OUR ESG CHARTER
Long before ESG investing became mainstream in financial markets, the founding general partners of MPower have championed non-financial factors, such as diversity and governance, in economic and financial analysis. We believe that the thoughtful consideration and integration of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors into companies, including startups, provides them with a core lever for long-term value creation.
With the launch of MPower Partners, we are committed to integrating the highest standards of ESG in all aspects of our own fund operations in order to achieve our mission of empowering bold, globally-minded entrepreneurs providing tech-enabled solutions to societal challenges; helping innovative companies drive sustainable growth through ESG integration; and revolutionizing Japanʼs venture ecosystem via greater globalization, diversity, and innovation. Through our activities, we will promote ESG-integrated investing in the venture capital industry.
The following are our materialities and goals to achieve the MPower Partners mission.
- Resource management in our own operations – be as efficient as possible in our use of resources
- Greenhouse gas emissions – measure, reduce, and offset our carbon emissions
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion – promote a startup ecosystem, which includes our own workplace, that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive
- Health, safety, and wellness – ensure health, safety, and wellness of our employees
- Knowledge, awareness, and development – enable learning and betterment for our employees, as well as the broader public, on ESG topics
- Ethical conduct – uphold the highest level of ethical conduct for all of our activities
- Accountable leadership – ensure the highest standards of governance in our fund management and operations
- Transparency and reporting – provide transparency in our policies and activities, especially to our employees and investors
- Data privacy and security – comply and stay up-to-date with all data-related best practices and regulations
We are implementing these goals with actions and commitments in each ESG category, and will track our progress using defined metrics. We will share these through a separate channel, and revisit them on a regular basis.
Our investment approach
ESG is core to our investment thesis, and we integrate ESG principles in every stage of our investment process.
In deal sourcing, we identify investment opportunities that promote tech-enabled sustainable living, while excluding sectors that we believe stand in contrast to ESG (e.g., tobacco, gambling, fossil fuels) as well as businesses with known, repeated, or unresolved human rights violations. We look for an ESG-aligned mindset within leadership teams. We enable access for diverse founding teams.
In due diligence, alongside our fundamental assessment of a business, we also conduct a high-level ESG evaluation, in order to understand where environmental-, social- (including human rights), and governance-related risks may lie and how we can help add value in the company’s ESG integration process. In order to ensure that the founders are committed to their ESG agenda, we request them to sign an ESG Memorandum Of Understanding prior to our investment.
Post-investment, we provide hands-on support for each of our portfolio companies to determine the most material ESG factors for their businesses, and based on these, we help them create an ESG roadmap, including specific KPIs. We then maintain a continuous dialogue with each company regarding their roadmaps and closely monitor their progress.
Furthermore, ESG principles are embedded in MPower Partners’ own operations and on June 26, 2021, we became an official signatory of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI).