2024 KCP Application
Customers & Partnerships
Primary Project Category:
Secondary Project Category:
Carbon Sinks (Natural & Engineered)
Social & Cultural Pathways
Transport and Mobility
Project Summary / Description:
We launched Carbon Collective in 2020 to solve the problem that we and many of our peers felt: We save for retirement to live with stability in the 2050's and beyond. But if we do not change course on climate, we will retire into an increasingly unstable world. We cannot solve climate change without massively scaling sustainable investing ($5-9 trillion more needed annually into climate solutions). The problem is there is no broadly accepted definition of what sustainable investing even is. At Carbon Collective, we build financially sensible, sustainable investment portfolios simply around what science tells us needs to happen to solve climate change. We now advise >720 individuals and families in our strategies (average AUM $45k) and >70 mission-driven organizations for their 401(k). Our longterm goal is to redefine sustainable investing, showing it is not just the right way to invest, but the smart way to save for retirement.
How Project Affects Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions:
The impact potential for shareholder engagement is very high. Corporations are some of the greatest emitters of GHGs. While it is not easy to get one to change, any success that can occur is incredibly significant. The "why now" for shareholder engagement to decarbonize is because it also now makes business sense. Solar/wind energy is cheaper than fossil-fuel powered. Electric cars are cheaper over time in business fleets. Major corporations do not have limitless resources to explore every way they could be saving money, so shareholders can play an important role in bringing such decarbonization, money-saving opportunities to them. Our first campaign is going to be focused on Big Box Stores. Major retailers like Target, Walmart, and Costco could save millions annually by taking advantage of their massive roofs to install solar arrays. It gets even better if they install solar over the parking lot and battery backups to store power after the sun goes down. https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/20/us/solar-power-on-big-box-store-rooftops-climate/index.htmlIt is estimated that complete solar coverage across America's Big Box Stores could produce the equivalent zero-carbon electricity to power ~8 million US homes. That's about 56 tons of CO2e avoided. And that's just the roofs. If you add the parking lots, it gets a lot bigger. There are no guarantees in shareholder engagements, but the upside is worth swinging for. In this first fund, we aim to give investors a clear, quantifiable, easily understandable goal to rally around. Our second campaign (we can run multiple in parallel, given we have the budget), will be focused on landfill methane. In the US, methane emitted from rotting garbage (mainly food waste) in landfills is responsible for the equivalent emissions of ~11.9 million American's household energy use. Every year. The good news is that landfills can be tented and methane can be cleaned and burned (thus going from CH4, a very potent GHG, to CO2, a far less potent one). That energy can be used to power garbage fleets, generate electricity, or even to mine bitcoin. In other words, there are increasingly strong economic reasons to capture and burn methane from landfills rather than letting it emit. If all landfills in the US were to be tented and the methane captured and burned, it would equivalent to avoiding 83.3m tons of CO2e per year.
Impact on Underrepresented Groups:
There are plenty of great sustainable, impact investment options out there. The problem - they're only really accessible to the top 1% wealthiest Americans through their wealth advisors. The founders of Carbon Collective are 33. We will retire in ~2055. If we do not drastically change course, we will retire into a world defined by climate instability. We built Carbon Collective so people like us could access, simple, transparent sustainable investing portfolios and pool our shares and voices together to pressure the companies we own to decarbonize faster. We charge the same as you would pay for generic online investing and have very low minimums (just $100). We're pleased to share how much progress we have made, but we are still just at the beginning of our journey in truly democratizing impact investing.
Research or Economic Modeling
Measurement, Reporting & Validation