On Moving Towards Global Net Zero Emissions


David de Picciotto headshot
David de Picciotto

CEO & Co-Founder at Pledge

Episode notes

Consumers and regulatory bodies are continually turning up the pressure, demanding that industry offenders reduce their ongoing environmental harms in meaningful ways.

Host Jenny Herald’s guest on this episode of the Dreams with Deadlines podcast spotlights the new data-driven platform his team at Pledge have created using fintech tools to track carbon footprints and remediate emissions. CEO and Co-Founder David DePicciotto explains why their new methodology is a gamechanger when it comes to advancing net zero carbon neutrality in concrete ways.

Learn about Pledge’s measurable, actionable solution — technology that’s moving the needle on the global impacts of manufacturing and distribution in exciting ways.

What you will learn

  • The growing demands among consumers for corporate accountability and sustainable practices – particularly among top offenders in the travel and supply chain transportation industries.
  • Why old-school, top-down industry averages provide a far less precise measure of climate impacts than the accurate, granular, bottom-up data collection and tracking technologies available today.
  • How meaningful carbon reduction will require a portfolio approach based on a mix of methodologies developed for large companies that can ultimately be rolled out as scalable, affordable solutions for smaller ones. 
  • Advice for companies interested in establishing proactive programs to reduce their footprint through data collection, offsetting and insetting strategies.
  • What’s behind corporate “greenwashing,” which is often the unintended consequence of sustainability programs that lack accreditation, expertise and committed resources.
  • How the team at Pledge is partnering with enterprises to move their commitment to carbon neutrality from the “nice to have” column towards “mission accomplished” – ASAP!

Show notes

  • [00:03:12] David highlights the service Pledge provides by helping businesses integrate a climate dimension into their customer offerings – including support for supply chain logistics to reduce carbon footprint.  
  • [00:04:13] Defining Terms: The international mandate to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 45% by 2030 and achieve net zero levels by 2050 requires reliable measures and strategies going forward.
  • [00:05:03] About two ways of looking at carbon emissions:
    • Top Down: Industry average spend and per unit impacts versus financial value of a good or service consumed. 
    • Bottom Up: Activity-based data that break down indirect emissions at a more granular level.
  • [00:06:59] Why pursuing a sustainability strategy makes good business sense: Both because consumers are demanding responsible commerce and regulatory bodies in Europe and beyond are demanding accountability and compliance.
  • [00:09:03] David explains the reasons that sustainability is often pushed down the corporate agenda (cost, resources) and how outsourced software solutions will likely advance adoption in the coming months and years.
  • [00:11:14] Transport is among the largest carbon offenders. The more emissions are measurable, the more transparent choices become for consumers. Alternative energies offering significant reductions are also coming on strong.
  • [00:13:38] Advice for companies interested in establishing proactive programs to reduce their footprint: 
    • Prioritize data collection, tracking and quantification.
    • Identify and address with an offset strategy those functions that are essential.
  • [00:15:32] There are ongoing challenges associated with closing data gaps, especially with Scope 3 emissions, but large enterprises (especially in the transportation space) are leaning on suppliers to reduce their footprints and overall environmental impacts.
  • [00:17:12] Explaining the finer points of carbon offsetting versus insetting.
  • [00:18:49] Meaningful carbon reduction will require a portfolio of solutions to holistically neutralize impacts. It’s not a zero-sum game but a mix of technologies that, through the support of larger enterprises, can be scaled to help subsidize smaller ones.
  • [00:21:21] How so-called “greenwashing” happens in both intentional and unintentional ways due to a lack of knowledge, resources, and vetting practices. 
  • [00:22:37] How business leaders can establish a trust-worthy climate strategy through:
    • Education and onboarding of the necessary sustainability resources
    • Strong and transparent data-based systems to hold vendors accountable
    • Partnerships with accredited bodies whose calculation methodologies qualify them to manage carbon accounting and offsetting programs
  •  [00:24:32] Quick Fire Questions for David: 
    • What’s your Dream with a Deadline? Helping to remove gigatons of carbon from the atmosphere – ASAP!
    • What is an example of a strategy execution challenge that you faced and how did you overcome it? There’s no pre-existing playbook, which means creating a data-driven niche in the climate space while learning on the job.
    • Best advice for business leaders who want to incorporate sustainability in a meaningful way? Whatever the size of your company, choose a concrete milestone in terms of net carbon emissions and then reverse-engineer a program to make it happen!
    • What is top of mind for you these days? Moving sustainability as a business priority out of the “nice to have” and into the “must have NOW” column.

About our guest:

David de Picciotto headshot
David de Picciotto

CEO & Co-Founder

David co-founded Pledge in 2021, to help businesses of every size to understand and manage the climate impact of their products and services. Pledge has built an integrated suite of climate tools for businesses to incorporate trusted carbon measurement, reduction and carbon removal capabilities into their customer offering quickly and easily.

Additional resources