Future Neutral, a new Australian start-up, gives retailers the same opportunity that airlines have been offering for years - the ability for customers to add carbon offset at checkout.
Future Neutral will provide retailers with a free custom integration - with no ongoing cost - that allows shoppers to make a contribution to offset their carbon footprint when they buy goods and services. The company takes care of the complexity of the offsets, having partnered with Australian NFP Greenfleet locally and UN-certified projects globally.
For customers, it’s as easy as a simple click when checking out: they choose to pay a contribution, calculated at 3 percent of the cost of their purchases. Customers are already showing strong engagement, with conversion rates being as high as 21 percent.
“We had customers using the extension literally within 30 minutes of going live, and love seeing the engagement on social media," says co-founder of Floraly, Alec Ramsey.
The founders of Future Neutral, brothers Benjamin and Oliver Ranck, are Australian entrepreneurs who were increasingly frustrated with the difficulty and complexity of taking climate action and understanding carbon offsets. They recognised an opportunity to make it simple for Australian shoppers to play a role in addressing climate change both painlessly and at relatively little expense. If only 10 percent of shoppers participated, they would be able to fund over $634 million worth of high-quality offset projects per year.
“There are millions of Australians who suffer from apathetic agreement - we know climate change is a problem, but we don’t know what to do about it,” explains Oliver Ranck. “Our solution gives both retailers and their customers an easy way to participate in reducing their carbon footprint.”
During the last eight years, customers have become increasingly concerned about climate change (PEW 2019) with 81 percent feeling strongly that companies should help improve the environment (Nielsen, 2019). Apple and Microsoft have both recently announced ambitious climate action plans and now businesses of any size can easily get involved by using Future Neutral.
About the founders:
Oliver was inspired to become more involved in working to offset climate change after spending nine months travelling the world in between launching startup projects, seeing first hand the devastating effects of climate change, especially in South and North America.
Benjamin Ranck is the former CTO of JetAbroad and, like Oliver, has founded startups and has a background in the retail industry. Benjamin is fueled by a strong desire to create a better future for his two young children.
About the offsets and the 3 percent calculation: The fee was worked out by looking at an individual’s yearly average carbon footprint and then spreading the payments of offset across all retail transactions in a given year. So a simple way to show this formula would be:
Your Carbon Footprint x Cost of High Quality Carbon Offset Per Tonne / All Your Retail Transactions.
Greenfleet is a leading not-for-profit environmental organisation on a mission to protect our climate by restoring local Australian forests. They plant native biodiverse forests to offset carbon emissions on behalf of individuals and businesses and help fight the impacts of climate change. Since 1997, they have planted more than 9.4 million native trees across more than 500 biodiverse forests in Australia and New Zealand.