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SaaStrU 201: Prepping for the Rising Demand of ESG (And Why Founders Should Be Doing It) with Diligent's COO

SaaStrU 201: Prepping for the Rising Demand of ESG (And Why Founders Should Be Doing It) with Diligent's COO

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Growing SaaS companies are now operating in a rapidly shifting market in which investors and stakeholders are demanding increased transparency, ethical behavior and culture, and effective risk oversight. And the cost of getting these things wrong are well documented – fines from regulatory bodies, increased legal expenses, complaints of a toxic company culture, and value erosion. Gone are the days when all you had to do was demonstrate strong growth rates and hit financial targets. Today’s SaaS all-stars must also demonstrate that their companies are well governed and have a thoughtful approach on critical ESG topics like environmental impact and diversity Strong governance practices are critical to demonstrate transparency, proper risk oversight, and to meet increasing demands for ESG disclosures and commitments. In order to be IPO-ready, companies need to think about their governance practices from the earliest stage, ensuring their business is rooted in ethical behavior and business principles, so they can create long-term value for stakeholders. In particular, Lisa Edwards can speak to:
• The emergence of ESG commitments in the boardroom and C-suite, and how SaaS companies are building tools to increase board diversity and provide better corporate oversight through monitoring and measuring ESG.
• Why filling top executive roles with qualified candidates from across the spectrum of race, ethnicity, nationality, LGBTQ+ status, gender, age and expertise is essential to modern governance.
• What can growing SaaS company boards do to make sure their ESG policies are up to date and in-line with their most current shareholders’ and customers’ needs?

Growing SaaS companies are now operating in a rapidly shifting market in which investors and stakeholders are demanding increased transparency, ethical behavior and culture, and effective risk oversight. And the cost of getting these things wrong are well documented – fines from regulatory bodies, increased legal expenses, complaints of a toxic company culture, and value erosion. Gone are the days when all you had to do was demonstrate strong growth rates and hit financial targets. Today’s SaaS all-stars must also demonstrate that their companies are well governed and have a thoughtful approach on critical ESG topics like environmental impact and diversity Strong governance practices are critical to demonstrate transparency, proper risk oversight, and to meet increasing demands for ESG disclosures and commitments. In order to be IPO-ready, companies need to think about their governance practices from the earliest stage, ensuring their business is rooted in ethical behavior and business principles, so they can create long-term value for stakeholders. In particular, Lisa Edwards can speak to:
• The emergence of ESG commitments in the boardroom and C-suite, and how SaaS companies are building tools to increase board diversity and provide better corporate oversight through monitoring and measuring ESG.
• Why filling top executive roles with qualified candidates from across the spectrum of race, ethnicity, nationality, LGBTQ+ status, gender, age and expertise is essential to modern governance.
• What can growing SaaS company boards do to make sure their ESG policies are up to date and in-line with their most current shareholders’ and customers’ needs?

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SaaStrU 201: Prepping for the Rising Demand of ESG (And Why Founders Should Be Doing It) with Diligent's COO

  1. 1. Prepping for the Rising Demand of ESG And Why Founders Should Care
  2. 2. You need to have an ESG strategy.
  3. 3. Why should I care? Customers Employees Investors Purpose
  4. 4. ESG: an imperative for growth …
  5. 5. … and a must to maximize value
  6. 6. of boards with no set timeline for achieving diversity goals. 45% 27% of board seats are held by women. Diversity is core to ESG
  7. 7. 18 Venture Capital and Private Equity Firms 843 Collectively worth more than 10 trillion companies
  8. 8. What gets measured gets done
  9. 9. “Each company’s prospects for growth are inextricable from its ability to operate sustainably and serve its full set of stakeholders.” Larry Fink (Jan. 2020)
  10. 10. Five stages of ESG
  11. 11. Compliance 1 Ethical 2 Risk-Focused 3 Value Opportunity 4 Value Creation 5
  12. 12. ESG Data
  13. 13. Are you IPO ready?
  14. 14. Do you have the right board? Is it diverse enough? 1
  15. 15. Do you have the right board? Is it diverse enough? 1 Do you understand your climate risk strategy? Do you even have one? 2
  16. 16. Do you have the right board? Is it diverse enough? 1 Do you understand your climate risk strategy? Do you even have one? 2 Is your ESG program ready for third-party assurance? 3
  17. 17. Do you have the right board? Is it diverse enough? 1 Do you understand your climate risk strategy? Do you even have one? 2 Is your ESG program ready for third-party assurance? 3 Are you ready to report on ESG? 4
  18. 18. Moneyball it.
  19. 19. How are you engaging with your employees, customers, community and planet?
  20. 20. Change the world.
  21. 21. Carbon neutral by 2040 Committed to diversity Employee empathy + flexibility Start at home.
  22. 22. Do Well Do Good
  23. 23. ESG is our legacy. Do something to remember.
  24. 24. THANK YOU @lisaedwardssf

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