Sustainability within RenSti
Do you know what is your carbon footprint? Have you ever thought about the impact your daily decisions have on the planet? RenSti can give you the answers.
For our blog campaign “Doing Business with an Impact”, we interviewed the two co-founders, Oliver Whimster Martinsen and Oskar Dahl Hansen of the company named RenSti. The two motivated entrepreneurs work primarily with SDG 13: Climate action, but their service supports a wider number of goals from the Agenda 2030.
Can you tell me about RenSti? What do you do?
Oliver: Our company is called RenSti which means ‘clean path’ in Danish. We are providing an opportunity for individuals and businesses to become carbon neutral.
We created a website where you can take a test and calculate how much greenhouse gas you emit through your consumption. The calculation is based on different factors, like your diet and how you commute. Afterwards, you sign up for a monthly subscription of carbon neutrality, so we offset people’s submissions. These contributions are used to support climate projects, mainly in the developing world. An example of a project can be planting forests.
Our focus is on global warming. The aim of taking the test is for people to realise their daily emission and understand their hotspots. In this way, we hope people will become more conscious of the areas they need to work on to reduce their own footprint.
By creating a membership, people calculate their emissions in their everyday life and we invest an amount of money equal to their emissions into projects connected to climate change. This is how we support different projects and we broaden our range of secondary SDGs that we cover.
How is your product sustainable?
Oliver: Reducing carbon emissions is one of the most important steps to minimise our footprint. The carbon emissions in US households by themselves are 5 times greater than the global average.
But the US is not the only player in this cause. Actions must be taken all around the world, especially in the most affected areas such as America, Europe and parts of Asia.
We are providing support for projects focused on climate change. We think about ourselves to be similar to a fundraising project. In some ways, we could be compared to Red Cross’ activities, but more focused on climate change projects.
Do you think that sustainability is important and why?
Oliver: Yes, definitely. We founded our project based on our vision for a more sustainable world. We never envisioned any money from it. Sustainability has been a primary concern all the way. We are already facing the consequences of our activities. The climate changes drastically every year. The water level rises, the Ozone hole expands more and more. The more we ignore these global issues, the more we will suffer. If we do not take action now, we will leave complete chaos for our children. They will have to solve our mistakes and fight with even more serious problems than what we have now.
How is RenSti connected to the SDGs and which one particularly?
Oliver: Our business is primarily connected to the SDG: 13 Climate action. However, since we are collaborating with many other projects, we could say that we cover a big part of the SDGs. Moreover, we partner with projects fighting poverty and enhancing life on land, education, healthcare, jobs creation, accessible energy, etc.
What are your next steps for making the company even greener?
Oliver: We already have many subscribers, but what we would like to achieve is a much higher number of members. An increase in their number would mean that we would be able to invest more in projects and boost their activities.
Additionally, we are trying to put more focus on encouraging people to reduce their own emissions. What we are hoping for, is to develop our own project this year. But we are still at the very beginning of the planning stage. Therefore, we cannot be certain of the launch date.
Do you have any tips for other companies that want to work with sustainability?
Oliver: Reshape the way you think and do business. Consider each small detail as a part of the whole business process.
For example, it is so easy to switch from black energy to green electricity. But people do not consider it. They just keep on buying it from the same company instead of investigating what other options exist. Another example that we can look at, is the lunch menu in the office. You might have never considered that employees perhaps prefer something vegetarian. Make a survey and customize the menu according to the majority of votes. This way, you would reduce your emissions from meat and food waste.
What we would advise them is to evaluate not just primary activities but also secondary activities in the value chain. Consider the lowest levels in the hierarchy and think what can be done better, what can you do to eliminate the negative effects of your business. Often making your business more sustainable reduces expenses in long term.
Another effective way of reducing emissions is to cut off long business trips. Many companies account 90% of their emissions from flights. What they should consider, is to do their meetings via Skype instead of flying all the way to another country and go back. It would reduce a large number of expenses, time and emissions.