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In the Battle Against Climate Change, This Startup Arms Smaller Businesses with Sustainability Tools

Much of the focus on sustainability in the business world centers on large corporations. That’s why many of the solutions aimed at lowering emissions, including sustainability software, target big clients rather than smaller ones.

New York-based startup Sustain.Life aims to help fill in the gap by developing tools designed for small- and medium-sized businesses.

The company’s sustainability software platform is designed to help clients across all industries measure and reduce their environmental impact. 

Video Courtesy Sustain.Life

Launched in 2021 by three former Walmart and executives, Sustain.Life aims to make it easier and more affordable for companies to launch carbon accounting and climate action programs, achieve net-zero emissions, and realize the business benefits of sustainability, such as reduced costs and risk. The company’s platform is broken down into three main areas that let clients do the following:

  • Measure their carbon emissions and environmental impact from internal operations and supply chains.
  • Manage their emissions through operational changes across areas such as energy, water, and waste, while also reducing their carbon footprints.
  • Report their progress to customers, investors, and employees.

It’s all part of the platform’s goal of casting a wide net in the battle against changes in the climate.

“To solve changes to the climate we need tools that enable more people and organizations to take meaningful climate action—and we need them quickly,” Sustain.Life Co-Founder Mike Hanrahan said in a press release following a May funding round. “Many major corporations have the resources to invest in sustainability initiatives, but most companies lack the resources to launch successful sustainability programs. That is why we set out to build a platform that would be more accessible from a usability and cost perspective.”

Photo Courtesy Sustain.Life

Thanks to the funding round, his company is in a better position to do so. The round raised $16 million in seed funding for Sustain.Life was co-led by Tapestry VC and Hanrahan, with participation from Active Impact Investments, Kompas, Agya Ventures, and Seyen Capital. Hanrahan previously co-founded and helped lead Walmart’s acquisition of the site, which at the time was the biggest e-commerce acquisition deal of all time. He currently serves as Sustain.Life’s chairman.

Other Sustain.Life co-founders include CEO Annalee Bloomfield and CTOPatrick Campagnano, both of whom previously worked at Walmart’s Intelligent Retail Lab, where Hanrahan served as chief executive. Sustain.Life’s senior leadership team also includes Chief Sustainability Officer Alyssa Rade.

Tapestry VC was drawn to Sustain.Life because its platform is designed to serve a rapidly evolving market.

Photo Courtesy Sustain.Life

“The carbon accounting and offsets industry is shifting from a marketing exercise and cottage industry to a key bastion in the global fight against climate change, accelerated by a recent industry and regulatory awakening on the issue,” Patrick Murphy, co-founder and managing director of Tapestry VC, said in a press release. “The Sustain.Life team has some unique insights on the problems real businesses have with adopting and managing climate accounting. They’ve created a unique solution that removes the intermediaries and enables companies of all sizes to put control of their carbon accounting back in their own hands.”

Hanrahan’s interest in launching a company focused on climate-change solutions began when he was trying to decarbonize his own life, he told GreenBiz in a recent interview. What Hanrahan learned is how difficult it can be to adopt clean energy technologies with so many regulations and permitting requirements getting in the way.

“It just seemed to be one block after another. I thought, ‘What hope do businesses have of being sustainable?’” Hanrahan said.

Sustain.Life looks to ease the process while also taking advantage of the rising demand for sustainability software. A blog on the company’s website notes that over the next five years, Environmental, Social, and Governance and sustainability consulting spending is expected to grow by 17% — and many of those consultants will need sustainability software solutions to meet demand and scale their own operations.

Higher demand will also lead to rising competition among sustainability software platforms – and some big names aim to grab a piece of the market. Sustain.Life might face competition from large enterprise software companies such as Microsoft and Salesforce, which are both building out sustainability management software platforms. 


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