Most twenty-somethings in the midst of lockdown are pining for days in the pub or planning their post-pandemic getaway. However, Anthony and Jacob are not like other twenty-somethings.
Having founded Stasher (the World’s Largest Storage Network) back in 2015, the boys saw the pandemic as an opportunity to start a new, purpose-driven venture.
“With Stasher obviously paused for most of 2020, we knew we wanted something else to put our energy into. Anthony and I asked ourselves what we really cared about… and the two obvious answers were climate change and financial inequity. For us, Treepoints was a way to address them both.” Jacob explains.
Thinking big, they initially suggested a green investment platform. However, acknowledging the barriers to entry, they decided on a product that could be accessible to everyone…
Drawing on their experiences and a ‘learn by doing’ mindset, Anthony and Jacob created Treepoints: a social enterprise designed to help the average person understand and offset their carbon footprint in a cheap and easy way. With subscriptions starting at £3.25 per month, it seems that anyone can offset an average of 6 tonnes of CO2 per year; not only demonstrating the huge need for offsetting, but also making action understandable and viable!
Offsetting is undoubtedly a hot topic and lots of companies seem to be jumping on the bandwagon: either by planting trees or protecting forests.
Nonetheless, unlike a lot of offsetting tools, Treepoints’ model is focused on investing in world-class projects that tackle climate change on the front line – whether that’s through green tech, or building wind farms and solar energy developments.
As Anthony emphasises,“There is a common misconception here. We offer tree planting and offsetting as two separate things, and we tell our clients not to market planting as carbon offsetting or as carbon neutral. Although tree planting is tangible and emotive, we want to focus on the quality of the offsetting. This is why our focus is on funding renewable energy projects and innovation.”
With Treepoints, it’s about keeping fossil fuels in the ground and shifting energy outputs into cleaner alternatives. It’s about maximising impact, and acknowledging that while it would be great for the planet if everyone went vegan and stopped flying, relying on this isn’t a practical course of action. For people who eat meat or fly occasionally, Treepoints still gives you a way to be net positive for the planet.
“Millions of people believe that climate change is the biggest issue facing humanity, but most people don’t feel like they know how they can affect change. Treepoints is a solution that allows them to counteract their impact on the planet for less than half of a Netflix subscription!”
Describing their desire to be entrepreneurs as “innate”, both Jacob and Anthony exude a confidence that they can make stuff happen – which is perhaps why they were both recognised in the Forbes 30 under 30 Entrepreneurs list last year. So, when I asked them what their ten year plan was, it was unsurprisingly ambitious:
“As we all know, 2030 is a huge year for targets and we’ve set an ambitious target of offsetting a billion tonnes of carbon, which would be about 2% of the world’s emissions cumulatively… It’s a huge goal, but we are excited about it. We’ve tried to build a product for everyone – not just super eco-conscious people. And with this positioning, we’d look to reach the tens of millions of users by 2031…”
Despite these huge ambitions for Treepoints, the boys also want to achieve ‘World Domination’ with Stasher, which closed a $2.5m funding round in January last year.
Moving forward, there will undoubtedly be a balancing act. However, speaking to them both, and seeing their clear ‘can-do’ attitude, I have no doubt they’ll be able to keep both the plates spinning.