Cogo’s technology is helping the climate by giving us the tools to measure and reduce our carbon footprints
The future of the planet hangs in the balance and Cogo is on a mission to arm us with the technology to help each of us do our bit to save it.
Written by HYER NEWSROOM
This planet-friendly tech sits within your banking app and it’s set to turn our approach to consumerism on its head. In 2018, armed with his background in business ownership – including a successful venture called ‘Conscious Consumers’ and experience working for the New Zealand Treasury – founder and CEO, Ben Gleisner, launched Cogo to help people understand the environmental impact of their spending habits. The carbon footprint management technology has since been adopted by banks and SMEs, and used by consumers across the UK, New Zealand, Asia and Australia.
Approximately 85% of the world’s population are now experiencing firsthand the impacts of the climate crisis, through events such as flooding or fires. Climate anxiety is naturally on the rise, and Cogo found that 79% of consumers want tools and solutions to aid in solving the climate crisis.
People are feeling the impact, but simultaneously feeling helpless. Cogo creates tools and solutions that really help businesses, and in turn consumers, to understand their own impact, and give nudges to help reduce that impact.
Interview with COGO, CEO EMEA, Emma Kisby
“The reality is that everyone can play a role in the climate crisis. It feels very big and our actions feel very small. But from a cumulative perspective, when you bring all these actions together it makes an impact.”
Emma Kisby - CEO EMEA
Everything we are spending on and doing contributes to carbon emissions. With this unconscious consumption comes a lack of awareness that every pound we spend is in some way contributing. The fact is at this point, we all know we need to do better. David Attenborough has been more omnipresent in the last few years than ever before, and scientists around the world have set humanity the challenge of limiting their monthly carbon footprint to 180kg by 2030. But what does this actually mean?
How can we reduce our carbon footprint without a clear picture of what it means in the bigger picture? Cogo is here to paint that picture. Through the use of open-banking technology Cogo measures your carbon footprint based on your spend, and gives advice on how to reduce or offset your impact.
Every time you spend, Cogo will categorise the purchase and calculate its impact on the climate. Your monthly footprint is displayed in a helpful graph which is shown alongside the UK average (1058kg) and what’s been identified as a ‘sustainable lifestyle’ (180kg). With tangible comparisons, the mythical concept of your own carbon footprint starts to become more measurable.
Cogo adds further context by providing relatable comparisons, such as telling you how many miles you’d need to travel in a car to emit the same amount of carbon as your current footprint, and how many trees would need to be cut down to cause equivalent damage to the environment.
If you choose to, you can also offset your carbon footprint through the app by funding earth-conscious projects across the globe, and become carbon neutral each month. This is a game-changer, as Cogo effectively puts the onus back on us as individuals and businesses, by reminding us the climate crisis isn’t going to be fixed by the powers that be, but we do have our own power.
Emma Kisby, EMEA CEO of Cogo, feels this reminder is exactly what’s needed to make a difference. “It’s not going to happen without us all doing something, right? The climate scientists are not going to solve it on their own and no superhero is going to come in, but we can all do something. That, for me, is a really powerful driver.”
The problems that Cogo is solving are multi-layered. For the consumer, this new perspective on spending behaviour gives people a tangible direction on how to really help the planet. For businesses, faced with a new generation of value-driven shoppers, Cogo has the data that provides a business case for building organisations that aren’t solely profit-driven.
The result of each of these developments is that there is a sense of consumers and businesses working together, united by the same goal. This collaboration has the power to be revolutionary not only in helping the climate, but in changing the face of consumerism as a whole.
Cogo provides the tools to help remove the obstacles preventing consumers from putting their money where their heart is, and instead nudges users towards more ethical, conscious lifestyle choices. At the heart of everything Cogo is doing is the belief that transparency is key.
Helping companies and consumers to understand what they are doing, and the impact of those behaviours, is integral to enabling them to be part of the solution. American author and educator Anna Lappe put it best when she said; “Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.” Cogo’s hope is to help people vote with their pound, and make their vote count towards a better future.
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