Climate Action

Elliot Coad on the key work Ecologi does to fund climate action projects around the world

After the Sustainable Innovation Forum at COP27, Climate Action caught up with Elliot Coad, CEO and co-founder of Ecologi, to discuss the key work the company does to fund climate action projects around the world.

  • 13 December 2022
  • Rachel Cooper

After the Sustainable Innovation Forum at COP27, Climate Action caught up with Elliot Coad, CEO and co-founder of Ecologi, to discuss the key work the company does to fund climate action projects around the world.

What was the idea behind founding the company? How did the company grow and change over time?

In 2019, I bought a coffee on the way to work - something I had done thousands of times. But this particular morning, I had a thought: what if the money I spent on my morning coffee could be used to fund some form of climate action instead? By applying this concept on a wider scale, I realised that the pocket change millions of us have (whether as an individual or a business) could be used collectively to fight climate change and effect real change.

That’s where the idea for Ecologi was born: a subscription service for the planet. Since then, our community has helped us to fund over 54 million trees, which is staggering! And through funding the best climate projects around the world, they’ve also helped to prevent over two million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent from entering the atmosphere, which is the equivalent of around 6% of London’s annual emissions in 2021.

What are the main benefits of joining your platform for businesses?

If the UK is to reach net-zero by 2050, businesses will need to urgently transform the way they operate. At Ecologi we try to make taking climate action transparent, trustworthy and tangible for everyone, building trust around the process. Research we undertook earlier this year revealed that 8 in 10 businesses want to be greener but don’t know where to start.

Our free carbon footprinting tool, currently available to service-based small businesses through the Xero app, helps businesses to get started by measuring their footprint. But it’s a long road to net-zero, so our pay-as-you-go marketplace lets customers fund the best climate action projects along the way. These projects range from renewable energy to cleaner cookstoves, and are certified at the very highest level by Gold Standard or the Verified Carbon Standard.

What is Ecologi’s Collective Action project? What is the significance behind it?

The climate crisis is the biggest challenge of our lifetimes. To achieve the change that’s urgently needed, we need to build a sense of community and solidarity, which are vital for mobilising en masse. Collective action is at Ecologi’s core. We believe that with a little input from a lot of people, it’s possible to create real, tangible change. We’re already seeing effective collective action in response to the climate crisis being declared across a growing number of industries, including agriculture, tourism, music, fashion, and pharmaceuticals. 

Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency, for instance, is a global community of different players from the tourism industry committed to delivering a Climate Action Plan, with the aim of halving emissions within the industry by 2030. This kind of initiative highlights the impact a small group can have by advocating for climate action through its networks. 

What are Ecologi’s plans ahead? 

We want to become the end-to-end climate platform, supporting SMEs on the full net-zero journey and breaking down the barriers around climate action. Next year we’re set to fully launch our freemium carbon footprinting calculator, Ecologi Zero, which we hope will galvanise over a million UK SMEs to measure their emissions in the future.

We also hope to sign up even more customers to our pay-as-you-go marketplace, where they will be able to fund exciting new projects including wildflower meadow restoration and biochar. 

Ecologi were the Digital Partner of the Sustainable Innovation Forum at COP27. Click here for more information on how you can take action for our planet.