Stakeholderz and the FCA’s new Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (SDRs)

During 2024 the new rules set out by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regarding Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (SDRs) come into play. 

Supporting sustainability-focused businesses is at the heart of what Stakeholderz do, so we’re keen to ensure we’re ahead of the curve with not just the letter, but also the spirit, of any rules and regulations around sustainability. 

Some businesses out there have indicated that this is, for them, cumbersome red tape – but we think if a business is struggling to find ways to follow the necessary rules then it might be a sign that they should have been thinking more carefully about sustainability in the first place. If they’ve been vague about the sustainability aspects of their products, services, suppliers or partners then it might just be that these rules are there to root out their vagueness… 

On 31 May 2024 the first part of the SDRs, the anti-greenwashing rule, took effect. Fundamentally this means that any references to sustainability must be “fair, clear and not misleading, and proportionate to the sustainability profile of the product and service”. 

When deciding whether or not to support a venture, we look closely at a range of factors. Credibility – including evidence of both achievement and intent – around sustainability is a key aspect of our due diligence, and we also work with the businesses we advise to ensure that pitch decks and other investor-facing documents contain transparent and accurate detail about their sustainability claims. 

The Stakeholderz view of the sustainability investing ecosystem centres on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – which means we’re looking for businesses which are driving positive impact across a range of areas, including net zero, cleantech and greentech; education and improved workplaces; health, wellness, medtech and life sciences; poverty alleviation and social impact; the circular economy; food security; responsible use of resources; and more. 

To ensure we’re clear to investors about how businesses are approaching sustainability, we indicate in our deal platform which SDG(s) each business is promoting, with the relevant icon(s) clearly shown in the “SDG” section of each dealroom. 

From 2 December naming and marketing rules will come into force, including 4 specific labels relating to the sustainability investing market: Sustainability Impact™, Sustainability Improvers™, Sustainability Focus™ and Sustainability Mixed Goals™. Over the next few months we’ll be taking a look at the best way to incorporate these into our investment platform, to ensure we’re as transparent as possible with investors around the fantastic impact being achieved by the businesses we support. 

If you’re an investor interested in sustainability-focused businesses, or you’re a venture in the space looking to raise funds from like-minded professional funds and angels, get in touch to find out how Stakeholderz can support you. 

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