Greener has been designed for impact from the ground up.
A guiding principle here at Greener is that we want to deliver a magical experience for our members, that is underpinned with leading climate science to drive real impact.
Over the last 2 years we’ve worked with leading experts from Harvard, WWF, University of Sydney, and others to simplify the complex. Whether it’s our language, the Greener Rating, or our Greener Merchant Framework, it’s all grounded in sound science that is available to anyone who wants to dig a bit deeper. The detail is below, but here’s the super short version:
Greener Partners have been independently verified to be doing more than other companies to help stop climate change, have the accreditations to prove it, and have partnered with Greener to carbon neutralise your purchases for free
The Greener Rating is a proxy of your carbon footprint and you can improve it by shopping with Greener businesses, so your purchases are carbon neutral, or by shopping less; in this way it follows the carbon mitigation hierarchy of buy less, shop green, and clean up the remaining emissions
We are not a rating body. Instead, we rely on independent experts to assess which businesses are doing credible things to help stop climate change, and provide that information to consumers in a simple and transparent that helps them make better choices. There are over 70 high quality accreditations and qualifications in our Greener Merchant Framework that we measure businesses against to determine which qualify to be Greener Partners.
There is a sea of environmental accreditations and qualifications. We’ve worked with Harvard and WWF to ensure we only refer to the most credible and impactful:
Qualifying Greener, and raising the bar
While some accreditations consider the entirety of a business’s impact, most look at specific elements of their operations. To simplify this, the green business framework groups these accreditations and qualifications into 4 Green Badges:
- Reducing Emissions
- Reducing Waste
- Better Materials, and
- Responsible Business.
When a business has one of these accreditations, it ‘lights up’ the associated Green Badge. Today a business qualifies as Greener with 1 Green Badge. But we know that what’s green today won’t be good enough in the future. Over time we’ll raise this bar to ensure businesses are continuing to improve and becoming even greener. Down the track it may be that 2 Green Badges are required, or even all 4.
Greener surfaces information easily
There are many things businesses are doing that just can’t be accredited, or it isn’t feasible for them to have it independently verified. Accreditations take lots of time and money to get and keep, and for smaller businesses they can be out of reach. So, we’re working with leading sustainable retailers to help them communicate the other great things they’re doing. Whether it’s removing all their plastic packaging, putting solar panels on their roof, or operating a carbon negative sheep station, these are impactful initiatives that we know you care about it and want to support. We’ll soon be unleashing this new feature in-app, so stay tuned!
The red line
The red line filters out businesses doing more harm than good. Sometimes businesses can be doing lots of great things for the environmental, while at the same time continuing some harmful activities. Perhaps they’ve removed all plastic packaging but are clearing pristine rainforest to grow their cotton. Or maybe they’re using 100% renewable energy but operating unsafe garment factories and paying unfair wages to disadvantaged people. Greener has a robust Red Line policy that reviews business across several important ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) issues to ensure we’re only supporting good businesses. We all make mistakes, and we need to recognise that few businesses are perfect. But if there is no transparent, credible plan to improve a bad practice then a business cannot be a Greener Partner.
The Red Line looks at several ESG factors, with a focus on those more directly related to environment and climate change.
Carbon footprints are confusing because many of us have no context. What does 20 tonnes of a weightless gas look like> And what the heck is carbon dioxide equivalent? To make impact measurement more accessible we’ve worked with Harvard and WWF to develop the Greener Rating. It’s a proxy of your carbon footprint, on a 10-point scale. The average Aussie is a 5, which represents 20 tonnes, and 10/10 is carbon neutral. The message is simple – get to 10 and you’re doing your bit to help stop climate change.
Calculating the emission from each purchase
Just like your carbon footprint, your Greener Rating is improved by buying less, shopping greener, and cleaning up the remaining emissions.
We’ve worked with the University of Sydney to calculate the average carbon emissions associated with everything we buy (aka emissions factor). For example, for every dollar spent on clothing 253g of CO2 is emitted, and for every dollar spent on groceries, 310g of CO2 are emitted. For the scientists in the room, this is the full supply chain emissions, which considers the emissions associated with manufacturing through to transport and retail. In this way we’re able to calculate and summarise your carbon footprint / Greener Rating by key categories like home energy, food & dining, travel, and others. To further personalise the calculation we are working to incorporate everyone’s unique lifestyles and positive habits. For example, if you live with others we’ll split your home energy and grocery bills. If you’re vegetarian, than instead of 310g CO2 per dollar of groceries, we’ll use 260g. If you use a reusable coffee cup, that will be reflected in a lower emissions factor at every café.
Daily spend, adjusted for household size and other personal factors, is used to calculate your carbon footprint and Greener Rating
Calculating your Greener Rating
When you link your card in-app, we’re then able to calculate the average carbon emissions associated with each purchase. Continuing our example above, for every $100 you spend at the grocery store, about 31 kg of CO2 is emitted. Over time we add up all the carbon of your spend to calculate your carbon footprint / Greener Rating. Rather than track your footprint since the dawn of time, your Greener Rating is calculated on an annualised 90-day rolling basis – we’ll add everything you buy today to your footprint and subtract everything from 90 days ago. This way your Greener Rating reflects your recent spending, rewarding you as you become greener.
Improving your Greener Rating
There are two ways to improve your rating:
1. Shift your spend to Greener Partners: every time you shop with a Greener Partner we plant trees to carbon neutralise your purchase – the carbon from that $100 of groceries goes from 31kg to 0kg!
2. Spend less: if you don’t buy anything, there is no carbon to add to your footprint, and over time your Greener Rating will trend up to 10.
In this way the Greener Rating follows the Carbon Mitigation Hierarchy: buy less, buy greener, clean up the remaining emissions.