#66 – The Fight for Carbon Neutrality: Reducing the Global Carbon Footprint One Company at a Time
with Austin Whitman, Founder & CEO of Climate Neutral
Austin Whitman has spent most of his career learning about carbon emissions and their effect on global climate, spending his early years working in clean energy and policy. But it wasn’t until 2018 (when he connected with Peter Dering and Jonathan Cedar of Peak Design and BioLite) that He realized over the past decade or so since he’d been in the space, it seemed as if no real progress had been made.
International discussions in the United Nations had paused. Even now, the United States has pulled out of the Paris Agreement. Governments and nonprofits who had been doing research on improving greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy sources had essentially stopped.
The number of voluntary markets, both individuals and companies, who had been working on their own carbon offsets did not drop, but it also did not rise. He knew then that it was his time to take some climate action and figure out how to improve the global climate, ultimately trying to achieve total carbon neutrality.
Austin then went on to found Climate Neutral, an independent nonprofit organization he launched in March 2019.
Climate Neutral is working to improve the world’s knowledge of global warming and climate change and accelerate the transition to a low carbon world. They look to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and other fossil fuels that invade our atmosphere through a simple process for companies to measure, reduce, and offset their carbon footprint, ultimately to be able to achieve the status of Climate Neutral certified.
This certification comes with a badge that can be displayed on the company’s website, products, and other consumer-facing collateral. The Climate Neutral team has now committed 120 brands to achieve their Climate Neutral certification, going through the process of measuring their carbon emissions, looking to reduce them to the greatest extent that they can, ultimately hoping to achieve net zero, and offsetting whatever they cannot.
The Climate Neutral badge for companies who have been certified
In this episode, we chat with Austin as he shares his journey with us. He talks about how his company has had such high demand in such a short period of time (by the end of 2019, they were looking to have three dozen brands, and they hit 80). The number of companies taking a stand to commit to this critical step in the direction of social and corporate responsibility is impressive.
Familiar brands, like BioLite and Peak Design, Avocado Green Mattress, Allbirds, All Good Products, Klean Kanteen, and Life Straw have all accelerated the momentum of growth for Climate Neutral; in fact, Grow Ensemble is happy to say we are now a part of the mission to achieve climate neutrality with Climate Neutral as well.
Austin also shares more about the Climate Neutral Certified system He and his team have created, as well as what it’s been like building a non-profit from the ground up.
Want more episodes on companies working to save the environment? Listen to:
CEO Whitman with members of his Climate Neutral Team
“I think by listening to what people are saying out there in the market, it helps you focus on the things that matter and the things that don’t matter. You can tell when somebody makes an announcement, and it gets a lot of attention. When that announcement feels credible, that’s something to pay attention to. Creating a value proposition that people don’t really recognize, it would be harder to focus and pick your path.” -Austin Whitman
- Austin’s journey to founding Climate Neutral
- How Climate Neutral has experienced such exceptionally rapid growth
- The challenges they have faced since launch in 2019
- What the future looks like for the Climate Neutral team
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