🚀 Launching: The ‘MEASURE’ Database
Need Help Navigating The Corporate Carbon Accounting Landscape? Start here.
Carbon neutral. Net zero. Low emissions. Carbon positive.
These phrases are appearing more frequently every day. Businesses are choosing their route to redemption carefully, and who they work with cautiously. But what do all those phrases have in common? They have to start with measuring emissions. What do many businesses have in common? They don’t know where to start.
Our ‘MEASURE’ Database details 92 (and counting) corporate carbon accounting companies who can help YOU with your climate journey. Designed with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in mind, it also tracks 167 consumer goods brands against the companies they’re working with. The aim? To help you find a partner that suits your business.
Want full access to this database, for free? Subscribe to Following the Footprints, and then check your welcome email! Goodbye to mind-numbing google searches.
Intrigued? Here’s a snapshot of what to expect:
42 companies are classified as ‘Long-Term Partner’, 36 are a hybrid of ‘Long-Term Partner’ and ‘Digital Tool (Rapid)’, and 14 are solely classified as ‘Digital Tool (Rapid)’.
84 companies cover all product types, 3 are specific to ‘Food’, 3 are both ‘Food’ and ‘Drink’ specific, and 2 are specific to ‘Consumer Goods and Beauty’ (non food and drink related).
34 out of 92 companies were founded in 2019, 2020 or 2021.
38 out of 92 companies were founded in the UK, with 26 being founded in London.
73 out of 92 companies are privately held, 11 are public companies, 7 are nonprofits and 2 are partnerships.
The average number of employees is ‘11-50’, with 43 companies being registered at this size (source: LinkedIn). Only 5 companies on this list have ‘201-500’ employees, and 1 company has ‘501-1,000’ employees.
Last Updated: 15.09.21
For more detail on how we’ve curated companies within this database, and insight into each categorisation, please read on for ‘Notes on our MEASURE database’.
Over the coming months, we’ll be publishing interviews with companies on this list to dig a little deeper into what makes them different, how they help brands, and their tips for measuring your emissions.
Know a company not on this list? Submit them here.
🔥 Why is it necessary for businesses to get a handle on their heat (read: emissions)?
In the rest of this article, we break down three influencing factors in the carbon accounting boom: Climate Science, Consumers and Policy Makers.
We then take a look at the market response, the challenge for businesses, and how your business can start its climate journey with the help of our MEASURE Database.
Factor 1: Climate Science
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report yesterday signalling a ‘code red’ for the climate. It detailed how human activity is responsible for 1.1°C of warming so far (compared to pre-industrial levels), with 1.5°C of warming imminent in the next 20 years. Whilst there are other drivers of observed climate change since the 20th century, greenhouse gas emissions are by far the biggest. Therefore, rapid reduction in use of greenhouse gases is essential.
“Stabilizing the climate will require strong, rapid, and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and reaching net zero CO2 emissions. Limiting other greenhouse gases and air pollutants, especially methane, could have benefits both for health and the climate,” - IPCC Working Group 1 Co-Chair Panmao Zhai.
The IPCC report provided unprecedented clarity on the effects of mitigating every 0.1 degree of warming. It’s an all-in game, ultimately a team sport, and as a society we’re slowly waking up. For example, in the US, Washington State has banned the development of new fossil fuel infrastructure - a major step in the transition to more renewable resources. However, with 100 companies responsible for 71% of emissions, it’s not simply governments who need to lead the charge. Globalised supply chains and an international body of customers has meant that even small consumer goods businesses are leaving a decidedly global footprint. On the flip-side, this also means there’s an opportunity for companies to leave an equally global positive impact too.
Factor 2: Consumers - The Current
It’s a well known fact that consumers are starting to care more and more about the climate crisis. A 2020 report by Getty Images in partnership with YouGov found that 81% of the 10,000 respondents across 26 countries expect companies to be environmentally conscious in their advertising and communications. Research conducted by BBMG and Globescan found that 59% of 1,000 US consumers under 30 ‘often or always’ consider how responsible a brand is when choosing food and drinks. Still have doubts? 2021 survey by Deloitte found that 45% of Gen Z shoppers stopped purchasing certain brands because of ethical or sustainability concerns. The evidence is clear, consumers care.
Factor 3: Policy Makers - The Push
At the start of November, 2020, the UK was the first country globally to take steps to introduce mandatory climate disclosures. Coming into full effect by 2025, all businesses in the UK will be required to disclose how climate change affects their business, consistent with the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
Starting a countdown for 2025, this landmark move paved the way for an increase in corporate carbon accounting services. There’s no doubt that corporate carbon accounting was a hot topic before November 2020. However, increasing pressure from policy makers has added fuel to the fire.
The Response (So Far)
Carbon neutral, and even ‘carbon positive’, have been terms adopted by businesses to claim that they have no net impact on the environment, often relying heavily on carbon offsets. Particularly ambitious companies are aiming for net zero emissions by aligning with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), focusing on mitigating their impact with clear targets over time. Carbon labelling is on the rise, with huge corporations like Unilever announcing plans to label all 75,000 products with information on their greenhouse gas emissions (often labelled as CO2 equivalent emissions). Oatly even started a petition to make carbon labelling mandatory, collecting 57,067 signatures. Such climate-related claims are gaining real pace. 30 of the UK’s FTSE100 companies have signed up to the United Nations Race to Zero campaign, and over half of UK businesses are aiming to be carbon neutral by 2030 (2019 report). Climate neutrality, net zero emissions or carbon labelling products are no easy feats. They depend on a crucial first step: carbon accounting.
Funding for climate tech is popping up, literally everywhere. From Microsoft’s $1 billion Climate Innovation Fund and Unilever’s €1 billion climate fund, to Elon Musk’s $100m prize for innovations in carbon removal, announced on Twitter. PwC reported last September that climate tech grew at five times the venture capital market rate, over the last seven years. Carbon accounting firms are at the forefront of this boom. Companies are rushing to catch-up with their own public carbon reduction goals, and helping them is both a new wave of challenger consultancies relying on innovative software (like PlanA) and well-established consultancies with many years of experience (like ClimatePartner).
Challenger consultancies are relying on accounting software and tracking platforms to promise rapid insight, at a fraction of the cost, and in real-time. Investors are excited by the idea that companies, like Unilever, could cut costs and time on their mammoth task of carbon labelling 75,000 products through cutting-edge software utilising machine learning and AI. For example, Emitwise - a carbon accounting platform founded in 2019 which helps businesses measure, report, and reduce their carbon footprint in real-time - recently raised €5.4 million in their Seed round.
In 2007 Tesco pledged to carbon label all 70,000 of their goods, promising a ‘new revolution of green consumption’. Starting work in 2008, they partnered with Carbon Trust to carbon label 20 of their products. However, they quietly abandoned the initiative in 2012. Now, consumers and policy makers alike are watching more closely, and any brands which ‘greenwash’ with unsubstantiated or incomplete claims risk brand equity.
Calculating emissions related to either a product or organisation’s footprint takes time, data and money - particularly for consumer goods businesses with a diverse product range. From sourcing ingredients to packaging and delivery, the number of variables can be enormous. The result? Small businesses and startups are reportedly being left behind in the race to net zero. Why? The inconvenient truth of climate goals for SMEs: the cost.
With powerful insights and innovative software has also come, in most cases, decreased costs for corporations. Whilst this should be approached with caution - brands that rely too heavily on averages and standardised measurements risk inaccuracy - it has made measuring corporate impact more accessible.
Now is the time for small businesses to step up and tackle their impact.
🌱 So, how to find a carbon accounting partner that works for you?
As we’ve discussed, the challenge many businesses face is no longer where to start, it’s who to start with.The influx of new faces into the corporate carbon accounting market makes it almost impossible to keep up. It’s a wild-west that’s gradually forming some order, as early starters are maturing and consultancy conglomerates are meeting in the what-can-your-tech-do middle.
Navigating our MEASURE database:
We’ve adopted a variety of different categorisations to help you filter the database:
Product Type: In case you’re looking for a specific goods-related service.
Options: Food, Drink, Consumer Goods and Beauty, All
Model: How do they operate? What kind of help are you looking for?
Long-Term Partner - you can work with the organisation, and don't input data into the software tool yourself.
Digital Tool (Rapid) - the process is self managed via an account utilising their software.
Note: In some cases, companies will bridge both options. Typically, this means they provide more tailored support alongside a self-managed software account.
Services: Core offerings by each company.
Options: Organisation Carbon Footprint, Product Carbon Footprint, Water Footprint, Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), Circular Economy Assessments, Science Based Targets Assistance, Sustainability Strategy Consulting
Additional Services: Additional offerings available to each customer.
Options: Resource Hub (online), Training / Courses, Coalition / Community, Carbon Label / Product Label, Tracking Tool, Carbon Offsetting / Removal, Tree Planting, Green Energy Procurement, Associated Pledge / Certificate, B Corp Application Management
Brands They’ve Worked With: We’ve focused on consumer goods brands.
Founded - Year
Founded - Location
Number of Employees
Options: Public Company, Privately Held, Partnership, Nonprofit
Note: A short note on each column can be viewed by hovering over the ‘i’ found in the column title.
Want access to the full MEASURE Database, for free? Subscribe to Following the Footprints, then check your welcome email!
👉 What about offsetting, or packaging, or all the other things my company needs?
We’ve started by focusing on companies that can help FMCG brands measure their impact. This is the unavoidable first stage for many businesses, and it’s often the most time consuming and resource intensive. Knowing your options is crucial, especially if SMEs with limited resources are going to lead the Race to Zero.
Many of these partners will assist you at every stage of your climate journey - measuring, mitigating, offsetting, tracking, communicating. Industry OG’s like The Carbon Trust, ClimatePartner and Small World Consulting might provide more bespoke support for your business. Other innovative partners (like Planetly) roll-in many additional benefits (see Additional Services on the database) and advice to help you across many stages of your journey. It’s up to you to figure out which one takes you as far as you want to go!
👉 How do I know who to trust?
Ultimately, that’s up to you. We’ve included founded dates, number of employees and brands they’ve already worked with to help you make this choice.
👉 There are a lot of companies - can I filter it further?
Yes! We recommend utilising the ‘Filter’, ‘Group’ and ‘Sort’ functions in the top left corner of the database to help you get to the information you need, quickly.
For example, you can filter to see which companies are founded in the UK, before 2020, and cover a range of consumer goods:
You can then group the results by (e.g.) the company model, and sort them by smallest to largest based on the number of employees:
Have any more questions? Ask away in the comments below!
We’ll do our best to keep our MEASURE Database updated and ensure that all records are accurate. However…
See something you think needs correcting? Submit a request here.
Know a company not included? Submit a company here.