Cooler calculates the carbon footprint of each product you sell and charges based on that footprint. Then we that money to buy carbon dioxide emission permits away from tightly-regulated carbon markets in the U.S. This method of eliminating a product’s global warming impact is not a carbon offset, because offsets allow polluters to continue business as usual. The key to Cooler’s method is that there are only a certain number of permits available in any given market. Once Cooler buys up those permits, polluters have to find more sustainable ways to operate, stopping pollution at its source.

How does Cooler calculate the carbon footprint of each product?

Cooler maintains the country’s only peer-reviewed carbon footprint calculator that covers all consumer goods and services. Cooler’s methodology is the most conservative available; it’s far more likely to overstate the footprint than to understate it, which means you can be sure that you’ve more than neutralized your impact.

The calculations start with your business sending Cooler key data about its products. Cooler then adds economic and engineering data to calculate the footprint based on up to 400 underlying categories, including where and how your purchase is shipped and sold.

Can’t polluters just move to other parts of the country with more emissions permits?

This is a problem in many carbon markets and commonly referred to as “leakage.” Cooler avoids this problem by working with regulating bodies like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which regulates fossil fuel power plants in the northeastern US that provide power to the grid. The nature of their business means they can’t relocate. If a power plant is going to effectively provide power for New York, it can’t move to Texas.

Why is it so cheap?

Research has shown carbon should cost around $60-$100/ton to incentivize behavior change, but that’s far off from current prices. Right now, depending on the market, carbon averages about $10/ton. The low price comes from a few issues: Over allocation of markets, which incentivized polluters to buy-in and adopt a market at all, and not enough demand, so low competition at auctions. The former is something Cooler will help address. We are purchasing and retiring credits so we are removing them from circulation, lowering the allocation and creating market scarcity– this works in tandem with a tightening of a market cap, so the price will slowly increase over time -OR- coal fired plants will feel the squeeze and lower their emissions, or even close and renewables will take over.

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