This Startup Just Flew Past Its Kickstarter Goal to Label Climate-Friendly Products

November 27, 2019

Austin Whitman wanted to get businesses to fight climate change.

Having spent the better part of his career working in carbon markets and carbon offsetting—and advising companies on how to reduce their footprint on the planet—Whitman saw an opportunity to make companies’ environmental commitments apparent to consumers. As climate change becomes an ever-growing stressor for everyday people, he felt he could use consumer concern to mobilize businesses against climate change.

There was potential for a paradigm shift.

“This feels like a really interesting time to step up to the plate,” Whitman said.

To that end, Whitman, who is based in Boston, teamed up with Peter Dering and Jonathan Cedar (both in San Francisco), along with Boston-based brand manager Caitlin Drown, to launch a Kickstarter for a project called “Climate Neutral”—a way to label brands that had a net zero impact on the environment.

The project, which went live on Kickstarter on Oct. 15, had an initial goal of $100,000. On Nov. 10, the project hit its goal; now, a little over a week later, Climate Neutral has raised more than $112,000 from nearly 1,700 individual backers. Kickstarter also featured it as a “Project We Love” on the site.

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