At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the market outlook on Australian real estate was dire, with major banks forecasting national house prices to...
Creating a Green culture: Nurturing Sustainability Post-Lockdown
If there was one silver lining I found during the pandemic, it was the growing awareness of sustainability
As a half-glass full type of person, I am always searching for the silver lining in any situation. If there was one silver lining I found during the pandemic, it was the growing awareness of sustainability. According to a BCG survey, some 70% of survey participants said they became more aware post-pandemic that human activity can have a threatening impact on the climate and the urgent need for environmental action. The survey further found that the crisis is driving more change at the individual level, with 40% reporting that they intend to adopt more sustainable behaviour in the future.
Last year, when we had our first COVID-19 lockdown, I picked up walking (a habit that has since stuck), like many Australians, to escape the confines of their homes. I walked the same trail every day along the coastline and started to notice the ocean getting clearer as each day went by. I wasn’t sure if it was my imagination but it would make sense. Fewer people moving equals less pollution. I heard more examples of this, including clients in India saying they saw blue sky for the first time in New Delhi. So I asked myself, was the pandemic nature’s way of correcting itself? A question that may never be answered but the truth is, the answer is not important. What is important, is to have a conscious and curious mind on the impact we, as humans, have on the environment.
At Aura, we try to encourage our employees to have this conscious and curious mind. We believe a company’s culture is what will ultimately determine whether sustainability is just a buzzword to throw around or a real opportunity to advance the world’s ESG agenda. It is critical for all our employees to understand what sustainability is, and how it comes into play in their everyday work. But sustainability is a journey that will be unique to each person and business, and Aura is still at the start of our journey.
This year, we took the bold move to join the PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment), a United Nations-supported network of investors working together to implement its six aspirational principles surrounding environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG). This move was a significant milestone as it holds us accountable for our promise to do good.
From an investment perspective, we don’t only view sustainability as a need to do good but also as a feasible investment thesis, particularly in venture capital. Our venture team’s mission is to find the best founders who are developing technology to solve problems in big markets. From that perspective, sustainability became one of the inevitable thematics to focus on as there is no bigger problem at a global scale than climate change. We favour companies that have a sustainable angle, and we encourage our portfolio companies to consider, adopt and improve on their ESG-conscious culture.
Examples of how some of our portfolio companies are playing their part:
Shippit is empowering 100% carbon-neutral deliveries
Harvest B is accelerating the world’s transition to a sustainable food system
Lygon is digitising bank guarantees to save up to 4 million pieces of paper per year
Ion Mobility is developing smart electric motorbikes and energy storage solutions
We are excited to play our role in a more sustainable future.
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