How SimpliZero Makes Carbon Offsetting Easy
April 22nd, 2021
By: Annemarie Cutruzzola
Climate change can seem like such a massive problem that our individual efforts to turn off our lights or bike instead of drive can seem futile. But when so many of our unavoidable daily activities emit carbon dioxide, how can we be part of the solution? Social Ventures Zone members Akhil Sivanandan and Navodit Babel, co-founders of Green Story, have launched SimpliZero, external link, a service that allows users to offset their carbon emissions with a monthly subscription that supports carbon-reducing projects around the world.
Carbon offsetting is the process of reducing carbon emissions to compensate for emissions created elsewhere. If your offsets equal your emissions, you’re carbon neutral. If you offset more carbon than you emit, then congratulations, you’re climate positive!
SimpliZero uses current emissions data to calculate the average carbon footprint of a subscriber and offers three tiers of subscriptions, ranging from $5 to $15 per month. That money goes towards projects that offset carbon emissions and support renewable energy, such as tree-planting, wind farms, and solar power projects. Users can see exactly where their money is going, as well as track how much carbon they’ve offset and the overall environmental impact they’ve made on their SimpliZero profile.
Since its launch in January, SimpliZero has already partnered with more than 20 carbon offset projects, external link from across the globe. Each project is carefully selected to ensure they are verified, high-quality operations and are in alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The projects each provide additional social impact beyond carbon offsets, such as job creation or improved living conditions for community members.
So what can a carbon offsetting project look like? SimpliZero has partnered with a wide range of them – there’s a conservation site in Australia, a wind farm in Indonesia, and a rice husk power generation plant in Cambodia, for instance. Babel admires the Safe Community Water Project, external link in Rwanda, an initiative that repairs and maintains boreholes in rural communities, allowing easier access to safe drinking water. People living in these communities often have to walk miles to get their water and boil it to ensure it’s safe to drink. Not having to boil the water means less carbon is produced, but the project also provides the social benefit of taking the strain off women and children having to walk long distances to obtain water.
Tree-planting is another aspect of SimpliZero’s strategy for allowing people to offset their carbon emissions. According to Babel, “Planting trees has to go hand in hand with other climate solutions.” Once they mature to a certain age, trees not only capture carbon emissions from the atmosphere, but also work to purify our water and air and play a crucial role in maintaining biodiversity. SimpliZero’s website describes tree-planting as “the next step” in their process for subscribers to make an impact, and “ensures that you’re contributing to a variety of projects and creating a balanced and sustainable impact in communities around the world.”
Green Story, SimpliZero’s parent company, works with sustainable companies to calculate the environmental impact of each of their products, including their carbon footprint. Co-founders Sivanandan and Babel wanted to expand their vision to include a service that would help consumers live more sustainably. “These brands wanted to go a step further in offsetting the unavoidable emissions of their products, and that's where the idea really came in,” says Babel.
The co-founders started developing SimpliZero last spring and worked on establishing the same three pillars as Green Story: transparency, accessibility, and being easy for the consumer to understand. Babel says SimpliZero is an extension of Green Story’s mission of “helping companies and consumers understand their impact and then providing them tools to achieve net-zero emissions.” So far, Babel says their commitment to transparency has resonated well with users of the platform, who like seeing how their funds will be allocated to the carbon offset projects they’re supporting.
To celebrate Earth Day this year, SimpliZero will be launching a new function on their platform that allows employers to provide their employees with worker benefits for becoming carbon neutral at their workplace.
"SimpliZero helps to take immediate action to fight climate change while helping us over the long term."
“A lot of people do care about the environment, but either they don't know what to do, or they don't have financial means to do it,” says Babel. SimpliZero’s affordability and ease helps solve this problem by providing a simple way for the average consumer to take action.
“Our society is built on pretty much fossil fuels,” says Babel. “Starting from drinking our morning coffee to, taking a shower or driving in the car uses fossil fuels, either directly or indirectly.” While individual lifestyle changes can take a long time to add up to a significant impact, supporting larger carbon offset projects can make a more significant impact in the short term. “SimpliZero helps to take immediate action to fight climate change while helping us over the long term,” Babel says. Going forward, they hope to partner with more brands and reach even more consumers interested in doing their part to offset their carbon emissions.
Quick Facts about SimpliZero:
2,138,378+ kg of CO2 offset
1,365+ trees planted
53, 813+ members
If you’re interested in reading more about carbon offsets and how you can make a difference, here are some other helpful resources: