As businesses around the world struggle to figure out how to manage their environmental footprints, Normative, a Swedish start-up sponsored by Google, has released a free version of its carbon emissions tracker.
The carbon calculator is intended to give a “baseline” from which small and medium-sized organisations can take action after entering data into a form. Normative also distributes a for-profit product to large corporations.
Despite the fact that the burning of fossil fuels is the primary cause of the climate problem, the world will become increasingly more reliant on energy sources like oil and gas in the next decades. Even as international leaders and CEOs laud their dedication to the so-called “energy transition,” this is the case.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, SMEs account for 95 per cent of all firms worldwide. Many of them are involved in the development of huge corporations’ products and services in some way.
“We need to act now,” said Kristian Ronn, CEO and co-founder of Normative, in a statement. “The climate will not wait for us to be ready.”
“We want to make measuring carbon emissions and joining the race to net zero accessible to everyone,” he added.
Around a dozen Google.org fellows assisted in the development of the free carbon calculator, with software engineers, UX designers, and product managers all working full-time, pro gratis for Normative for six months.
Google’s backing comes after the startup received 1 million euros ($1.1 million) in funding from Google.org last year.
Jen Carter, Google.org’s head of technology and volunteerism, told CNBC in October that precisely tracking carbon emissions is critical for small businesses to understand the impact of their actions.
“We’re thrilled to provide both funding and tech talent to help Normative build a solution that will make measurement more accessible,” she said.
Normative was launched in 2014 and is backed by Lowercarbon Capital, which is led by billionaire investor Chris Sacca. It charges hundreds of companies, including BNP Paribas, for access to its current software, with costs varying according on the size of the customer.
Tech behemoths have long aspired to be seen as the world’s greenest businesses.
Since 2007, Google has been carbon-neutral, which means it has planted trees, purchased carbon credits, and invested heavily in wind power in areas where it is abundant to offset its reliance on coal and natural gas in other areas.
Google announced in September 2020 that by 2030, it hoped to power its data centres and offices entirely with carbon-free electricity.
Only 61 per cent of Google’s global hourly electricity demand was generated by wind, solar, and other renewable sources in 2019.
In May 2020, Google announced that it would discontinue developing customised artificial intelligence solutions for oil and gas companies.
(Adapted from CNBC.com)