Forum#climate tech
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7 April 2022
Meet Minimum, the company that wants to calculate, report on, and reduce your carbon footprint

Meet Minimum, the company that wants to calculate, report on, and reduce your carbon footprint

As part of our quick fire questions series – or QFQs – we spoke to Chris Winchurch, acting CEO and cofounder of Minimum, about calculating a businesses carbon footprint, understanding carbon emissions, and why Minimum is a sophisticated decarbonisation partner.

What was the catalyst for launching Minimum? 

We launched Minimum to democratise access to high quality carbon footprint calculation and climate action. Our vision is to make it as achievable as possible for any organisation that wants to understand its emissions profile, set a Net Zero target, identify & track reduction opportunities, integrate carbon removal into their sustainability strategy in a responsible way, report on their progress, engage customers, and more.

The world desperately needs to reduce its carbon emissions, but at the moment there is a remarkable lack of accessible tooling for businesses to manage their climate impact. Minimum changes that.

Tell me about the business – what it is, what it aims to achieve, who you work with, how you reach customers and so on?

Minimum is a cloud-based platform that lets any business understand its emissions and take climate action in a variety of ways. It all starts with a granular, accurate carbon footprint that truly captures the nuance of a business’ carbon footprint. That information is an absolute pre-requisite to carbon reduction planning, reduction planning & execution, setting Net Zero goals, and reporting. For example, putting carbon emissions labels on products is only really possible if the business has a comprehensive understanding of its carbon footprint.

Though we work with organisations of all sizes, we specialise in working with complex organisations with hard-to-measure carbon footprints. For example, one of the customers we work with is Octopus Group: a large conglomerate spanning energy, investment management, education, and more. Minimum makes it possible for Octopus to collect & process emissions data at-scale from stakeholders across the organisation and from adjacent organisations such as subsidiaries, investments, and suppliers. Octopus is now able to gain a deep, comprehensive view of their footprint and pursue, with Minimum’s help, a highly-ambitious sustainability agenda.

Our level of sophistication makes us the perfect decarbonisation partner for any large corporate, asset manager, or businesses with complex supply chains.

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How are you funded?

We went through Y Combinator in its Summer 2020 batch, and have raised $2.6M to date from top US and European VCs.

What has been your biggest challenge so far and how have you overcome this?

One thing that has been discouraging at times is businesses who claim to want to take action on climate, but then don’t follow through with the initiatives to match their words. Or, perhaps worse, they undertake “easy” efforts that don’t really lead to systemic improvements: such as token carbon offsets or extremely generic reduction goals with no plan behind them. Happily, there’s exponentially growing pressure, on both sides of the Atlantic, for organisations to take proper action on climate. What’s more, Minimum reduces the barrier to taking such action, so there’s really less of an excuse than ever to not engage seriously and sincerely with sustainability.

How does Minimum answer an unmet need?

Before Minimum, a business looking to understand its carbon footprint would need help from a whole team of sustainability consultants to help. This highly-manual process is expensive, time-consuming, and error-prone. What’s more, the business is never really fully brought into the process, meaning the process isn’t properly embedded and the results aren’t well understood by anyone in the organisation.

Minimum is a full solution for embedding climate excellence in the organisation, making carbon foot printing and action an ongoing process of continuous improvement, rather than a series of ill-understood, discrete efforts.

What one piece of advice would you give other founders or future founders?

Choose a problem you’re truly passionate about solving and surround yourself with a team of exceptional people. If the going gets tough, being able to fall back on those two things is absolutely essential.

Chris Winchurch is acting CEO and co-founder of Minimum