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Founding a sustainability start-up in uncertain times

Founding a business and starting from scratch is challenging. When we set out to found SustainLab just a few months ago, it was impossible to imagine that we would be in a completely different reality by now: a reality of companies cutting down on all expenses that are not business critical, stopping investments and laying off employees.

Being suspicious, or even scared, of the unknown is natural to humans and has proved to be a critical survival strategy throughout human history. When the unknown, in addition, is forced on whole societies at record speed and force by Coronavirus, trying to fight back to previously known grounds might be a natural response. However, this is not the right time to look back at business as we knew it and try to reach that stage. Now, it is time to look at what world and economy we want to see and prepare for that. Now, we know that societies can change fast. Now, we know that business models can be renewed overnight. Now, we know that innovation can be accelerated over a matter of days.

Now, we know that societies can change fast. Now, we know that business models can be renewed overnight. Now, we know that innovation can be accelerated over a matter of days.

There is no shortcut to a more sustainable business, but the process can be accelerated. Companies need to know their impact, and they need to know it more often than once yearly when sustainability reports are due. Tracking, processing and understanding sustainability data need to be as integral to companies as understanding their financials. That is why we, despite founding a start-up in times more insecure than they have been for a decade, are positive that SustainLab is founded in the exact right time - a time when it is critical for companies to embed sustainability in their business models, for pure survival reasons.

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