Emerging Leaders in Sustainability: BDC Capital’s Bold DEI and ESG Initiatives

Pioneering a New Era of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Sustainability in Canadian Venture Capital

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Key Takeaways:

  • Commitment to DEI and ESG: BDC Capital emphasizes its dedication to diversity, equity, inclusion, and environmental, social, and governance aspects.
  • Industry-Wide Impact: Introduction of DEI and ESG reporting templates marks a significant step towards sustainable practices in venture capital.
  • Strategic Partnerships: Collaboration with key industry players to enhance DEI and ESG integration across the Canadian venture capital ecosystem.

Foreword: A Vision for Sustainable Future

Isabelle Hudon, President & CEO of BDC Capital, sets the tone for the company’s commitment to DEI and ESG. The launch of DEI and ESG reporting templates in partnership with industry leaders exemplifies BDC Capital’s role in shaping a sustainable venture capital landscape in Canada.

A Progressive Approach to Venture Capital

Templates for Change

In 2022, BDC Capital released the DEI reporting template, followed by the ESG reporting template in 2023. These initiatives, developed after extensive consultations, aim to enhance transparency and sustainability in venture capital practices.

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Benchmarking for Progress

Data-Driven Insights

Covering 72 managers and 1,192 portfolio companies, BDC Capital’s portfolio data represents about 63% of all active VC funds in Canada. This comprehensive coverage provides a valuable benchmark for GPs and portfolio companies to assess their DEI and ESG practices.

The State of DEI and ESG in Canadian Venture Capital

Embracing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Progress Yet to Be Made

The Canadian venture ecosystem has shown progress in DEI practices, but challenges remain, particularly in senior positions and board diversity. BDC Capital’s findings indicate a need for more inclusive cultures at the GP and portfolio company levels.

The Journey Towards Sustainability

Early Stages of ESG Integration

While there’s a growing awareness of ESG factors, the adoption of robust ESG policies and practices is still in its infancy. Portfolio companies are more focused on the social and governance aspects, with a growing emphasis on cybersecurity and employee engagement.

BDC Capital’s Community Engagement

Collaborative Efforts for ESG and DEI

Partnering for Change

BDC Capital works closely with industry partners, providing resources and advice to GPs and their companies. Efforts include establishing a Canadian LP ESG committee, developing DEI and ESG resources, and collaborating with organizations across various sectors.

Key Findings: A Closer Look at DEI and ESG

DEI: Strides and Shortcomings

Improving Diversity at All Levels

While there’s an increase in diversity hires, the lack of diversity in leadership positions remains a concern. BDC Capital’s data suggests that companies need to focus more on creating inclusive cultures and integrating DEI into their investment strategies.

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ESG: An Emerging Priority

Cybersecurity and Employee Engagement Lead

The report shows that while companies prioritize cybersecurity, ESG policies and supply chain diligence need more attention. The integration of ESG considerations into investment strategies is crucial for long-term sustainability and risk management.

Conclusion: Leading the Way

Paving a Path for Sustainable Venture Capital

A Call for Collective Action

BDC Capital encourages the industry to embrace DEI and ESG as competitive strengths. The organization aims to foster an ecosystem where diverse and sustainable companies drive future prosperity, aligning with global trends in sustainability disclosures.

For further information, visit BDC Capital or contact BDC’s media team.

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