Climate Risk & ESG Risk

Watershed- A Fight Against Climate Change

Supriti Tripathy

17th Mar'21
Watershed- A Fight Against Climate Change | OpenGrowth

No challenge poses a greater threat than climate change. As we are in the depth of the ocean of global warming, climate change, and pollution increase, companies like Watershed are coming forward to help us dwell on the impact of our actions on the climate and fight against the same. In the words of one of the co-founders, it was their passion for addressing climate change combined with the excitement of building tech products and services that led them to launch, Watershed, a software platform that runs a world-class climate program.



climate change



The journey from Stripe to Watershed

Stripe was the company where the three co-founders, Taylor Francis, Christian Anderson, and Avi Itskovich, first met. They were all running different product, operations, and engineering teams when they learned that companies could have a tremendous effect on climate and it will be a good initiative to help businesses and industries decarbonize. However, it is extremely difficult to change industries’ course of operations as they are higher contributors to carbon emissions. Hence, Watershed was started to build tools that enable companies to get to net-zero or negative carbon emissions.

Watershed had raised quite a hype with its series that brought together Michael Moritz of Sequoia and John Doerr of Kleiner as co-leads of the investment. Watershed is on its path to enable corporate decarbonization for customers like Stripe, Shopify, and Sweetgreen. In fact, in this process, they are taking examples of the above companies who have taken climate change seriously.


Big Goals- Small Steps

Watershed is heading towards a greener environment by taking baby steps. It has three goals, mainly, i.e., to let companies measure the impact of the emissions, take action to reduce them, and make progress reports. The companies trying to make an impact on climate change are often tangled with two problems, i.e., data and market.


Issues and the keys to resolving them?

Data problems arise when companies do not know the carbon impact of their decisions. Every ton of carbon emitted to the atmosphere can be traced back to a business, whether that is cloud computing, energy supply, logistics, transportation, or supply chain sourcing. However, companies get zero insight into how they can be conscious and aware of their share of emissions. Watershed provides more actionable data as figures that help companies see the carbon impact of their decisions.

A market problem implies that companies don’t have their market sway. For example, a huge corporation like Apple has its emissions come from aluminum. Hence to help it make zero carbon emission would be to form a multi-million dollar joint venture to invent zero-carbon aluminum.


A Tough Call

It takes a plethora of research, trial, and error to bring strategies for zero-carbon to the companies. It's a tough call but over the last decade, companies with brilliant engineers, analytical resources, and market power are already making their way to decarbonization. Watershed has built the platform to aggregate multiple companies to put their joint power behind clean solutions so that any company can have actionable carbon decision-making and market power.


Value Chain, Customer Base, and Strategies

Watershed relies on its purpose-built software, sales and support team, product and engineering team, supply chain logistics, and so on. It helps companies measure their footprint in days(not months), trace their emissions, report them and compare with other industry players. Companies are recommended steps from time to time to reduce carbon and get help in the execution of the same. Companies use Watershed to engage suppliers on their carbon impact, help them set targets, and achieve them. At Watershed, they can offset and remove carbon by buying clean power and funding carbon removal projects.

The customer base of Watershed includes any industry, including payments, manufacturing, health, food logistics, electronics, among others. It’s not important to connect to all of them directly. The extensive carbon network that is there is enough to help Companies be mindful about their carbon decisions.



Recommended: 10 Biggest Recycling Companies in the World



A Trail of the Work

Where companies usually fill out a bunch of rows in a spreadsheet, spend time and resources for inputs, download pdfs, they can cut it all down by using Watershed’s innovation. The designed platform enables pulling data straight from the source- like an X-ray of the entire business for every single line item and purchase order. For example, Sweetgreen uses Watershed to design new menu items about what chicken, cheese, avocado, or kale goes into a salad based on the fact that the suppliers have implemented low carbon practices on the farm.

With a team of technologists and climate advocates, Watershed is here to transform the era and make climate betterment technology not just good projects but good businesses as well.



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A believer of good things and pursuer of diverse avocation, she is a fiction lover and a simple writer. Supriti has a number of professions to her list and she feels challenges are the only answers to failures.


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