It was only a matter of time before application programming interfaces came for the carbon credit offsets — the voluntary programs that allow companies to cancel out their greenhouse gas emissions (on paper) by financing renewable energy projects or carbon sequestration projects globally.
Massive e-commerce and payments companies Shopify and Stripe are already providing emissions offsets as a service for their customers. Still, now a clutch of startups are looking to automate the process through software.
Among them is Cloverly, a startup launched internally by the massive southeastern utility, Southern Company; Patch, founded by two alums from the apartment management and short-term rental service, Sonder; Cooler. Dev and now Pachama, which operates its international offset marketplace focusing on reforestation and forest management.
It’s part of a new movement among early-stage companies to launch services for businesses and consumers that offer ways to examine and reduce their environmental footprint.
For Panama, the idea of incorporating an API into the business model was baked into the business plan from the beginning, according to the company’s co-founder and chief executive, Diego Saez Gil.
“Things got accelerated when we closed Shopify as a customer,” Gil said. “Shopify wanted to offer carbon-neutral services. And they do. And we are already selling carbon credits to them, but we were manually processing orders… If you want to do this at scale, you need to automate the purchase of credits.”
Gil said that things accelerated for Pachama after the company inked another deal with the massive logistics company, ShipBob, which is offering their customers carbon-neutral fulfillment services. In contrast with Patch and Cloverly, Gil feels Pachama has an advantage thanks to its ability to tap its offset marketplace to provide credits. We have the marketplace and verification and monitoring service for everything that we bring through our platform,” Gil said.