Carbon AcCount is a tech startup dedicated to helping small to medium sized businesses become carbon friendly through the use of niche carbon accounting software. We are currently based at, and collaborate with, M-SParc on Anglesey to expand our network and meet likeminded innovators.
Our team of three has come together as the result of a chance conversation and a shared interest in protecting the environment.
We comprise of a PhD environmental scientist specialising in carbon emissions and data science; a qualified accountant who has spent years working with small to medium sized businesses, and a technical brain who is responsible for creating our new software which enables business owners to measure and reduce their own carbon footprint.
The inspiration for the product came from an awareness that while a huge amount of information exists about carbon emissions, much of it is in the form of white papers, sometimes 200 pages long, written in jargon and not easily accessible for your typical small business owner.
Business people are busy by nature, and while they are most likely interested in their carbon footprint, understanding what it is and how to reduce it can be too complex an exercise, so they can be easily put off.
That’s where Carbon AcCount comes in. Our software simplifies the process, so the small and medium sized business owner can access, understand, and most importantly take action to reduce their impact on the environment.
Our software not only assesses an organisation’s carbon footprint but enables businesses to measure their progress as they work towards reducing it. For instance, it shows how a business can gain carbon credits by investing in carbon offset projects, such as tree planting, to compensate for their own emissions. Users of the software can also access comparison sites where they can assess the carbon footprint of other companies, including suppliers, and make their buying decisions based on that information. Very importantly, there’s no greenwashing allowed – so companies cannot look more environmentally friendly than they really are in practice.
One of the advantages of the Carbon AcCount software is that it is a fully automated process that provides options for different stages of business. We are well aware that change can be costly, so we’ve also allowed for that with a process that considers both resource and budget. Small steps are as encouraged as major change.
We are in our early days, but we are excited by how far we have come. We are a strong team with skills in carbon, finance, and tech and we know that we have an innovative product which has a real and valid place in green tech.
You should definitely avoid staying in your comfort zone. The idea of Carbon AcCount came from a chance conversation with a friend. We work in totally unrelated fields, but we are both interested in the environment. A chat one night led to the creation of something unique.
This made me realise that it’s actually people’s differences, as well as their common ground, that can provide a catalyst for change. We can all get caught up in our little bubble and become nervous of moving outside of it, but sometimes that’s where the magic happens. It’s been a lesson to me and I’m now even more comfortable expanding my network and talking to more people than ever before. It’s surprising how many people you already know that will share your passion and be able to help, even if they aren’t in the same line of work.
You should make your work understandable. Scientists can sometimes be guilty of not making their research accessible to others. Change is going to come from mass adoption of environmental measures, so it’s important to engage and find ways of disseminating information and ideas in a consumer-friendly manner that people can understand and be inspired by.
Don’t panic when things go wrong – even though I did! What I’ve learned is that despite the most detailed of planning, nothing ever turns out exactly as you expected. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t worked, though. It’s ok to adapt and it’s important to be flexible. There will be twists and turns in the road and you just have to navigate them and keep your focus on the destination.