August 16, 2022

Meet the SMB-focused ESG software startup.

There is no shortage of enterprise software companies looking to meet the needs of large corporations that want to automatically calculate and manage their carbon footprint data. There are far fewer tools for small and medium-sized businesses — it’s ironic when you consider that these organizations are at least considering the impact of scope 3 on larger companies.

Startups in New York Sustain.LifeLaunched in 2021 by a group of three former Walmart and executives, it aims to fill that gap. in May The company raised $16 million led by co-founder Mike Hanrahan along with early stage Tapestry VC.

“The accounting and carbon offsetting industry is shifting from marketing and cottage industries to a key bulwark in the global fight against climate change. This has been accelerated by the latest industry and regulatory spurts on this issue,” said Patrick Murphy, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Tapestry VC. with the real-life problem of businesses deploying and managing climate accounting. They have created a unique solution that eliminates intermediaries and gives companies of all sizes back control of their carbon accounts. own hands”

Hanrahan, who led Walmart’s acquisition of e-commerce site, told me he’s interested in starting a company focused on addressing climate change stemming from his own experiences trying to keep his personal life free. carbon He recalls being challenged on all fronts, especially by outdated regulations and permitting requirements that made the adoption of clean energy technologies difficult. “Looks like a block after another, I thought, ‘What hope is there for business to be sustainable,'” he said.

The decision to focus on the mid-market was built on the experience of the Sustain.Life team with smaller companies. The software focuses on non-tool specific tasks in the carbon accounting category: measuring emissions from internal operations and supply chains. Calculating reductions based on changes in energy, water and waste processes and reporting progress to stakeholders including investors, customers and employees. This includes the corporate resource planning system and utility reports, Hanrahan said.

A unique change is the automatic suggestions that the software provides. It is based on the expertise from Sustain.Life’s sustainability team and the fact that many customers are at the beginning of their journey to address environmental, social and governance issues. “It’s a programmatic approach with management advice,” says Sustain.Life CSO Alyssa Rade. Topics range from environmental justice to the physical risks associated with energy and water that companies face as a result of the impact of change. climate “We collect this material from practitioners,” she said.

[Want to learn more about entrepreneurs with innovative technologies, products and services across the climate tech landscape? Check out the VERGE 22 Startup Program, taking place in San Jose, CA, Oct. 25-27.]

Sustain.Life did not disclose how many customers it had, but Hanrahan said 20% of them were publicly traded. The first patron was Turtle Fur, a 20-year-old small outdoor apparel and hat retailer based in Morrisville. Vermont state Meghan Ksiazek, the company’s vice president and chief design officer, said her team started implementing the software last fall after hearing about it through Climate Action Corps, an initiative of the outdoor industry association that includes Patagonia, Burton. , New Balance and REI

Turtle Fur doesn’t have a dedicated sustainability manager: the task of coordinating between teams and business functions goes to Ksiazek, but the company uses this technology to help track emissions in Regions 1, 2 and 3 and prepare for it. Applying for a B Corp Certificateshe said.

Sustain.Life’s software was used by the Turtle Fur team to capture and share information. and building a roadmap for the future, Ksiazek said. It doesn’t require much training. People can go into the tool and start using it.”

You will see Sustain.Life sell its applications through multiple channels. This includes a partnership with Interactive Brokers, the largest electronic trading platform in the US, Avetta, which sells supply chain risk management software. and the Sustainable Cannabis Alliance, which supports Sustain.Life for members.

As the focus on tackling emissions in the supply chain has intensified among large corporations. Many of them hope to inspire their smaller partners. Sustain.Life is likely to see competition from some of the largest enterprise software companies, such as Microsoft and Salesforce both building. Extensive sustainability management software platformIt will also likely find itself competing with Persefoni, who hopes to Attract the attention of small and medium-sized companies.. Persephone Revealed a record Series B round worth $101 million. in October. in the middle of july The company has released a live version of the application. Take action in Stripe Marketplacewhich focuses on that community

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