Issues such as climate change, resource scar­city, digi­ta­liza­tion and sustaina­bi­lity present clear risks and oppor­tu­ni­ties for compa­nies, regard­less of their size or indus­try. In addi­tion, the issue of sustaina­bi­lity is play­ing an incre­asingly important role in society at large. Today, almost all stake­hol­ders expect compa­nies to operate sustain­ably and to analyze, address — and trans­par­ently commu­ni­cate — their envi­ron­men­tal and social impacts on the envi­ron­ment, the economy and society. The frame­work for this is ESG, which stands for Envi­ron­men­tal, Social, Gover­nance. In the finan­cial world as well as in compa­nies, this term has mean­while become estab­lished when talking about sustainability.

While corpo­ra­ti­ons, large and listed compa­nies have alre­ady firmly ancho­red ESG in their corpo­rate stra­tegy, many small or medium-sized compa­nies are only just start­ing out. There is a lack of funding, exper­tise, dedi­ca­ted resour­ces — and some­ti­mes the will — to pull off this feat. Finan­cial inves­tors, who can provide both capi­tal and exper­tise, are often the right part­ner here to help entre­pre­neur-led, small or medium-sized compa­nies imple­ment ESG factors and promote their sustainable development.

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