SCALING UP CONSUMER POWER TO TACKLE CLIMATE CHANGE
Austin Whitman joined Climate Neutral as its founding CEO because of his belief in the power of markets to drive behavior change. A certification label for businesses committed to measuring and reducing their carbon emissions, the start-up took off upon launch, enrolling 340 companies to measure and reduce their carbon emissions by 2021. Despite this growth, expenses in 2021 outpaced earned income, and the non-profit organization required more resources to keep pace with the workload that came from working with so many companies eager to take climate action. Austin needed to determine how best to align his business model so that Climate Neutral could stay committed to its social purpose, while maintaining profitable growth.
Jonathan Cedar, CEO of Biolite and Peter Dering, CEO of Peak Design decide to start a non-profit that would help companies measure and reduce carbon emissions. Hire Austin Whitman as CEO
In the Q1 2021 certification cycle of 207 brands, the top 27 brands accounted for more than half of certification fees. The remainder came from brands with significantly smaller operations. Growth outpaces profits and donations.
Austin convenes his small team at a company retreat, to consider what Climate Neutral’s value-add should become, as a small nonprofit organization?
Climate Neutral develops the Brand Emissions Estimator (BEE). The tool followed the Greenhouse Gas Protocol conventions, relied on greenhouse gas emission data from certified sources, and became the foundational ways the organization certified companies.
150 brands undertake the certification process and display the Climate Neutral Label