Introduction

See Through Carbon is an open source, free to use, incorruptible carbon auditing standard. It counts all carbon emissions, rejects spurious offsetting, and reduces barriers for SMEs to access accurate carbon reporting and consultancy advice to lower their carbon footprint.

Objectives

See Through Carbon aims to fill a vacuum in carbon auditing, providing a global, pervasive, high trust carbon auditing standard that delivers comprehensive, consistent, accurate reporting. Becoming the gold-standard, incorruptible standard will accelerate a future where carbon auditing is treated with the same seriousness as financial reporting.

Being free to use, and open source, See Through Carbon’s database can be used to refine and improve audit quality, including serving as training data for automated carbon-reducing consultancy.

Market Opportunity and Market Needs

Accurate reporting of corporate carbon footprints is already stringent, and will become stricter, yet the current carbon auditing market is not fit for purpose. Crowded, confusing, chaotic and often corrupt, dozens of competing proprietary standards compete, each incentivised to deliver unrealistically optimistic results.

The need is particularly acute for SMEs, who are neglected by the current market because they can’t afford to pay for carbon auditing, reporting and consultancy.

The market lacks, and needs, a universal standard that measures carbon emissions as accurately as possible, cannot be gamed, is free to use, and is optimised to rapidly incorporate best practice and new technology, databases and innovations emerge.

Competition

Current carbon auditing standards are irredeemably discredited because they charge businesses to use them, favour greenwashing, and are too expensive for the SMEs that generate 70% of all carbon emissions.

Any business model that relies on charging clients to use their proprietary standard is fundamentally corruptible, as it incentivises providing the lowest, rather than the most accurate number.

Some open source solutions exist in the market, but are yet to achieve widespread adoption because they provide partial solutions. STC packages its own open source solution with others, to provide a comprehensive, clearly branded new alternative that can’t be influenced by its users.

Solution

STC is designed to be: free to use, and hence incorruptible open-source, so continually optimised for best practice * branded with the integrity that comes from being built by volunteers prioritising carbon drawdown, not businesses prioritising profit

As the project scales, modest funding will be required to cover hosting and infrastructure costs, but the standard (and automated consultancy based on our database) will always be free to the user. Zero cost can never be undercut.

Go-To-Market Strategy

Phase 1 of the Pilot rations free ad in popular community Facebook Notice Board Groups to incentivize SMEs to sign up. Phase 2, if required, is web-based and fully automated, using ad prominence in a dominant community events listing as incentives.

The Pilot can expand into different geographies until the dataset is large enough, and the proof of concept compelling enough, to convince larger businesses to mandate their SME supply chain to adopt STC. Once STC is mandated top-down, it will scale rapidly.

Adoption of STC benefits both large enterprises and their SME supply chain, by providing a consistent, accurate, free, open source audit standard to meet carbon reporting requirements.

Development up to the end of the Pilot will be 100% driven by volunteer experts, which guarantees STC’s USP, its inbuilt integrity.

Execution Plan

See Schedule

Financials

See Schedule

Summary

Competition hinders, rather than helps, accurate carbon auditing. By providing the best service at zero cost, See Through Carbon can become the unifying standard that avoids the reputational risk inherent in the current system.

Schedule

1. Planning: Q2-Q3 2023

  • Concept
  • Brainstorming & Research
  • Competition Analysis
  • Expert Consultation
  • See Through Carbon Competition
  • Pilot 1 design and development
  • Website
  • Budget: $0.00

2. Pilot Phase 1: Q4 2023 — Q2 2024

  • Pilot 1 — bottom-up Wiltshire SMEs
  • Identify top-down adopters
  • Identify funders
  • Form STC Trust
  • Refine Carbon Audit Form
  • Design Database
  • Design Pilot 2
  • Budget: $0.00

3. Pilot Phase 2: Q2 2024-Q3 2024

  • Pilot 2 (bottom-up Cumbria Events)
  • Expand/​iterate Pilot 1
  • Develop Database
  • Design API MVP
  • Recognition for statutory reporting status
  • Budget: $TBC

4. Scale Development Q4 2024 — Q1 2025

  • Database MVP
  • API MVP
  • Design data visualisation MVP
  • Design UX MVP
  • Budget: $TBC

5. Scale Launch Q2 2025-

  • Launch See Through Carbon MVP globally
  • Budget: $TBC