Well Made

Ep. 109 Offsetting Carbon with Peter Dering

February 12, 2020 · RSS · Apple Podcasts

Peter Dering knows that there's some controversy around purchasing carbon offsets, but as the founder of Climate Neutral, he thinks it's an immediate path forward. Before Climate Neutral, he founded Peak Design. He and his team design photographic accessories and outsource the manufacturing. After visiting one of his factories, he was looking around at all of the materials and energy that went into production and he started strategizing options to cut down on resources where they could, and offset carbon where they couldn't.

He and his team always made sustainability a priority, but they wanted to do more to quantify their footprint and measure improvements. Peak Design took a huge step in January by getting B Corp certified. The other huge step they took was starting the nonprofit, Climate Neutral. 

Peter found out that paying to offset carbon is not an unwieldily cost — it's actually affordable. Carbon Neutral provides a consistent system to measure carbon usage and pay to offset it. Hear exactly how Carbon Neutral calculates emissions businesses, and how offsets can actually make a real impact for climate change.

“I don't think that begging the world to change so fundamentally something about who we are and how we behave is the right way to try to attack something as pervasive as climate change.”

Peter starts off by talking about his background in photography, his favorite drone, and the biggest problem that DSLRs have yet to solve. He shares how he scaled Peak Design from his first Kickstarter campaign to a full collection of photographic accessories (6:09). Peak Design has relied entirely on Kickstarter crowdfunding. Peter shares why crowdfunding has worked so well and why they have no intention of changing that any time soon (8:19).

Stephan and Peter pivot to Carbon Neutral and when Peter first started caring a lot about energy in elementary school (13:01). He partnered up with the founder of Biolite to come up with the concept for Carbon Neutral (19:39). The act of purchasing carbon offsets has two main criticisms. Peter argues his case about why he thinks it's a good path forward (21:53), then he dives into exactly how they measure offsets at Climate Neutral (26:32). It's not about precision.

Finally, he shares Climate Neutral's goals for customer recognition and the struggle of crowdfunding a concept instead of a product (39:11).

Also mentioned on the show: 

You can find this and all future episodes on iTunes, Google Play, and here on the Lumi blog. This episode was edited by Evan Goodchild.

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