Klima is a climate app that allows the user to become carbon neutral by calculating your carbon footprint, offsetting it by supporting verified climate projects, and sharing their impact. The Berlin-based startup seems to be in the beginning of a promising journey to a carbon neutral world – I choose to therefore reward it with a 2.5-star rating.
The Klima platform itself is based on a carbon footprint calculator, and then, on verified climate projects. Klima calculates a user’s footprint based on a standardized set of lifestyle questions that they combine with information about the country one lives in, to get an estimate based on one’s individual circumstances. Users have a monthly offset subscription that is specifically based on every individual’s carbon footprint. A user can change offset amount at any time if there are changes to their carbon footprint. Also, the user gets live updates on the overall CO2e they have personally reduced, as well as a breakdown of the individual unit where that reduction comes from. Then, these are offset into climate projects that have a real impact.
Klima’s offset portfolio is structured around three clear areas that need to be tackled in order to solve climate change in a sustainable way. These three areas are: planting trees, solar energy, and clean cookstoves. They attempt to empower holistic climate action that “revives our ecosystems, pushes green innovation, and benefits communities”. I would say, though, that there are more causes Klima can potentially help in – but of course this comes with their company’s size. Their first area is planting trees. Examples of such projects include reviving mangrove coastlines in Madagascar and community reforestation in Tanzania. Secondly, Klima has a goal to kickstart solar power. Examples of solar power projects include harnessing the Saharan sun in Mauritania and harvesting solar power in South Africa. Lastly, Klima has a goal to provide clean cookstoves – because nearly half of the world still cooks over environmentally-dangerous open fires. These fires create air pollution due to inefficient wood-burning stoves. Their sole project in this area is to clean cook stoves in Ghana. Klima’s offsetting projects are certified and verified through the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), or the Gold Standard developed by WWF and other NGOs. The VCS is the world’s most widely used voluntary greenhouse gas program - nearly 11,700 certified VCS projects have reduced more than 630 million tonnes of carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere. Additionally, Klima’s projects are produced to benefit local communities that align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These range from combating poverty, protecting endangered species, empowering female entrepreneurship, or advancing access to health care and education.
Klima’s mission is to turn climate neutrality into a mass movement, expanding from individual effort to collective impact. That is to say, the more people share their commitment to the climate, the more people join. To achieve this, they divide their revenue into three transparent streams. Firstly, they use 10% for their running costs: including IT development, project selection, and infrastructure. The second stream holds 70% of the revenue from users and is targeted towards individual impact and personal offsetting projects that advance us towards a carbon neutral world. Costs fluctuate based on individual users’ carbon footprints. These funds plant trees, expand solar energy access, and provide clean cookstoves to thousands. The last 20% is devoted to marketing and spreading the word about Klima’s mission. I find that the level of transparency that Klima shows is refreshingly ethical and helps a user better understand what exactly they are funding.
Klima is a social startup from Berlin, with a team of designers, engineers, and changemakers from 5 continents. The startup seems to have its sole focus on climate change, and the benefits that arise from offsetting individual carbon footprints into real climate projects. Although the sole focus of Klima is environmental, I find that their overall aims can be broadened. That is to say, I did not see any available information about employee standards, code of conduct, social goals etc. This is an approach that they can and should take up if they are to be portrayed as an ethical corporation.