Offsetting carbon footprint with BELOW2

Celine Jörns

Startup Stories

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time and as individuals and businesses, we all have a responsibility to take action. But how can we ensure that our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint are making a real impact? That's where BELOW2 comes in. This innovative startup created a scalable, fully transparent, and trustworthy form of carbon offsets. In this interview, we speak with CEO/CTO Oliver T. Hellriegel to learn more about BELOW2's mission and how they are making a difference in the fight against climate change.

A part of the Below2 team

How would you explain your solution in three sentences to a professional colleague from the industrial sector?

BELOW2 provides a data-driven verification automation platform for offsetting projects, generating high-quality Carbon Credits. This resolves the supply-side bottleneck of the market through an easy, efficient and convenient verification process for project developers. Buyers of carbon credits de-risk their investments – tokenized and fully transparent for all stakeholders. As a result, investments in innovations in Green- and CleanTech will be accelerated significantly.

What problem motivated you to start the company? 

There is a scientific consensus that emissions of greenhouse gases have increased dramatically and will continue to remain in the Earth's atmosphere for a very long time to come. We believe it is our responsibility as parents to act now!

A functioning Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) is essential to achieving Net-Zero. However, the VCM has a supply-side bottleneck in terms of quality and quantity due to verification and certification issues. Carbon credit issuers operate under a development aid framework that doesn't meet the requirements of the VCM. The analog approach is not scalable; it's inaccurate, slow and expensive. It also under-represents innovative and technological projects.

How do you convince an industrial company to set up a pilot project with you? 

There is indeed great potential that you can leverage in your business to reduce your own carbon footprint. However, the potential is finite and leaves a non-negligible carbon footprint that can no longer be reduced through further optimizations. While all reduction measures are identified and implemented, you as a business must decide whether or not to offset the remaining carbon footprint of your operations or your events.
Your carbon offsets help support those already working at the forefront of combating climate change. Your offsetting budget helps to accelerate those innovations, technologies, and businesses to become faster, more efficient, and more reliant. With up to 90% payout  to Impact Creators, your carbon offset will help speed up the fight against climate change. With BELOW2 you can chose from a wide range of projects in the removal or avoidance sphere.
The most significant potential to effectively combat climate change lies in thousands of innovative projects, which are usually not certified by the standard bodies. The BELOW2 verification, combined with the high payout, secures a real impact for the projects while the buyers of certificates are sure that they have bought a real carbon credit.
The BELOW2 Standard makes carbon offsets accountable and identifiable. The buyer and third parties can trace the calculation operations, the sources, and the methods.

Two of the three co-founders Oliver T. Hellriegel (l.) and Daniel Prümers (r.) at the GreenTech Festival New York

Who are your current customer (groups) and who do you want your potential customers to be? 

We address different market players: In the B2B2B space we work with platforms and marketplaces, such as CEEZER, or flowcarbon. In addition our carbon offsets are interesting for consultancies, offering their clients a portfolio of solutions.
The B2B market is addressed directly, to compensate events (tradeshows, shareholder meetings) as well as the carbon footprint of any organization (measure - reduce - offset).

Our main markets are within the European Union as well as the USA.

Where do you see yourself in 3 years and how can 5-HT support you?

Our Mission is creating the best data-driven offsetting solution to fight climate change better and more efficiently.
We believe that the Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) will be forced to become more transparent, leading to accelerated avoidance and reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

Your support could range from industry contacts (accelerating business development) to VC / Angels.

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