This App, I want to use your “conscience” to make money

From encouragement to punishment, are you still willing to plant trees?

This App, I want to use your "conscience" to make money

From encouragement to punishment, are you still willing to plant trees?

80g for bus travel and 52g for subway travel. With every green energy of carbon-free behavior, a virtual tree can be raised, and over time, a real tree can be planted in the desert Gobi. In China, most of the energy-saving and emission-reduction activities involving individuals are in the ant forest. Its mechanism is “reward”. Even so, the greater effect that ant forest can play is to increase “social fun.”

Recently, a series of similar products have emerged abroad. In contrast to Ant Forest, their mechanism is “punitive.” Every day-to-day behavior of yours will be calculated into the corresponding carbon emissions. When the number is too high that you can even watch it, you can eliminate the carbon emissions by “paying a fine.” It looks like a “utopia”, but some products have received financing one after another in the past two years.

Although the idea is novel, questions follow. At present, they are more responsible for “public welfare projects” for educating users, or can they become a sustainable business model? Not just an entertainment game, how do they really solve environmental problems?

Buy a “Indulgence Note” for $15

Wren is a product that carries out “personal carbon neutrality”. After graduating from YC in 2019, he received $1.5 million in seed investment from Paul Gramham and VC Union Square Ventures last year.

First, Wren generates a personal carbon footprint report through some questions, such as “How many long/short flights a year?”, “How many square meters are there in the house?”, “How often do you eat red meat or dairy products?” and so on. These specific behaviors will be converted into average carbon consumption.

This App, I want to use your "conscience" to make money

China’s per capita annual carbon emissions are 9 tons. If your calculation is at this level, you need to pay US$13.57 per month for carbon neutrality. Of course, the higher the number, the higher the cost to offset.

With this money, what will Wren do for you? After deducting operating costs, it participates in global carbon neutral and environmental protection projects through funding.

For example, in northern Uganda, the smoke generated by using local energy is equivalent to one person smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. An energy company will convert agricultural waste into clean energy to meet the cooking and combustion of 200,000 refugee families in Uganda by 2023. demand. In the Amazon rainforest, Wren funded a foundation that uses satellite images and drones to detect and organize illegal rainforest deforestation.

Another product, Joro, adopted a similar product model and received 2.5 million seed investments including Sequoia Capital last year. Compared to Wren, Joro does one more step. It connects to your credit card and automatically estimates the carbon emissions “produced” by the user’s purchase.

However, the credit card cannot be synchronized to Joro for every consumption details. How did Joro’s estimate come from? It explained, “We can know that the user spent $100 on going to Whole Foods, and through research on him to know his diet for a week… The cross combination of this information, we infer how much carbon emissions a person spends on a dollar will generate, and thus Give a real-time carbon footprint record.”

Like Wren and Joro, in terms of product functions, there are almost no technical barriers. Some investors said that Wren “convinced” them that the key to investing is transparency. In the past, users hesitated to invest in such partial public welfare projects because they were not transparent enough. For example, was a tree actually planted? Wren’s method is to regularly measure how many trees have been planted and publish their GPS coordinates on the Internet together with the farmers who plant them to prove the amount of carbon sequestration.

This App, I want to use your "conscience" to make money

From the current point of view, even if in a limited body volume of the next, they still play some role. Up to now, more than 1.16 million U.S. dollars has been funded for climate projects through Wren, and 82,702 tons of carbon emissions have been offset. The official website will update these figures in real time. In the past year, users offset the carbon emissions that can be absorbed by almost 500,000 trees in Joro. Through Joro’s emission reduction guidance and the “carbon comparison” among friends, early users reduced carbon emissions by about 10%.

A personal carbon neutrality

After calculation, there are only tens of thousands of users who can pay for “guilt” today, which proves to be nothing more than a “belief game” for a small group of people. But products like Wren want to express a core value: even if users don’t understand macro vocabulary and complex nuclear algorithms, they can still perceive how their every move affects the global environment and climate. “If you emit 9 tons of greenhouse gases per year, it is equivalent to cutting down 8 trees per year.” Expressions such as these have aroused the emotional resonance of many users, and the platform provides the shortest path to participate in it.

Even so, it is too “utopian” to be realized on a large scale in the short term. In China, there are also tools for calculating carbon footprints, but more of them exist as educational users.

The current domestic carbon emission accounting system is based on the producer principle, and the main body of policy constraints is more enterprises than individual consumers. “Unless my country’s policy orientation is tilted towards consumers in the future, it will be difficult to implement a business model that “punishes” consumers like Wren in China.” An industry insider commented on this.

This App, I want to use your "conscience" to make money

In other words, it is based on the government imposing taxes or fines on consumers’ excessive carbon emissions, so that consumers have the incentive to use the logic of “two evils, whichever is the lesser,” and use less on platforms like Wren. Cost expenditures in exchange for minimal benefit damage.

However, the emergence of platforms such as Wren and Joro is still enlightening. Now six companies have signed contracts with Wren, taking Wren’s subscription service as an employee benefit. Some media pointed out, “Many consumers are now more aware of the importance of addressing climate change, and they are putting pressure on companies both positive and negative.”

Perhaps the enlightenment of platforms such as Wren is that the consumer principle is also included in the carbon emission responsibility. The above-mentioned people believe that the consumer principle is indeed more reasonable in accounting than the producer principle, but the current reality is that the consumer principle is accounted for Standards are more difficult to enforce than the producer principle.

In 2018, the United Nations issued a report stating that it is committed to completely stopping the use of fossil fuels by 2050 and achieving zero carbon emissions. Seeing this report, Joro founder Sanchali Pal immediately decided to create a tool that everyone can participate in. It was only six years before she graduated. The three founders of Wren are younger, with an average age of only 22. They almost expressed the same view. The real promoters of carbon neutrality are companies and policy makers, but individuals are not completely powerless.

Young people influence the world more widely in their own way. Instead of you, would you be willing to spend $15 a month for a personal carbon neutralization?

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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