Climate Action Guide

With new technology coming to market daily, reducing your carbon footprint is not just about helping the planet, it’s a way to bolster your balance sheet through more valuable products and lower costs. In the coming years, climate will be a core tenet of every company’s growth strategy and we want to help you lay the foundation for yours now.

We get it. You’re wildly busy growing your company. The last thing you need is another set of hurdles on the meandering path of building and scaling a startup. You’re probably inundated with news about companies and countries making climate pledges. “Neutral by 2030!” “Net Zero by 2050!” “Negative by 2070!”

We know you care a lot about the climate, but we also know that it’s not clear what responsibility or impact a startup can have on climate, let alone how to intertwine a climate strategy with an existing product and go-to-market strategy.

A Case for Climate

So, should you pay attention? Let us try to sell you on why you should.

To start, we should educate you about the importance of keeping the planet below 1.5°C of warming above pre-industrial levels… Or, wait, is it 40% below 2007 levels by 2030, as the newly minted legislation in the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act targets… Cue record scratch.

Eyes glazing over? We can relate; it’s tough to keep up. Sometimes all the jargon can be intimidating. With such a learning curve, how can we expect everyone to participate?

To that end, there is a right way and wrong way to approach climate. Vegan leather inside of a car with a combustion engine is not climate friendly at the end of the day. Purchasing offsets without a long-term strategy to reduce emissions is also not very viable. And so on.

But let’s be realistic and pragmatic. Let’s invite more companies into the process instead of turning them away. If we can connect emission reductions to balance sheet improvement, business leaders will pay attention. If we can dramatically broaden and simplify the path to getting started, founders and execs will take the first step. This is our goal and we hope you’ll join us.

What You’ll Learn

In this guide we are going to…

  1. Help you bolster your balance sheet with more valuable products and lower costs.
  2. Dispel common myths that besiege climate progress such as “we’re too small to make an impact,” “it’s too expensive/complicated,” and “it’s not part of our core business.”
  3. Disambiguate corporate climate concepts such as Net Zero, Emission Measurement (Scopes 1, 2 and 3), and Offsetting.
  4. And, importantly, teach you how to get started with whatever time and budget you have available, even if it’s virtually none.

Deeper in the guide you will learn how to…

  1. Leverage analogous businesses and common sense to isolate carbon hotspots.
  2. Start with carbon reductions that drive startup growth.
  3. And implement an offsetting strategy that actually helps your brand.

There aren’t any frameworks or research papers that will tell you exactly what changes you need to make to decarbonize your business. You’re a startup founder and you know that businesses aren’t built in a classroom or boardroom; they’re built in the trenches. Decarbonization is the same. Executing, failing, and executing again better the next time is the name of the game. The science of emission reductions can inadvertently turn off the most shrewd, strategic, operationally excellent business minds because of its academic nature. The good news is, you just have to summon your startup roots, roll up your sleeves, and get after it.

Guiding Pillars

In this guide you’ll find five pillars that are critical to an impactful, scalable climate strategy — regardless of your size, budget, and available resources. In each section, we’ll give you our take on what works and what doesn’t on the path to being net zero, learned through working with climate experts and working in the trenches with startups and growth-stage companies.

They are:

  1. Instill Culture
  2. Measure
  3. Analyze
  4. Reduce & Replace
  5. Offset

To get started, we will ask you to choose the sector that most closely aligns with your business as well as the level of investment you have to give to climate. These choices will guide your way.

One last thought before you start…

In the blink of an eye, little companies become big companies and little climate programs become big climate programs. If Amazon was climate conscious when it was a startup, the climate impact of global supply chains, logistics/deep tech, digital infrastructure, and even agriculture would look dramatically different today. So let’s get started, shall we?