There is growing awareness that climate change is a real threat and that something needs to be done to address the situation. Yet, to date it has been very difficult for people to do much about climate change without making radical back-to-nature changes to their lifestyles. We believe that there exists a significant proportion of people who would like to become part of the solution to climate change provided that they get an experience that is fun, engaging, affordable and socially rewarding. To address this situation, CarbonStory solves the below two problems for customers:
1) I want to do the right thing for future generations without having to compromise my current lifestyle.
2) I want my efforts to be recognized by friends, family and people googling me on the web - I want to be seen as responsible and as someone who does the right thing.
CarbonStory looks somewhat similar to the San Francisco based micro-financing site www.kiva.org but is focused exclusively on enabling users to sponsor climate change projects to neutralize their own environmental impact.
CarbonStory solves the problems mentioned in “Statement of Problem/Opportunity” using the following building blocks made available through www.carbonstory.org:
1) Tools, ranging from basic to advanced, allowing users to quantify their personal carbon footprint.
2) A database of certified green climate change mitigation projects that customers can sponsor through the purchase of carbon offsets. The projects have vivid descriptions and include photos and videos.
3) Customers get a personal page visible on the internet (unless turned off in settings) showing what the customer is doing to neutralize his/her footprint.
4) Customers can post projects purchases on Facebook to get social recognition for their efforts. They can also like projects on Facebook and encourage their Facebook friends to join CarbonStory.
5) Customers earn a variety of badges as instant gratification when they do certain actions and reach certain thresholds.
6) Customers participate in leaderboards where they can compare themselves to other CarbonStory users and to their social network. Customers can also join existing teams or create new teams.
7) Customers can download various certificates as recognition of their efforts.
CarbonStory’s Unique Value Proposition is described here:
1) For just a few dollars a month, you can sponsor projects that offset your monthly carbon footprint so that you become carbon neutral.
2) In your personal account, you can keep track of your monthly climate impact versus offsets and follow the specific projects that you are sponsoring.
3) You can compare your carbon offset activities with other CarbonStory users, post your carbon offset projects on Facebook for your friends to see, and challenge them to go carbon neutral. You also get a personal web page showing the world what you are doing.
4) If you are interested in doing a more detailed calculation of your carbon consumption, we provide a comprehensive footprint calculation tool that covers almost every country in the world and includes all major consumption categories in your footprint.
5) As a social enterprise, we pride ourselves in being transparent and honest. We assure that your money actually goes towards the purchase of offsets. Our sales records will be audited on an annual basis and the auditor’s report made available to the public on our web site.
There are no good solutions for mainstream customers today. Existing carbon offsetting solutions online are dull as they do not include storytelling, gamification and social media features.
Why it should be recognized:
CarbonStory is a game-changer. The service offers a social networking integrated carbon offsetting experience that makes climate science and technical solutions easy to use, transparent and emotional. Our Alpha and Closed Beta users have frequently said that they find CarbonStory to be really cool.
We are launching our first consumer version at SXSW in Austin from March 10-13. Beyond this we seek to develop employee engagement and brand engagement models to achieve greater impact. We will ultimately measure success by the total number of tons of CO2 equivalent emissions our users have removed from the atmosphere by purchasing offsets through CarbonStory.
By participating in this competition, we hope to be able to explore partnerships with various organizations to help us extend our reach.