Sustainability is often seen as the expensive path to take, be it for a business or a consumer. A small business has to pay hundreds of pounds and go through a painstaking process of consulting a sustainability consultant to understand the source of its emissions and potentially reduce them. Even for someone with the money and time to do that, they often don’t know where to begin.
The trouble of offsetting
In a world of shortcuts, offsetting is the one I have seen many businesses end up with. While it makes absolute sense to plant trees, it does not really help if we continue to emit and rely on offsetting without having a knowledge of our impact on the planet. Offsetting is to be the last resort, not the first one. Carbon footprinting is one of the key tools we have today to scientifically estimate our impact on the planet’s ecosystem.
Of course, footprinting is a part of a multitude of other tools (the world is a complex web of problems and solutions) including efficiency improvement, plastic waste reduction, circular economy products, etc. Some of these things cannot be measured simply from the Carbon footprinting perspective, it is a holistic approach that businesses need in this space. However, identifying the direct emissions from your company is a key fundamental task to being aware of how your profits affect the planet and its people.
Why we developed a free dashboard
There are a few reasons why we went for a free Carbon platform. The first and foremost one is that people have nothing to lose in accessing a Xero certified free Carbon platform, so this encourages businesses to take a simple step on their sustainability journey without losing hundreds of pounds in the process. The technology is simple, the Greenhouse Gas Protocol standards are out there for anyone to learn and create a system and there are government databases out there to help us along the process. Our vision from the very beginning was to democratise decarbonisation and reduce the barriers to entry for small businesses. This is well inline with that vision, even though it disrupts the market.
How do we make money?
We don’t want to make money from educating people about their impact on the planet. We want to help these businesses do more than that. Our revenue currently comes from businesses who want to go a step further and craft their own Net Zero journey. But we are not stopping there. We intend to provide even more products, services and networks that help small businesses drive their emissions down to zero.
Looking forward, we see benefits in developing a free dashboard that everyone can use to compare and reward businesses that do go green in their sector as well as transparent net zero journey storyboards that give value to the small businesses as well as their customers while giving real-time information on their planetary impact.