🤝#4 - Meet the Partners: Altruistiq
MEASURE DATABASE - Featuring Saif Hameed, CEO and Founder.
Our ‘Meet the Partners’ series interviews the experts helping consumer goods businesses around the world get a handle on their heat. Each interview aims to provide you with insight into their work, what you can expect from partnering with them, and tips to help your business thrive. This feature is paid sponsorship.
A decade ago, corporate carbon accounting was far from the norm. Today, we’re living in a different world. With the effects of climate change becoming increasingly clear, customers are demanding action, and so are investors. It can be a tough ask for businesses, especially those with limited resources, to meet these demands. Internal teams are unlikely to contain the relevant expertise needed, so finding a carbon accounting partner is a big and often essential first step.
Our Meet the Partners series interviews the experts helping consumer goods businesses around the world get a handle on their heat. Each interview will provide you with insight into what makes them different, a glimpse into their work, and tips to help your business thrive.
Altruistiq is a software platform that enables corporations to automate sustainability data measurement, management and exchange - with unparalleled accuracy and ease. Processing complex sustainability data, Altruistiq generates decision making insights, helping companies sustainably sell more, spend less and save time.
Altruistiq’s key mission?
To help businesses take measurably good actions for the planet using accuracy, intelligence and commercial sense.
We caught up with Saif Hameed, CEO and Founder of Altruistiq, to get to grips with how Altruistiq can help businesses, and how businesses can help themselves.
First, we’d love to have an overview of what Altruistiq offers...
👉 How does Altruistiq support consumer goods companies in their climate journey?
Measuring and managing your carbon emissions as a business is an incredibly daunting prospect. With millions of lines of data, on sprawling spreadsheets and the help of ad hoc consultants, the conventional approach to carbon accounting is time consuming, expensive and produces retrospective results which are challenging to scale and translate into business decisions.
Enter, stage right, Altruistiq….
Altruistiq’s sustainability impact management platform helps companies transition from retrospective measurement and static sustainability reports to a live dashboard and decision-making environment. The solution automates data measurement and identifies impact reduction initiatives at scale. Our solution enables customers to see how they’re tracking against their targets in real-time and evaluate which impact reduction levers to pull and when optimising cash flow whilst maintaining the integrity of their targets.
👉 Do you have a specialist focus? What makes you different from other carbon accounting offerings?
Altruistiq’s solution is built to enable sustainability excellence. We believe data is the world’s biggest sustainability issue, as inaccuracy can lead to sub-optimal business decisions, missed investment and misaligned teamwork. Accurate and granular data measurement is the first piece in the impact reduction puzzle. Altruistiq’s solution surfaces, prioritises and tracks abatement initiatives that are optimised for capital efficiency and impact reduction. As such, we are able to have a huge impact on how our customers do business.
👉 Can you give more detail on the additional services you provide?
For most of our customers, Scope 3 emissions account for a formidable >90% of their total GHG emissions, but are also the most challenging and complex to capture accurately. To help our customers ramp up decarbonisation efforts, Altruistiq has developed Supplier Engagement functionality that allows customers to onboard their suppliers to the platform, enabling them to easily share their emissions data, or create a quick estimation baseline, in a standard format which feeds automatically into the customer’s own GHG Inventory. This helps customers surface emission hotspots and engage suppliers in measurement.
The Supplier Engagement functionality enables enterprises to:
Increase the accuracy of their inventory using supplier-specific data rather than standardised emissions factors
Track emissions across individual suppliers, and factor sustainability into the procurement process by comparing the emissions efficiency of suppliers
Identify and prioritise emissions reduction initiatives, based on supplier-specific carbon abatement costs
Engage their suppliers in emissions reduction and target setting
The Altruistiq Academy, a dedicated knowledge hub on the Altruistiq platform, is built to provide point-of-need immersive learning for business executives, sustainability practitioners and all shareholders involved in your sustainability journey to guide everyone through even the trickiest sustainability topics and accelerate practical implementation to drive towards sustainability objectives.
Let’s dig into some details...
👉 Our MEASURE database aims to help companies take the crucial first step of measuring their emissions. When a consumer goods brand comes to you with the goal of measuring their emissions, what are your first steps?
Whilst we are all racing to the same destination, reducing climate warming to 1.5°C, in line with the IPCC report, we recognise that there are different roads to getting there. Every company has their own goals and targets such getting a handle on their Scope 3 emissions, or setting science-based targets.. Understanding these priorities as well as the structure of the company is our first step in onboarding. It provides us with crucial context to configure our solution to best serve the customer’s needs. Next, we work to understand your key raw data sources from across your supply chain, building pipelines to gather and ingest the data in any format. We automate data pipelines to enable seamless and reliable data ingestion, with frequent updates as needed.
Is that just as applicable to smaller brands as it is to larger ones?
Altruistiq’s platform is optimised for larger companies, whose size and structural complexity tend to require increased automated functionality to overcome the hurdles to accurate data measurement. However, the benefits of automated data ingestion, informed, costed and prioritised emission reduction initiatives and stakeholder engagement through standardised reports are increasingly relevant to all company sizes. As such, the onboarding process remains consistent for smaller brands as well as larger ones.
👉 Can you give an example of a consumer goods brand that you’ve worked with, and any further details on that project?
Gousto, a leading UK recipe box provider, partnered with Altruistiq to help them calculate the carbon footprint of every recipe on their ever-expanding menu and accelerate them towards their decarbonisation goals.
Let’s dig into an example. Spaghetti bolognese is one of the nation’s favourite yet most carbon intense dishes. Gousto wanted to understand the true cost of their take on this beloved recipe, down to each individual ingredient. To surface accurate recipe and ingredient level insight at scale requires a massive volume of data, at a very fine granularity. Processing the data would’ve been a near impossible task without an automated impact management solution. Altruistiq’s platform ingested and processed the data, selected suitable ingredient emission factors and allocated emissions to recipes, delivering these insights in a format that was digestible to Gousto.
Generating actionable data insights, such as the impact of minced beef versus other alternatives e,g,. chicken mince or minced soya, (which are up to 80% lower emissions per kg), enables Gousto to make strategic and informed decisions about their product offering. By leveraging these insights, Gousto is able to drive impact reduction and customer value proposition simultaneously.
👉 How long does a typical project, like the one detailed above, take with you? Are there any examples of projects you can give?
Altruistiq’s software solution enables live tracking of impact to facilitate up to date, consistent and ongoing rather than on a project by project basis. Onboarding the customer onto our platform takes a few weeks, depending on scale and complexity of the customer.
👉 How much do your services typically cost?
Altruistiq’s enterprise pricing options take into account a customer’s requirement and which of our packages best meets their needs. Please get in touch if you would like to hear more about our product offering and pricing.
Now, for some advice…
👉 What common misconceptions do consumer goods brands have before they start measuring their emissions? Are there any common surprises?
Not realising how inaccurate emission baselines can be. With no universal emissions accounting methodology attached to the GHG protocol, high-level spend based accounting assumptions can drive misinformed business decisions, missed opportunities and unrealistic target setting. Our customers are excited about the potential to become more accurate quickly and efficiently.
The belief that you have easy access to all the information you need. Data can sit deep in your supply chain with obscuring end to end visibility. Data availability impacts the precision of your emission baseline. Maintaining the scope and hygiene of the data required to inform an accurate baseline manually is near impossible. You need to have the appropriate tools and methods to address gaps in your data if you are to achieve your sustainability objectives.
That measuring your baseline according to the GHG Protocol will directly translate into feasible business decisions. Aligning with the GHG Protocol (the existing and most widely used emission accounting standard) and measuring your emissions against scopes does not provide clarity or practical understanding of how to decarbonise within your business. At Altruistiq, we allocate emissions at a business activity level as well as at a scope level, making it easier for wider business actors to understand their abatement options and define reduction initiatives.
👉 What areas of becoming more sustainable are particularly tricky for smaller consumer goods businesses?
The nature of consumer goods brands is that their scope 3 footprint is disproportionately large. With >90% of emissions landing within their value chain and not under their direct control, the time spent trying to engage suppliers in data gathering and collaborative action is costly. Overcoming supply chain engagement hurdles with engagement tools will allow sustainability teams to focus more on high value work and less on manual data gathering and basic analysis.
Assessing ESG credentials of suppliers is also challenging. For instance, you may ask yourself, am I better off growing a tomato in the UK in a hothouse or sourcing the tomato from Spain which will produce higher transport emissions? It is also important to consider how the economic cost of swapping suppliers weighs up against the environmental gains. Surfacing informed and costed insights requires a huge amount of data analysis. Needless to say, sprawling spreadsheets and manual data gathering is not conducive to accelerating your sustainability agenda.
👉 What are a few simple steps that any organisation can do to reduce their impact?
Start off by measuring your impact to surface your emission hotspots. These data insights will enable you to make informed choices and prioritise reduction initiatives accordingly. Start off with your Scope 1 & 2 emissions, those emissions that fall under your direct control before embarking on Scope 3 emissions (indirect emissions) where the data burden will be more significant.
Make sure communication is at the heart of your strategy. Consolidate the relationships within your value chain and communicate your targets and ambitions with your suppliers and encourage them to collaborate with you. This gives them the opportunity to differentiate abatement efforts with their sustainability goals.
Lastly, use a digital solution to continuously and repeatably measure how you are tracking against impact initiatives and targets. By surfacing incremental changes, you will be able to see if the steps you are taking are making a difference. This will allow you to respond dynamically to progress initiatives.
👉 Any final thoughts, or advice for brands?
Be pragmatic about the data available to you. Don’t wait for a complete data set to get going on measuring your impact. As COVID has shown us, waiting for a perfect, data-driven picture can make efforts redundant through delayed response rates. Get ahead of the curve and start gathering your data now.
👉 Looking for a MEASURE partner? Reach out to the Altruistiq team to explore working with them!