Start-up offsets carbon with merchandise
Want to give someone a carbon free week? One of our social technology start-ups bundles carbon offset certificates with merchandise.
Social technology start-up Decarbonice offers a hassle-free way for customers to offset their carbon emissions by buying into socially responsible, high impact emission reduction projects.
By attaching gold standard carbon credits to physical products, Decarbonice aims to make the current complex and often unattractive carbon credit market more transparent, tangible and appealing. Decarbonice enables people to offset their emissions quickly and in a meaningful way.
Christmas cards attached to carbon credits are the first product from Decarbonice. Recipients of these special cards, sold at 2.50 Euros each, have their average carbon emissions offset for a week. The cost of the card is invested in a project in the developing world – such as a wind farm project in New Caledonia, or a re-forestation project in Uganda.
Decarbonice is made up of three young entrepreneurs who met on the Climate-KIC summer school, the Journey in 2011. This five week intensive course focused on climate innovation, during which students attended classes across three European cities. The three co-founders from Norway, the Netherlands and the UK met and came up with this innovative business model.
Christmas 2012 was the first real trading opportunity for Decarbonice, The team secured distribution through a retail outlet in central London and sold over 500 cards.
From student to entrepreneur
Decarbonice where awarded a grant of €10,000 through Climate-KIC’s student greenhouse programme. This programme is open to graduates of the Climate-KIC summer school, the journey. Decarbonise defined their market and created a viable business plan.
This grant was spent with a marketing agency to create their brand and first product. Climate-KIC provided Decarbonice with mentoring and coaching to refine their business model and launch their first product. The Decarbonice founders also attended a Climate-KIC masterclass on sales with a leading entrepreneur. Connecting up people, Decarbonice were introduced to South Pole, a Climate-KIC partner specialising in carbon credits.
Hannah Loake, founder Decarbonice commented: “Without Climate-KIC the decarbonice venture would have no co-founders, no funding, no mentoring and no business model! This EIT initiative has empowered us as young environmentally aware students to have a positive effect in the world and has also given us the opportunity to do something we are extremely passionate about. The experience so far has been invaluable.”
Andrew Burford, Climate-KIC entrepreneurship commented: “Decarbonice are a fantastic team who balance a social conscience with the motivation to make a success of their business idea. Their use of everyday products such as greeting cards to promote the use of carbon credits to the general public is a fabulous way of making climate change tangible and raising the awareness of the challenges we all face.”
The team is optimistic about the future of their business, and is currently focusing on developing new greeting card designs as well as diversifying their product portfolio and developing strong relationships with widely recognized retailers. Now that Decarbonice is a registered company, Climate-KIC is continuing to provide coaching and has awarded them a further grant of €20,000 to support their business development.