Investing in Scope Zero

We often think about the various ways to make our economy more sustainable, whether it be through industrial emissions, bio-derived plastics, or reducing cow burps, to name a few.

Another core focus area for us is that of decarbonizing the home.

Taken individually, our homes do not have much impact on the environment. But as a whole, American homes account for more emissions than most countries:

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This problem won’t be solved overnight. But we’re working towards a solution!

We’ve previously invested in innovative startups such as Span and Dandelion Energy, climate-dedicated companies focused on bringing new technologies to the home, and are excited for the countless other developments individuals can implement, from using community solar, switching to electric stoves, or composting to further improve their marks on the environment.

For example, did you know that homes with gas stoves can have carbon monoxide concentrations 50-400% higher than homes with electric stoves? That is crazy!

While natural gas is currently cheaper than electricity in most places, the overall life, maintenance, and operational costs of switching to electric give this alternative option an edge in the long-run (in addition to the undeniable health benefits). And as our economy transitions towards net-zero, the levelized cost of energy from renewable sources will continue to outcompete and displace fossil fuels.

These home improvements are currently relatively cost-prohibitive, with electric stoves running from several hundreds of dollars to several thousand.

So what can incentivize individuals to move towards reducing emissions in their homes? Another uniquely American feature, the HSA:

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What if we could modify that idea to incentivize lowering utility bills and reducing our carbon footprints?

Enter Scope Zero.

Scope Zero envisions a world where employers enable their employees to decarbonize their personal emissions through Scope Zero’s new employee benefit, termed a carbon savings account (CSA). The CSA is loosely inspired by the already in-place framework of the health savings account (HSA).

The CSA subsidizes home improvements and personal transportation upgrades that lower utility bills, fuel consumption, and carbon footprints. The CSA platform also provides employees with personalized emissions reductions plans and upgrade recommendations. Its goal is to provide a frictionless roadmap to decarbonizing the home.

We know what scope one, two, and three emissions are. But as more of us work remotely in a post-Covid world, an increasing amount of emissions are coming from inside our own homes - what we call “scope zero” emissions.

Inspired from the Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s scopes one, two, and three emissions, Scope Zero is defining “scope zero” emissions as the emissions of employees’ personal lives.

Employers benefit from happier employees and new ways to reduce their carbon footprints, while employees benefit from personalized, easy recommendations to save money (and and the planet). This benefits employers while lowering employee utility bills, providing a path to lower emissions with no sacrifices.

Who’s the team breaking the scope zero status quo? Lizzy Kolar, CEO, is a mechanical engineer by background, hailing from West Virginia. She’s spent her career in grid and residential decarbonization, and is an expert in the life-cycle analyses of “green” home improvements, giving her a deep understanding of the ways individuals can be incentivized to lower their carbon footprints.

Kaitlin Highstreet, COO, has worked in the software industry for the duration of her career. Prior to enrolling at Stanford and launching Scope Zero, she worked on the Product Operations team at Guideline, where she implemented payroll integrations and drove onboarding efforts for hundreds of non-integrated 401(k) clients.

Scope Zero is pioneering the “carbon savings account,” and both employers and employees are incentivized to cut their carbon emissions on a seamless, user-friendly platform.

Scope Zero passes our villain test, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with Kaitlin, Lizzy, and the team.