The need for Greenometry was never so urgent. In recent presentations given by Greenometry at local universities (MIT, Harvard, Boston University, Northeastern) the following conundrum has emerged: 100% of both faculty and students perceive climate change as a major threat, yet, nearly none could calculate or even estimate their own carbon footprint. WeI have witnessed exactly the same phenomenon of carbon illiteracy at professional clean-tech and sustainability conferences (Sustainable Brands, WSJ’s ECO:Nomics, Fortune Green, etc.).
Climate change is an unprecedented threat to the economy and perhaps civilization itself. Approximately half of the U.S. consumers and a growing number of investors and organizations are deeply concerned about the issue. They want to vote with their wallets and make better buying decisions based on accurate information presented in a clear and simple format. However, to date the approach to mitigating climate change has been based on coarse, anecdotal data or purely qualitative, which in turn leads to inefficient and ineffective decisions.
Today, nearly half of the U.S. population perceive climate change as a risk. A growing number of companies and investors would like to reduce their climate impact. Yet, most don’t know how to quantify or measure their impact. Therefore, much or the effort to address climate change is ineffective and inefficient.
We will not solve the climate crisis with adjectives and anecdotes like ‘renewable’ and ‘sustainable’. We need metrics rooted in data and science. With our diminishing reliance on policy makers and the entire energy supply side for addressing climate change, we must rely on the market (investors and consumers) to make better choices, reward climate performing companies and hold other companies accountable. The oxygen of markets is metrics. Simple and accurate metrics are a critical missing component in the climate conversation.
The role of metrics in a low-carbon society is analogous to the role of calories or Weight Watcher’s points in a diet. Greenometry is chartered to bring arithmetic to carbon footprinting.
The math and science are clear. To remain below 2 degrees Celsius, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions must be reduced significantly. Organizations and individuals that would like to fulfill their part should strive to reduce 40% of their emissions by 2020 and 80% by 2050. This is humanity’s main 21st-century challenge, and it will not be solved with a 20th-century approach. We need harmonized, climate-related metrics that are rooted in data and science. Absent such metrics, even well-intended initiatives may be often misguided. Current challenges include data quality, outdated and inconsistent measurement methodologies and lack of education on quantitative thinking on carbon footprinting.
Credible, comparable information is the oxygen of markets. To achieve a low-carbon economy and develop market-based solutions, decision makers need simple metrics, methodologies, datasets, tools and an analytical vernacular. Greenometry was founded to address these challenges through the tools of modern information technologies applying geospatial accuracy, the incorporation of water and land use in carbon footprinting and through simple, metrics. While different sectors have different needs, the entire market needs better metrics.
© Greenometry.org 2017