Employment: our guide to finding start-ups that are truly committed to social issues and the environment

Do you want to work in the heart of a young company that is committed? You have several problems:

You do not know how to find her

2. You fear greenwashing

Different devices will help you see more clearly in the galaxy of so-called “impact” start-ups.


To identify you, demanding labels testify to the company’s responsible approach. We can quote the famous approval ESU (a thousand companies), such as sets ceilings for dividends, imposes a pay scale and prevents companies from being listed.

There is also the labelB-Corp (145 companies in France), which certifies that private companies integrate social, societal and environmental goals into their mission, their economic model, their workforce and their products.

Associations / networks

Multiple networks can help you list “serious” companies. Among them Impact France movement, a kind of green and social “Medef” for committed entrepreneurs and investors. In total, it shows 2,000 start-ups (social, environmental, etc.)

On the side of France Digitale, an association that brings together around 2,000 investors and tech entrepreneurs, two guides can help you: tech4value where 20 tech masters share their best practices for combining financial performance with accountability.

Then ” effect mapping of the association, a kind of card that brings together start-ups that put impact at the heart of their activity through the sustainable development goals defined by the UN. The last edition collected more than 800 young shoots (not easy to find around, but it has the advantage of being quite exhaustive).

In terms of inclusion and the diversity aspect, the Diversidays Association publishes a “register” of diversity “talents” who work for a more just society. Among them employees but also creators of companies or associations that you can turn to.

Price reductions

Every year since 2019, BFM Business in collaboration with France Digitale has organized ” tech for good prices », 7 prizes awarded to virtuous start-ups in 7 verticals: civic action, circular economy, education and training, resource management, mobility and health. A jury of entrepreneurs, journalists and institutions is responsible for selecting the winners.

Also take a look at the winners of ” social entrepreneur awarded annually since 2007 by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and a jury of CAC 40 leaders and personalities from the Social and Solidarity Economy (ESS). Over the past fifteen years, entrepreneurs like Lucie Basch (Too Good To Go), Théo Scubla (Each One), Thomas Matagne (Ecov) have been rewarded.

Indexes / rankings

Also consider public indexes, such as the brand newer ones GreenTech20 born in 2021. This program supports 20 start-ups that offer groundbreaking innovation in the ecological transformation, with the opportunity to implement on a large scale. Every year, 20 new gold nuggets are selected.

Similarly, but the projects are often very young, the program French Tech Springboard supports entrepreneurs from rural areas and / or disadvantaged backgrounds. These often offer (but not only) projects with a social impact.

If youth does not scare you, Positive planet, the foundation of Jacques Attali, has since this year established the ranking of the 35 “positive” leaders under the age of 35. Almost all of them monitor structures that you can join, with the assurance of having a positive impact on society.

Tips to avoid greenwashing

– Observe control: is it divided? Does the company publish reports on its impact (positive and negative)? What is the structure of the startup? Its labels?

– See the results. For example, in a reintegration company, the positive exit rates for the accompanying persons observe what has become of the recipients. In other words, it’s good to paint yourself green, but you need concrete actions behind it.

– In addition to the discourse on gender balance, diversity and well-being at work, take a concrete look at the composition of teams. Do not hesitate to discuss with the employees.

Regarding large companies, the collective For an ecological revival asked several dozen of them about their activity and published the answers.

Leave a Comment