Altruistiq has generated emissions numbers across >50m tCO2e of business. So, as we pass this milestone, I pulled together a few highlights which I shared at Sustainable Foods London this week.
The situation today:
- Most companies we work with have over >100k unique ingredient/material purchases, which go into creating their products. To quantify the environmental impact of these items, they typically use <5K unique Emissions Factors, available via third party consultants, service providers, and databases (prior to working with us). This is a thin layer of mostly secondary data.
- This unstable, inverted data pyramid means that companies have no ability to demonstrate progress, no security against claims of greenwashing, and no control over what their numbers actually look like. This is going to feel a lot worse as companies migrate from needing primarily spend based to primarily activity/weight based data for FLAG.
- Vendors are selling two brands of Kool-Aid: 1) no touch solutions that leverage data science and satellite data to generate numbers without the need to interact with suppliers; 2) ‘one platform to rule them all’ approaches that promise to have every relevant supplier on them.
- Most companies find the second approach appealing (understandable). However, their GHG Inventories are the contribution of multiple industries (agriculture, packaging, logistics, retail) all of which are hearing the same promises from different vendors.
- Hoping for a single solution means reconciling with low response rates (as 100 ‘single solutions’ go out to market), a lack of assurance (as everyone hopes to get all of this for free), and no ability to drive change (as companies lose the data connection with their suppliers).
There’s light at the end of the tunnel:
The good news though is that this is going to get better (and the disingenuous pitches will fade). Three changes happening:
- standards are becoming stronger, more holistic, and more even;
- tech is becoming interoperable (so every supplier’s platform will be able to speak to yours, even if won’t actually be the same as yours);
- regulation and (industry self-regulation) is going to force most companies to start putting money on the table to drive change (which boost supplier appetite to engage).
With that, I’m feeling reasonably optimistic - and looking forward to the next 100m tcO2e for Altruistiq.