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How come founders don’t give a crap about sustainability?

Everyone talks a good game, but fewer than 1% of founders mention ‘sustainability’ in their fundraising docs

When I talked to hundreds of founders at TechCrunch Disrupt this year, everybody seemed to be in a broad consensus that climate change is a bad thing. But still it seems like it is all lip service.

I recently used an AI tool to analyze my library of thousands of pitch decks to find out how many founders talk about the environment, climate change or sustainability in their pitch decks. The result was pretty dismal: Less than 1% of pitch decks mention any of these topics, and the ones that do are mostly startups specifically founded to address climate change.

That’s a travesty. If you’re a cog in a giant, 45,000-person, multinational corporation, you have some chance of being a grassroots influencer, but it’s hard to move a supertanker. As a founder, however, you’re in the rare position of being able shape a company the way you want.

If you care about equity, sustainability, parental leave — pick your poison — you have a chance to make a difference. Take that stand, make that statement, put it into your mission or vision statement or values. And share it as part of your pitch deck.


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