As sustainability remains a top priority for retailers and brands, offsetting carbon emissions has played a key role in putting into practice greener business practices. Many merchants are limited in what they can do, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help.
Stripe, the payments processor, is now offering a feature on its platform that makes it easier for retailers to invest in carbon offsets.
Stripe Climate allows U.S. businesses on the platform to direct a portion of their revenue toward emerging carbon removal technologies. Stripe has selected a few climate partners, informed by scientific advisers, who are innovating in the climate space and creating new solutions to help reduce the amount of carbon present in the atmosphere. As these are emerging companies, they need investment in order to scale.
“Early purchasers can help new carbon removal technologies get down the cost curve and up the volume curve,” Stripe said in its climate initiative description. “If a broad coalition of like-minded buyers commits substantial investment, we’re optimistic that we can shift the trajectory of the industry and increase the likelihood [that] the world has the portfolio of solutions needed.”
Merchants can decide the amount they want to divert from their revenue into these funds; Stripe passes on 100% of this amount, with no fee taken out. Participants can’t select which specific project to donate their money to within the fund, but Stripe provides a portfolio of its selected projects so that users can learn more about what their donation is supporting. It has also published its criteria for selection, for greater transparency.
The ability to opt-in to Stripe Climate is easily accessed from the user dashboard and contributions can be set up in under a minute, reports Stripe. Once a merchant has enrolled in the project, a participation badge will automatically be displayed on all Stripe-hosted checkouts, receipts and invoices. This badge can then be manually added to other locations, as determined by the merchant.
Sustainability is not just a corporate concern, but is increasingly pushed by consumers as well. Recent studies have shown that shoppers want to see brands participating in environmental initiatives and are more likely to purchase from companies that do. But in order to see these results, merchants must publicize their involvement and make it easy for their customers to discover and understand their engagement. The Stripe Climate badge will help to communicate this involvement.
The first climate projects to be included in the fund are Climeworks, which sequesters carbon dioxide underground using geothermal energy; CarbonCure, which injects carbon dioxide into concrete for permanent storage; Project Vesta, which uses naturally occurring mineral olivine to capture carbon dioxide, and Charm Industrial, which has innovated a process to inject bio-oil into geologic storage.
Stripe Climate is available to U.S. users only, but there are plans to expand the solution to all countries where Stripe operates.