As 2021 comes to a close, we reflect on a year of growth, challenges, and always striving to be better.
Twenty twenty-one has been a year of transformation and growth for CarbonBetter, and as we tick over to 2022, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on what we’ve achieved this year, while also creating space to plan and dream for the new year ahead. This is our second year adjusting to the new normal of the pandemic, and while none of us could have predicted what would be in store as the first lockdowns hit in early 2020, today we are most grateful that our team is healthy and thriving in this new reality. Join us as we take a look back at a few events from 2021, and look ahead to some things we’re excited about next year.
2021 in Review
This year Elevation Energy Group was reborn as CarbonBetter to reflect how our mission has evolved over the last nearly ten years. In addition to our energy logistics business, we now also help clients navigate the transition to a net-zero future by aligning what’s good for the planet with what’s good for business.
We believe taking action to fight climate change should be easier, and we understand the challenges because we’ve faced them ourselves as a trusted energy logistics partner. Our experience highlights that you can operate in the status quo while you’re building for a future net-zero future.
Launching Our Climate Services Practice
To accelerate a global shift to a net-zero future, we’ve added sustainability and decarbonization consulting to our menu of services. CarbonBetter works with companies from all industries to measure, reduce, and offset their footprint, then certify their progress through our CarbonBetter certification program. We also advise renewable energy and carbon offset project developers to help maximize their impact.
We believe sharing stories about this work with customers, employees, and other stakeholders is critical in creating the societal shifts that will save our planet.
Our approach is pragmatic, and we believe in progress over perfection. We know there is significant impact in the cumulation of many small changes. It’s not about doing everything—it’s about doing something. Because when one company moves in the right direction, others will too—and these incremental changes add up to massive shifts. Together, step by step, we’re building a movement.
Public Recognition of Our TEam’s Accomplishments
While our team has been heads-down building CarbonBetter for nearly ten years, in 2021 we pulled back the curtain a bit to share more about the work we do. In doing so, Austin Business Journal recognized CarbonBetter as the largest minority-owned business in Austin, and the 10th-largest privately owned business headquartered in Austin.
We’re grateful for the light this shines on our team and the great work that they do, and we’re humbled to be listed among many businesses we respect and support. Our ethos is progress over perfection, and that small steps in the right direction add up to a significant impact, and this recognition further validates our pragmatic approach.
We’re proud to be an Austin-based business and we’ll work tirelessly to continue advancing the decarbonization of our community – and beyond.
Sharing Lessons Learned
“We feel like fighting climate change requires that we raise our profile. We need to do more than just inspire companies to work with us to create the societal shifts that will help save our planet. Stepping out of our comfort zone by sharing stories about the work we’re doing helps us reach a wider audience.”
While many of us crave overnight success stories with a few simple takeaways that we can apply to get the same results, Tri shares that reality looks more like many years of incredibly hard work.
Setting a New Bar in Retail Energy
Provision is a CarbonBetter-certified company that supplies energy to homes and businesses in the midwest. As the first pandemic lockdowns hit in early 2020, life and business as we know it came to a halt. In the space this created, the Provision team saw a unique opportunity to reimagine their retail energy business in a way that allowed for full alignment between climate goals and business goals. Home energy use accounts for roughly 20% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, and Provision is uniquely positioned to help address that.
The CarbonBetter team supported Provision in developing a CarbonBetter-certified energy supply that automatically includes 100% renewable electricity or 100% carbon offset natural gas, plus planting trees. This approach goes beyond “carbon neutral” in order to help address our carbon debt.
Consumers and regulators are increasingly demanding this level of environmental stewardship from companies, and through CarbonBetter energy Provision has set a new bar in the industry. We believe every company has the opportunity to align their business goals with their climate goals, and we help our clients make it happen.
Redefining Sustainability in Spirits
Fierce Whiskers is an American bourbon distillery and CarbonBetter client. This year, they opened their tasting room housed within their state-of-the-art distillery in Austin, Texas. At every step of the journey to make world-class whiskey they have focused on quality and sustainability, using locally sourced grains, low-impact barrels, and their 5-story rickhouse that’s designed with louvers to leverage our harsh Texas climate to expertly age their spirits. Fierce Whiskers completed their first sustainability report before completing one year of operations, proving it’s never too early to start taking steps in the right direction.
New Solar Panels at CarbonBetter HQ
Our headquarters in Austin is much more than meets the eye! She started out as an old church, and through a long and thoughtful process she was upgraded and repurposed to become the home of the CarbonBetter team.
In 2021, our building was outfitted with USA-made solar panels with a high-efficiency inverter that has the potential to deliver 25% more energy. By installing solar, we’ve reduced our reliance on the local grid, which consists of a residual mix of fossil fuel-fired generation and renewable energy.
Team Diversity & Growth
For some companies, diversity is a goal. For CarbonBetter, diversity is in our DNA. We are a minority-founded and minority-owned company in the energy industry, and our team is about 50% people of color, and 50% women.
We know how unusual we are in our space, and we also know that the diversity of viewpoints, experiences, and perspectives of our team is essential for solving the wicked problem of climate change. Our success is a direct result of the incredible team we’re fortunate to work with each day.
The CarbonBetter team grew by 20% in 2021, and we’re already looking forward to welcoming more new team members early in the new year.
Looking Ahead to 2022
Continued Growth in Energy Logistics
Looking ahead to 2022, we are eager to continue expanding our energy logistics practice, helping our clients meet their demand, risk, and sustainability goals. As more and more companies take steps to decarbonize, our energy and climate teams will continue to guide business leaders in making the right practical steps to measure, reduce, and offset their footprints.
Expanding Climate Services & CertificationS
In 2022 we’ll expand our Climate Services practice to meet client demand in the marketplace. As we work with more companies to create pathways to decarbonization, more end-user products will enter the marketplace with the CarbonBetter certification badge, signaling to consumers that this company has aligned business and climate goals in a practical and transparent way.
We will also continue to work with project developers to guide their investments, develop carbon offset credits and renewable energy certificates (RECs) from their projects, and market their credits.
And there are many more stories to tell! Stories about the work companies are doing to take steps toward decarbonization, stories about the projects that RECs and carbon offsets are funding, and stories about the people moving us toward a net-zero future. Stories are how knowledge is shared in society, and we’re eager to do even more in 2022 to advance climate change solutions.
CarbonBetter Turns 10
In March 2022 CarbonBetter turns ten, and we could not be more proud of what we’ve accomplished together. We plan to use this milestone as an opportunity to reflect, celebrate, and plan for the next ten years ahead. After nearly a decade, we’ve now positioned ourselves to address climate change from inside the energy industry – solving root-cause problems, rather than just addressing end-result issues.
Over the next ten years, our focus is on building the net-zero future while thriving in the status quo. Those contributing to climate change are in the best position to solve it, and step by step we’ll help companies in all industries make the necessary changes to align their business goals with our goal to save our planet. If you’re committed to a net-zero future, make sure to sign our pledge.
Join our team in 2022! We’re currently hiring for our Energy Logistics team, and expect to hire in Climate Services, Operations, and Marketing in the coming year. Don’t see an open role that fits but still want to be a part of the CarbonBetter team? Contact us to share a bit about yourself and we’ll be in touch.
Welcome ABSA Interns from UT
In early 2022 we welcome our first cohort of student interns from the Asian Business Students Association (ABSA). ABSA is one of the largest student associations at the University of Texas (UT), and our founder, Tri Vo, was a member when he attended UT. We recently visited an ABSA general meeting to share what we do at CarbonBetter and lead the students through an exercise to learn more about how they think about sustainability. We came away from that meeting with a renewed excitement about our future business leaders and their perspectives on climate change solutions, and we’re so honored to play even a small part in their professional development.
Thank you for being a part of our story in 2021, and we look forward to another transformative year in 2022. No matter where you are in your sustainability journey, please don’t hesitate to reach out and connect with us.
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