95. Earthly

Every business dreads being accused of greenwashing. Using thorough assessment methods, Earthly finds science-backed, climate positive projects for firms to invest in.

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Founders: Lorenzo Curci and Oliver Bolton
Founded: 2019
Website: earthly.org

Recent years have seen the UK take a major attitude change to the climate crisis. 64% of small and medium-sized business owners want to be more sustainable, according to a survey conducted by Lloyds Bank. But worries about greenwashing have left many unsure of how to proceed.

“Companies have key concerns including brand reputation, limited expertise in selecting high impact efforts, and difficulty measuring the value of their actions,” Earthly founder Oliver Bolton tells Startups.

The Earthly mission is to give small business owners a carbon-offsetting program they can feel confident investing in. By zeroing in on nature-based solutions (NBS) that remove carbon, restore biodiversity, and improve the livelihoods of local communities.

Worries about greenwashing have left many unsure of how to proceed

Earthly assesses a wide variety of NBS projects across the world using a robust scoring methodology that maps over 64 metrics related to employment, education, equity, health and ecosystem services.

So far, Bolton says, funding in nature-based solutions (NBS) has been scarce, with a $530 billion annual gap if the UK hopes to become Net Zero by 2050.

By shining a light on verified projects that are bringing true, regional and planetary value, the startup hopes to nip greenwashing in the bud and ensure climate-conscious SMEs put their hard-earned cash into the most valuable, approved projects.

Earthly assesses a wide variety of NBS projects across the world

We would normally include a list of funding data, recruitment figures, and general company achievements. But while Earthly certainly isn’t lacking here (it’s reportedly earned £3m in funding so far), its ambitions are, shall we say, sky-high.

For 2023, the company says it is on track to achieve 750,000+ tonnes CO² removed/avoided via NBS. Having set a mission to remove 1Gt of carbon by 2030, it is currently on track with 17m trees planted, and 37,500 km² of ecosystems protected and restored.

We could fill a whole forest with nice things to say about Earthly – if the company didn’t get there first.

As the saying doesn’t go, we can see the wood through the trees, and it looks like a bright, ozone-friendly future for Earthly in 2023.

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