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This is my Story – CO2mmon

In today’s interview we get to know the startup CO2mmon. We interview its co-founder and CEO, Enée Bussac.

 

What problem does your start-up address and what solution does it propose?

The environment is completely ignored by our current economic system: this is the problem we aim to solve, step by step, first by introducing a reward for saving CO2 emissions, thus by turning ecology into economy. Common aims at making eco-friendliness valuable for individuals, businesses and organisations such as companies. Common is a new generation loyalty system in the form of an app measuring reductions of CO2 emissions resulting from activities performed by individuals and rewarding them systematically according to the “1 kg of non-emitted CO2 = 1 greencent” principle. Cycling 6 km to the office for example makes you emit 781.80 g of CO2 less than if you were driving a car, so you would get 0.7818 GC as a reward as 781.80 g = 0.7818 kg. Our users can then spend their greencents with our partners (shops and restaurants): we enable thus individuals to pay with their eco-friendliness.

How and why did you start this entrepreneurial adventure? Any advice from your experience that you would like to pass on to future entrepreneurs?

I started this venture alone as I was witnessing a significant issue (climate change) and I didn’t want to wait for other people to solve it in their own way, at their own rhythm and for their own interests. I want to bring something to the world before I vanish, so I gathered all my skills, believes and energy to develop a proposal of a new generation VAT based solely on CO2 emissions of individual ingredients and components of food and non-food products. I won a prize at the beginning of 2020 with this proposition called “TCS”, so I decided to develop it further and inverted the concept: a tax became a reward. Then I met my first co-founder online through an event organised by an Austrian start-up incubator (Zero21): we decided to join forces are our concepts were very similar. I recruited further co-founders and lost some along the way; we are four now and three of us are currently participating in an incubation program financed by the city of Berlin. I would advise wannabe entrepreneurs to follow your instincts, real interests and motivation, and to act, act and act again, as it’s the only path leading to success.

How do you expect the sector to evolve? And what expectations do you have for your start-up?

We are undergoing a time of significant change with energy prices surging and climate change becoming a reality also in developed countries. Such a time calls for disruptive concepts; change is needed to overcome our current challenges as mankind did several times throughout its short history. I could witness that entrepreneurship has become a whole economic sector, with lots of public and private sectors supporting start-ups and abundant money, even though I often hear that it was easier to get funding last year and the years before than now. We are totally aligned with the current trends in the start-up world: we tackle climate change, we use an app, we can offer our services to companies or cities alike, the new European Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) is going in our direction and we plan to create a token representing the reward of our system, the greencent. I think one important habit one should have to be successful is to interpret positively everything that is happening around you: this is what I do with Common and this is why I am optimistic as to the development of my start-up.

Any new developments in the near future that you would like to share with the rest of the start-ups?

As a novelty we can confirm that the second version of our app is coming. In addition, we are also considering changing our name.

In what areas would you like to collaborate with other start-ups, companies or other organisations?

We have just started the Future City Accelerator of the Berlin Innovation Agency, so we would be interested to know other start-ups in Berlin who are measuring CO2 emissions in sectors such as mobility, energy consumption, food, fashion etc. We are also talking with three crypto projects to use a DLT, create a token and wallets to tokenize the monetary unit of our system: the greencent. We are also interested in acquiring companies who wish to incentivize their employees to reduce their car usage, which would help them reduce part of their scope 3 emissions. We are furthermore trying to get in touch with bikers and businesses in Berlin who would be willing for the former to get and spend greencents, for the latter to publish offers on our app and accept greencents as a means of payment. Our main competitor, Ciclogreen, is actually a Spanish company which has developed a concept similar to ours since 2016.

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