CARE in Fintech

Environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) reporting has become an important instrument for the sustainable transition of the next generation of business-startup. Nonetheless, poor ESG data quality impedes effective reporting, especially in domains such as Fintech where top-down ESG metrics may overlook pertinent material issues.

Our action research study CAREinFintech applies a design probe in the form of the notion of an ESG data commons to explore possible strategies to improve ESG data quality in Fintech startup. By reporting on the initial results of an ongoing study of a Danish Fintech startup cluster, we develop a practice-based approach that highlights the changing processes, teleoaffective structures, and sociomaterial dynamics of ESG data commons.  

Our findings suggest the challenge in ESG reporting for startups in the Fintech domain where top-down ESG metrics may overlook pertinent material issues, is not the lack of ESG frameworks or willingness to fulfill them. Rather, it is the lack of methods that connect the practices of business development for startups and their stakeholders such as venture capital and cluster. A practice-based approach to ESG data commons sets the first step to address this need and calls for future research to experiment and strengthen this approach in the sustainable transition of next generation of businesses. We encourage future studies to investigate the emerging organizational form, process, and governance of ESG data commons that arise from such design process. 

Author: The CAREinFintech Team

Contact: Cancan Wang