Many consumers and companies 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 action doesn’t need to be complicated.
His startup is geared toward simplifying the decision-making process to help consumers and businesses understand sustainability and reduce their emissions, such as by making different purchasing decisions — and he points to a statistic that suggests around 88% of consumers in the U.S. and the U.K want businesses to help them be more sustainable.
For consumers, Greener offers an app that links to the user’s bank account, enabling customers to learn about their carbon impact and get suggestions to make better choices on shopping greener based on potential purchases for 250+ brands.
“For consumers, it is as simple as downloading the app and securely connecting their bank account using our open banking technology partner Basiq, to start tracking their carbon footprint [of every dollar spent],” he said. “Once a new user signs up to Greener, open banking technology alongside data and expertise from the world’s leading climate scientists enables the Greener app to instantly calculate the greenhouse gas emissions of the user’s spending.”
When asked about users’ data 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 allows us to securely pass anonymous, aggregated data back to businesses to provide them with insights that will help them build customer loyalty and attract even more climate-conscious customers,” Ferrier said.
Offering a double-sided tech solution, Greener also provides tailored solutions for businesses of all sizes toward reducing their footprint based on business type, size, business model and current sustainable activities. Ferrier told TechCrunch that a business can see where they are on the sustainability journey and is provided with personalized, clear advice on what they can do to reduce their carbon emissions and waste.
From its consumer app trials, the company saw that it was able to help shoppers reduce the emissions of their purchases by 23%. The company also saw upwards of 10% of customer growth, with shoppers switching to greener businesses from non-green competition services.
The startup is announcing a seed raise of 4 million AUD today ($2.5 million), 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 ramp up to the public launch of its consumer app and Greener for Business solutions next year.
“Although there are other carbon tracking and offset platforms in the market, no other business is tackling the climate solution from both sides — consumer and business,” Ferrier argued.
Greener’s app is free for consumers, while businesses fund the model at a low margin and can be rewarded with new customers and personalized services, he told TechCrunch.
Greener suggests the opportunity is enormous as 300g of CO2 is attached to every dollar spent, with $184 billion spent globally every day.
The major challenge facing climate action is awareness, Ferrier continued. He added that the company sees education as the solution, closing the gap between motivation and know-how, and rewarding consumers and businesses for their efforts.
The startup has partnered with a number of brands, such as Microsoft, T2 Tea, Scoop Wholefoods, Brew Dog, Huskee and Go for Zero, since its inception in 2019. Greener has also partnered with the City of Sydney and the Australian Retailer Association (ARA) to help their members accelerate net-zero strategies. Greener’s previous backers include Phil Vernon, former CEO of the managed investment fund Australian Ethical.
“We all have a part to play in climate action and NAB certainly recognises our role,” said Todd Forest, managing director of NAB Ventures, in a statement. “We’re continuously looking at ways we can support our customers and colleagues to take action to reduce their carbon footprint and we think Greener’s product has great potential. Greener is an excellent fit for NAB Ventures and we look forward to working with them and exploring further opportunities together.”