‘Sustainability’ as a term is open-ended – there’s no one verified definition, and it’s so complex that it’s impossible to know where to even start. In that sense, many businesses can find it overwhelming. However, one fundamental area which can be quantified and accounted for is carbon emissions.
At Connect Earth, we pride ourselves on carbon tracking data being useful at scale in harnessing well-informed sustainable business models. Our flagship product, Connect Insights, provides consumers with carbon emission estimates of their daily financial transactions, and Connect Report delivers the same for SMEs. In essence, the value-add of these solutions is the starting point to help people and businesses understand carbon accounting and their environmental impact.
Harnessing data for sustainable business
A key issue hindering sustainability data from being so effectively used is the lack of tracking and presenting it.
“At Connect Earth, we are focused on maintaining high-accuracy models and making them as useful to end-users as possible,” says Josh Couchman, Head of Data Strategy at Connect Earth. “Fundamentally, high quality data is not only precisely calculated, but practically useful too.”
“Despite the existence of frameworks such as The Greenhouse Gas Protocol, there is a huge learning curve for businesses trying to account carbon in a reliable, standardised way, making it extremely difficult and costly for most companies. However, cutting corners here can result in underwhelming data quality, leading to lower return on both time and money invested into the process”.
If an individual or corporate customer of our partnering banks wants to review a report of their personal or corporate carbon footprint, they can see their total emissions figure in relation to their peers, or their whole industry. As opposed to seeing this figure as an isolated number, they can contextualise the data and create effective strategies around it. Through continually updated and enhanced data models and databases, along with tips and insights around dealing with carbon emission sources, we make carbon accounting significantly more approachable for businesses to feed into their sustainability strategy.
Cultivating quality carbon data technology
Everything we do as human beings is some kind of transaction – there are incredible masses of data covering every single activity. Through categorising those transactions, just like banks are able to, there is suddenly a wealth of information available to be used.
In order for businesses to effectively utilise carbon tracking technology, it needs to be easy to integrate. New technologies get adopted far quicker if they can be seamlessly incorporated into existing systems. From a technological perspective, Connect Earth invests a lot of time and energy in developing excellent infrastructure which can cultivate real change.
The rising tide of sustainable investment
There are huge financial incentives in driving sustainable business models further, and banks are under increasing pressure to step up their game. One of the ways they’re trying to do this is by offering more sustainable financing options to companies that can prove their sustainability credentials.
In addition, prospective business partners are taking preference to businesses that are able to demonstrate ESG and conscious initiatives across their supply chains. Either not being aware of, or not being able to demonstrate sustainability data could soon be a big barrier companies could face when trying to carry out or grow business.
Connect Report looks to bridge this gap by offering banks the opportunity to use carbon accounting and see who is best placed to receive financial incentives, like green loans.
For banks, access to high quality carbon data of their business customers unlocks the ability to offer financial incentives for taking positive environmental action to their most suitable customers. However, carbon and other sustainability-related data on businesses is under-valued and under-used.
“Carbon data has great potential to differentiate between companies at scale, in a variety of applications, but this type of data is neither accessible enough nor trusted enough to have seen widespread application,” says Josh Couchman. “We see these issues as being tied together in a vicious cycle where lack of confidence and availability limit adoption, which limits confidence, and so on. However, we believe that products like Connect Report will help us generate a critical mass of data that will flip this from a vicious cycle to a virtuous cycle of increasing data availability, confidence and application.”
We’re here for the SMEs
“With Connect Report, we are focusing on SMEs,” says Josh Couchman. “We begin here because we believe that SMEs are massively underserved. There’s a long tail of carbon accounting where a significant proportion of emissions come from SMEs, but has not been financially worth it to onboard carbon accountants. We’re solving this by making the first step of carbon accounting pain-free, eliminating the barrier to entry, by enabling SMEs to self-account.”
Just for a bit of escapism, let’s take the climate crisis out of the equation. Carbon accounting is highly intertwined with operational efficiency – we can view carbon emissions as a proxy for the energy that you’re expending as a company. Through implementing processes to collect this carbon data, you can also benefit from a deeper understanding of your operations – where your biggest carbon expenses are, the biggest financial expenses often fall. Even from a non-climate crisis viewpoint, carbon accounting can yield extremely valuable insights.
Now is the time to get carbon tracking
For businesses, this is an integral time to get sustainable operations up to scratch. One of the most exciting things about right now is the momentum building up in and around sustainability. Collaboration and inclusivity are fundamental within Connect Earth’s value set – we need to make sure that people aren’t left behind by this rising tide.
Through our high quality, contextualised, easily integrated carbon emissions data, businesses can pinpoint carbon expenditures and put effective internal sustainability models into place. Climate change as a whole needs people and industries working together to solve it – there’s a lot of power in partnership.
Get in touch with us to see how Connect Earth can excel your company’s sustainability model through innovative, effective carbon accounting.
About Connect Earth:
Founded in 2021, Connect Earth is a London-based environmental data company that democratises easy access to sustainability data. With its carbon tracking API technology, Connect Earth is on a mission to empower consumers and SMEs to make sustainable choices and bridge the gap between intent, knowledge and action. Connect Earth supports financial institutions in offering their customers transparent insight into the climate impact of their spending.