Sustainability and ESG Data Becomes Essential
Back in July 2019 I wrote about how a change in how companies are measured and financed would be crucial for a sustained, future-proofed focus on sustainable business.
In December 2019, I wrote about micro-plastics (among other things) and how the market for sustainability data would also be crucial.
In June 2021, I looked at the data showing how important sustainability is for businesses of the future. Later that month I also picked up on some interesting data points that indicated a shift in consumer concern towards making sustainable purchasing decisions.
Sustainability Data Startups
Biting of more than they can shoe?
Carbonfact, a French startup, has the lofty ambition of being able to assess and publish the carbon impact of any product on the planet.
Now that is quite a goal. In fact, as I am currently reading Simon Sinek The Infinite Game, this would be classified as infinite thinking, and infinite thinking is exactly what we need right now.
Our vision here is that CO2 will be super, super important for every retailer … and brands and marketplaces will need a technological player to display the carbon footprints massively on a large number of products
Naturally, every journey starts with a single step, and in this case Carbonfact has set its targets on the sneaker and footwear industry. Apparently, shoes are relatively easy to assess the carbon footprint of - typically they are made of just a few materials, the most carbon-intensive of them being petroleum derived products such as Nylon and Polyurethane.
Following in the footsteps of the research in my previous articles mentioned above, footwear brands are acutely aware that consumers are rapidly become more switched on to the climate impact of their purchasing decisions. Carbonfact's press release points out that the global footwear industry generates carbon emissions equivalent to that of Germany, close to 700 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.
Eager to take a step in the right direction, and put a good foot forward, 12 footwear brands have already signed up to the platform. It seems the big names like Nike and Reebok are caught a little on the back-foot, and yet to sign up to this initiative.
An Open Data Platform for Sustainable Decision Making
In an article published earlier this week, I commented on the importance of open innovation and open data to drive our world to a more sustainable future. Carbonfact's approach to this mammoth, infinite task is through open data.
Their solution is an open data platform, which encourages contributions and support from the crowd, as well as the industries themselves. Talking about their methodology, Marc said "Carbonfact models leverage state of the art scientific research on Life Cycle Analysis (LCA). Those models are open source and transparent.". Talking about the collaboration of the industries and the Carbonfact community, Marc went on to say "When data is not provided by the manufacturers, Carbonfact bases its estimate on open information such as sustainability reports or product page details. The output is then usable by the Carbonfact community."
For more information about their methodology Marc points us towards carbonfact.co/methodology.
Who doesn't love a good pun? I hope I haven't put my foot in my mouth with this article. I'd love to know how many of the shoe/foot related puns you spotted. 😁