45. Earthly

Earthly helps firms to avoid the greenwashing label with its trusted marketplace of high-quality nature-based solutions.

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Founder: Oliver Bolton and Lorenzo Curci

Year founded: 2019
Website: earthly.org

In an era defined by the climate breakdown, and apocalyptic news headlines that warn about an impending ecological collapse, investors are increasingly seeking out trusted, environmentally-friendly projects to promote. But many fall short in delivering meaningful biodiversity benefits.

In early 2023, multiple carbon removal organisations were accused of greenwashing, as their projects were found to have had little environmental impact. Just a few months later, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) also announced it would ban products that claim to be carbon neutral using offsets unless they can prove they really work.

Earthly is the anti-greenwashing partner that’s here to restore client confidence. Founded in 2019, Earthly works with nature-based solutions (NbS) that have the potential to provide one-third of the required greenhouse gas mitigation by 2030.

I imagined a future conversation with my son in a decade where he would say to me: 'your generation knew the severity of the climate and biodiversity crises, why didn't you do more?'

Using a unique scoring methodology that maps over 64 metrics, it assesses a wide variety of NbS projects across the world. Companies can then invest in these solutions via the Earthly marketplace, where there’s even a useful subscription model to ensure regular monthly donations are made.

Earthly grew from a pivotal moment in co-founder Oliver Bolton’s life. His son’s birth coincided with the release of an IPCC report on the urgency of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. On that day, a profound commitment to combating the climate crisis was also born.

“I imagined a future conversation with my son in a decade where he would say to me: ‘your generation knew the severity of the climate and biodiversity crises, why didn’t you do more?’,” recalls Bolton. “It was at that moment I committed to focus the remainder of my working life tackling this challenge.”

It was at that moment I committed to focus on the remainder of my working life tackling this challenge

At the heart of Earthly’s mission is a drive to overcome the challenges that obstruct the adoption of nature-based solutions; one of the biggest being a lack of transparency and quality in carbon-removal projects.

Offering resources like the Customer Hub and guidance on avoiding greenwashing helps companies engage its customers and employees, build trust, and make meaningful strides in climate action. It also diligently assesses and selects only the highest-quality projects, ensuring that investments have a tangible impact.

Featuring in our list at number 95 last year, Earthly’s remarkable success in 2023 has been underscored by its recognition at COP27 with the ClimaTech prize, acknowledging its potential to drive positive change on a global scale.

Major clients such as Innocent, Activision, and S&P Global have embraced Earthly’s mission, supported by influential investors like Google and One Planet Capital.

With ambitious goals to remove 30+ million tonnes of CO2 within five years, and one billion tonnes of CO2 within a decade, Earthly is committed to redirecting funds to high-impact nature-based solutions.

As the world enters a crucial decade for ecosystem restoration, Earthly is offering businesses a roadmap to a more sustainable and balanced future. Planting itself in position 45 this year, we’re excited to watch this startup grow even taller in 2024.

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