While online shopping offers convenience and a way to stay safe during COVID-19, it is not necessarily the most “green” option. Many people are trying to find a way to offset any damage to the environment with their day-to-day choices, which is why we’re so excited to work with EcoCart. The startup helps automatically calculate and eliminate the carbon footprint of online orders at 10,000+ stores at no extra cost.
The Nuts & Bolts
Problem: Millennial consumers are very environmentally-minded. In a Nielsen report, 75% of Millennials said they are changing their buying habits, as a result. Furthermore, 70% of Millennials note they would stay with a company if it had a strong sustainability plan.
Solution: EcoCart is a sustainability-focused ecommerce API. Currently focused on the Shopify ecosystem, the company allows customers to donate to ESG-focused initiatives at checkout, to offset their purchases’ carbon footprint. EcoCart also recently launched a Chrome extension to help bolster their presence across additional ecommerce experiences. EcoCart’s algorithm considers factors such as product makeup and shipping distance to determine the amount of the donation. The company works closely with a Harvard professor with climate policy as his focus, as well as a published climate researcher to determine which causes to support.
When 500 Met EcoCart
We met the EcoCart team through another 500 Startups-supported company, Visionful. Dane Baker, co-founder and CEO, previously built an ecommerce startup called Toyroom with co-founder and COO, Peter Twomey. Dane also spent one year in private equity, followed by another two years in venture capital. Peter’s background includes time spent at financial services firms.
Integrating ESG criteria is key for EcoCart. Internally, the team has developed diversity and inclusion goals and invests in resources to eliminate bias in the workplace. They believe strongly in their mission to make the fight against climate change easy, affordable, and accessible, and working towards all of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is a key part of this mission.
Climate change is a $26 trillion dollar opportunity. We’ve seen a movement span from finance to tech, and now commerce companies are announcing ESG initiatives. While there has yet to be an ESG-focused unicorn, the environment has never been so favorable for the first to emerge.
More money is paying attention to ESG. Investment firms that abide by ESG principles surpassed $1 trillion in AUM for the first time last year. Governments, multinational corporations, financial institutions, and tech companies of all sizes are looking towards ESG.
An MSCI survey of high net worth Millennials concluded that 87% considered a company’s ESG track record an important factor in their decision-making on whether to invest or not. And in a 2015 study, Nielsen found that two-thirds of global consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable brands.
Future of EcoCart
The EcoCart team plans to add stores continually to its site to give shoppers a way to eliminate their carbon footprint. They also plan to launch a broader ecommerce API that goes beyond Shopify and works with other e-commerce platforms, such as WooCommerce and Magento.
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You can learn more about EcoCart at: https://ecocart.io.
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