find out more about corporate venturing and investing for a sustainable future. 

Read more about our clients’ pioneering sustainability-focused work here, highlighting TDK Ventures, Hitachi, Mitsubishi Electric, LIXIL Corporation, RWE Energy, and more.


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