Many consumers and businesses want to reduce their impact on the environment, but may not know where to start or how to sustain the necessary changes. Tom Ferrier, the founder of Greener, an Australian cleantech startup, wants to help. He argues that sustainability and climate protection need not be complicated.
His startup aims to simplify the decision-making process to help consumers and businesses understand sustainability and reduce their emissions, for example by making other purchasing decisions – and he points to a statistic that affects around 88% of consumers in the US and UK want companies to help them become more sustainable.
For consumers, Greener offers an app that links to the user’s bank account and allows customers to learn about their carbon impact and receive suggestions to make better decisions based on potential purchases for more than 250 brands to make more environmentally friendly purchases.
“It’s as easy for consumers to download the app and securely connect their bank account to our open banking technology partner Basiq to start tracking their carbon footprint [of every dollar spent],” he said. “Once a new user signs up with Greener, open banking technology, combined with data and expertise from the world’s leading climate scientists, allows the Greener app to instantly calculate the greenhouse gas emissions of the user’s spending.”
When asked about user privacy, Ferrier explained that Basiq Open Banking makes it easy for Greener customers to sign up and connect their bank account. “Basiq Open Banking also enables us to securely feed anonymous, aggregated data back to businesses to provide them with insights that help them build customer loyalty and attract even more climate-conscious customers,” said Ferrier.
With a two-sided technology solution, Greener also offers customized solutions for companies of all sizes to reduce their footprint based on business type, size, business model and current sustainable activities. Ferrier told TechCrunch that a company can see where it is on the sustainability journey and receive personalized, clear advice on what it can do to reduce its carbon emissions and waste.
Its consumer app trials showed that the company was able to help shoppers reduce the emissions of their purchases by 23%. The company also saw subscriber growth of over 10% as buyers switched from non-green competing services to greener companies.
The startup today announced a A$4 million ($2.5 million) seed capital increase led by NAB Ventures with participation from RealVC. It plans to use the funding to continue its product development, which is currently in beta, and to advance the public launch of its consumer app and Greener for Business solutions next year.
“While there are other carbon tracking and offsetting platforms on the market, no other company is approaching the climate solution from both sides – consumers and businesses,” argued Ferrier.
Greener’s app is free for consumers, while companies can fund the model on a small margin and be rewarded with new customers and personalized services, he told TechCrunch.
Greener suggests the opportunity is huge, given that 300g of CO2 is related to every dollar spent, with $184 billion spent worldwide every day.
The biggest challenge to climate action is awareness, Ferrier continued. He added that the company sees education as a solution to bridging the gap between motivation and know-how, and rewarding consumers and businesses for their efforts.
The startup has partnered with a number of brands including Microsoft, T2 Tea, Scoop Wholefoods, Brew Dog, Huskee and Go for Zero since its inception in 2019. Greener also has partnerships with the City of Sydney and the Australian Retailer Association (ARA) to help its members accelerate net zero strategies. Greener’s past supporters include Phil Vernon, former CEO of managed investment fund Australian Ethical.
“We all have a role to play in climate change mitigation, and NAB certainly recognizes our role,” Todd Forest, chief executive officer of NAB Ventures, said in a statement. “We are constantly looking at ways we can help our customers and colleagues take action to reduce their carbon footprint and we believe Greener’s product has great potential. Greener is a great fit for NAB Ventures and we look forward to working with them and exploring additional opportunities together.”