CNI Applies for the Keeling Curve Prize!

Each year, the Keeling Curve Prize goes to organizations, "with a proven track record of taking greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere."

Chris Powers, Anne Laker, and Daniel Poynter invested the last week and a half applying. We just submitted it today! See the application below.

Briefly, what is the purpose of your project? (100 words max)

Carbon Neutral Indiana (CNI) helps everyday people to act on climate by becoming carbon neutral. Along the way, we’ve demonstrated a self-financing, scalable social movement that increases awareness of carbon neutrality, translates this awareness into concrete behavior change, and makes carbon neutrality a social norm.

This increases demand for the voluntary carbon market. It also enables what the World Resources Institute calls an “Ambition Loop,” where early adopters provide cover for more ambitious political action.

Ultimately, we hold the vision for a carbon neutral state and facilitate whatever just steps are needed to achieve that goal.

 

Briefly, why and how was your project formed? (200 words max)

We started CNI to make local, effective climate action accessible. Our mission is to help Indiana become carbon neutral as soon as possible. Along the way we discovered a model that can scale throughout the Midwest and the nation.

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We started by researching Project Drawdown for six months in order to find the highest impact ways to reduce emissions in Indiana. Throughout this process, we interviewed hundreds of people working in the climate field.

We learned:

  1. Many people want to help with the climate crisis
  2. They are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start
  3. In the Midwest, there’s relatively little financial support for educating and guiding these people

 

We used Acumen’s Systems Practice framework to identify the best strategy to fill these gaps in Indiana. We founded CNI as a nonprofit to demonstrate our commitment to public service, transparency, and inclusion. We designed it to generate much of its own revenue. And we partnered with a larger non-profit -- that's served Indiana for over 25 years -- to accelerate CNI’s credibility and reach.

 

If they differ, please specify your project's regions of operation, development, and management:

CNI’s leadership team is located in Indiana and Michigan.

Our membership is mostly within Indiana, but we have carbon neutral subscribers in California, Ohio, Colorado, and Maryland. We own web domains for all fifty states -- such as CarbonNeutralOhio.org -- and can scale the model we’ve demonstrated in Indiana first to the Midwest then throughout the country.

We started by supporting a carbon offset project in Alaska, but we’re working to create one in Indiana.

 

How is your project funded? (300 words max)

CNI sold $21,672.23 of carbon offsets in 2020. Because this fundraiser has a gross margin of 40%, we were able to hire our first FTE from earned revenue on Feb 1, 2021. We also received about $5,000 in donations and $300,000 - $500,000 in in-kind contributions.

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Right now, 127 entities pay CNI an average of $40.55/month to offset their carbon footprints. CNI invests 60% of this into carbon offset projects.

Within our first six months we grew subscription revenue 76% month over month, certifying over 130 households and businesses. If we maintain even half that pace in 2021 we will reach >$2M in annual recurring revenue (ARR), enabling a core, full-time team.

Generating most of our revenue has many benefits because it:

  1. Instills a culture of entrepreneurism, innovation, and agility
  2. Earns respect from the business community and attracts them to engage on climate
  3. Holds us to a high standard of professionalism, product quality, and client service
  4. Prevents us from diverting energy toward an infinite fundraising cycle
  5. Makes the climate pie bigger for everyone which encourages collaboration among climate organizations
  6. Makes CNI self-sustaining in the long term

 

Volunteers contribute significantly by providing donations of time and expertise on climate science, design, strategy operations, branding, software engineering, PR, and research. We estimate these in-kind contributions to be $300,000 - $500,000.

 

Please give a 2-sentence bio for your leading team member(s). (500 words max)

Daniel Poynter - studied philosophy and religion, was named a MacArthur Foundation Young Innovator, was invited to speak at academic institutions throughout the world, advised over 100 social enterprises, and was a professional software engineer before founding CNI. He’s volunteered for Citizens Climate Lobby and proposed to his wife at the Extinction Rebellion climate protest in London.

Chris Powers - is applying science and technology to social and environmental problems. He is a chemical engineer and a corporate leader by training and has worked with dozens of innovative environmental nonprofits and startup companies from around the world. To learn more visit http://chrispowers.me

Anne Laker - is a results-oriented grant writing & strategic communications consultant with 28 years’ experience in non-profit practice—including project management, communication with audiences and the media; fiscal management; and partnership facilitation. She is a Citizens Climate Lobby volunteer, climate advocate, and has secured large grants to support cultural projects.

Andy Fry - is a multi-disciplinary artist, designer, and entrepreneur who specializes in collaborative design, often for non-profits and start-up businesses. His interest in protecting the climate is a result of a life-long interest in science and ethics, which has forged an understanding that all life is connected.

 

How does your project empower those traditionally underrepresented in the leadership of the climate movement (women, people of color, youth, climate-vulnerable communities, etc.)? (500 words max)

The Midwest is ready to act on climate. CNI is creating opportunities for young climate leaders, channeling climate funding into a part of the country that has been neglected from climate philanthropy, and making climate action accessible to everyone. We invite and celebrate contributions from a diverse set of ages, cultures, and professions.

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1. Bringing Climate Funding to the Midwest - The Midwest creates a majority of US emissions, but most of the climate funding goes to the coasts.

For example, in September 2018, the ClimateWorks Foundation announced 29 philanthropists committed $4 billion to local climate action. If this support was distributed evenly, Indiana would receive about $25 million per year (as Indiana represents 3% of the US population). Climate focused groups in Indiana seem to be receiving only about 2-5% of this needed support.

2. Fostering Climate Action in the Midwest - People in the middle of the country have been left behind, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

The Midwest is sometimes referred to as ‘flyover country’ even though most of the food and industrial goods are produced here. If the Midwest were its own economy, it would be the third largest in the world. People in the Midwest have the skills and expertise needed to help the nation transition to a carbon neutral society including -- engineering, manufacturing, logistics, agriculture and natural resources management -- if given the opportunity.

3. Expanding the Tent - We believe climate change is a problem for everyone, and that everyone can contribute.

Our community includes all sorts of ages as well as occupations -- teachers, doctors, ice cream store owners, automotive engineers, computer scientists, and more. Cultivating diverse stakeholders helps us include everyone. We've built CNI to be radically permeable so that everyone in the network feels able to shape it with their voices and gifts.

4. Creating A Climate Change Leadership Program - We hosted an international summer internship program in 2020 for fifteen students -- three from the Global Warming Mitigation Project's Constellations program.

These interns included twelve women and five people of color. The result? Vibrant social entrepreneurs able to sell effective climate action. See case studies here: https://www.carbonneutralindiana.org/leadership-development We’re adapting this internship material into an evergreen course. An unlimited number of high school and college students will be able to develop leadership skills and sell carbon neutrality.

 

How does your project reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or increase uptake? (1000 words max):

CNI leverages an army of small contributors to fund carbon offsetting projects. Our unique contribution has to do with psychological and rhetorical insights. Specifically, we’ve discovered methods which greatly increase awareness of carbon neutrality, translate this awareness into concrete behavior change, and eventually makes carbon neutrality a social norm. Even better, we do this in a way that’s financially self-sustaining.

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Here’s how:

1. We provide people with an organizing principle

According to the IPCC, the mandate is to become carbon neutral. Many particular solutions help us get there, but carbon neutrality is the north star.

2. We break the goal of carbon neutrality into achievable pieces

This highlights our theory of change most. Several organizations help certain actors reduce emissions. Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) helps cities and Second Nature helps academic institutions. Common problems with their approach include:

  • Commitments are not plans, and plans are not implementation
  • There’s usually not enough investment in implementation (or that investment isn’t effective)
  • Plans and implementation lose continuity when leadership changes
  • It’s easy to become discouraged trying to change large organizations (and lose momentum)

 

We take a different approach. We start small with individuals, households, and small businesses. We help them become carbon neutral now and to proclaim it publicly. Social proof and public commitments make carbon neutrality a part of their identity.

3. After they remember their agency, we help them set their sights higher

Once secure in their carbon neutral identity, these actors can expand outward -- turning their attention to their friends, their place of employment, their alma mater, their city, etc.

They realize that carbon neutrality doesn’t need to be a goal we achieve in thirty years. Parts of the world can achieve it today. First, small parts like households and businesses. Then larger and larger parts like cities, states, and countries. This is how Carbon Neutral Indiana raises awareness of the global goal, shows it’s possible, and creates positive momentum.

4. We champion a least-cost, market-based approach

We explain how the voluntary carbon market provides transparency, accountability, and a pay for performance model. Project developers compete to offer the lowest-cost, highest-quality carbon reduction.

Our approach is in contrast to the common opinion that carbon offsets are a last resort. If they are what they claim to be then carbon offsets represent a cost effective way to invest financial resources in effective climate action.

5. We focus on referral marketing

After someone becomes carbon neutral we say, “We don’t have to save the world. All we need to do is clean up our carbon trash, which you just did. Will you help your friends do the same?” Everyone says yes. Our community grows exponentially because many carbon neutral households refer more than one additional household or business. See attached referral map for details.

Yard signs are a critical part of our referral strategy, too. About 60% of carbon neutral households install one. According to a traffic database maintained by the State of Indiana, over 200,000 people see these signs every day. Dr. Katherine Hayhoe says the best way to help with climate is to talk about it. These yard signs spur conversations with neighbors, raising awareness, until…

6. We shift social norms

In the Middle Ages, many Europeans threw their waste onto the street. Eventually they learned to build waste treatment systems. Cleanliness became a virtue because of its broader social utility. In the same way, we’re helping make carbon neutrality a common virtue too. We envision a world where, soon, carbon neutrality will be normal.

7. We build what the World Resources Institute calls “The Ambition Loop

We believe the highest leverage regulatory approach is carbon pricing. Others are already advocating for this -- Citizens Climate Lobby at the federal level and Climate Xchange at the state level, for example.

We compliment these efforts by building political will. How? First, we increase awareness of social costs of carbon, then early adopters take responsibility and show leadership by becoming carbon neutral, and finally we have enough momentum to enact a society wide carbon price. An ambition loop is a virtuous cycle in which early adopters provide political cover for politicians to take a risk. Then, those politicians enact legislation that empowers those early adopters. We’re doing this with Indiana SB 373.

CNI’s approach complements the regulatory approach. One is top down, enforced by legislation. The other is bottom up, enforced by a new social norm.

8. Along the way, we unleash and channel wealth into carbon markets

23% of Americans are willing to invest $40 per month in climate solutions, according to a 2018 study by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago. This is about what it costs for the average household to be carbon neutral (at $15/ton).

We’ve demonstrated meteoric growth with no philanthropic funding, during a pandemic and economic recession, in a conservative state, with an all volunteer team. We’re confident that with the right support, we can scale this model throughout the country. In fact we’ve already purchased domain names for all states -- like CarbonNeutralOhio.org. Mark Carney’s Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets says voluntary carbon markets are one tool to keep temperatures below 1.5° and that we must scale them 15X by 2030. Replicating CNI’s fast growing model is how we can help achieve this goal.

 

9a: State your best estimate of GHG avoidance/reduction of this project: ____ tonnes CO2 equivalent/year

1192 mtCO2e as of 2/8/21

 

9.b. Please provide the calculations/methodology used to arrive at the amount submitted in 9.a. including an explanation with any applicable citations or assumptions used in this calculation (in tonnes CO2 equivalent/year; 1000 words max):

We quantify metrics for (1) awareness, (2) measurement of household and business emissions, (3) offsetting of those emissions, and (4) reduction of direct emissions.

Our calculation of offsetting emissions is simple:

Emissions Reduced = Dollars invested / ($15/ton for carbon offsets)

The numbers below are as of 2/8/21.

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1. Awareness

Media. We’ve been mentioned in The New Yorker, The Indianapolis Star, the Indiana Environmental Reporter, the Purdue Exponent, and a 60 minute conversation aired twice on all NPR stations in Indiana.

Yard signs. There are 85 yard signs installed throughout the state. This represents 61.5% of the 138 households we’ve certified. Approximately 200,000 people drive by these daily.

Social media traffic. 47,619 impressions across all channels: Facebook (23,450), Twitter (17,566), LinkedIn (4,503 impressions), and YouTube (2,100 views each averaging 2 minutes 56 seconds).

Website traffic. 12,317 unique visitors, each averaging 2.45 pages for 2 minutes and 5 seconds.

2. Measurement

264 people scheduled an appointment for a carbon inventory. Of these, we conducted 187 inventories over the phone.

For households, these are 15 - 45 minute phone conversations in which we guide people through the Berkeley CoolClimate carbon calculator. Most attempts to measure household emissions do so with an automated tool. Doing this live enables us to answer questions, build a relationship, and -- critically -- get their agreement to refer friends later.

For small businesses, this may require a few meetings in which we use the CoolClimate business calculator. For larger businesses, we have a staff person trained on the GHG Protocol for bespoke carbon measurements.

For both audiences, we record and store all of their information for future analysis.

We’ve found that simply making people aware of the magnitude of their own emissions leads to behavior change. Most tell us they never considered measuring their carbon footprints before. One PhD told us: “It’s hard to know where to start. I’ve read a lot about carbon, even studied it professionally, and taken steps to reduce my carbon footprint.”

3. Offsetting

After measuring their carbon footprint, we invite the household or business to “clean up their carbon trash” with a monthly subscription to verified carbon offsets. The payment goes to us and we purchase the offsets on their behalf.

As of 2/8/21, we’ve purchased 1,192 carbon offsets on behalf of our clients (representing 1,192 mtCO2e).

This number is backward looking. Our clients have recurring monthly subscriptions for carbon offsets. We have 140 such subscriptions. This represents 4,514.97 mtCO2e annualized.

132 household subscribers, each offsetting an average of 30.89 tons/year at $15/ton

8 business subscribers, each offsetting an average of 65.28 tons/year at $15/ton

Emissions Reduced = Dollars invested / ($15/ton for carbon offsets)

See public retirement records of our offset purchases: https://www.carbonneutralindiana.org/financial-transparency

We understand that carbon sequestration is an emerging field, and so we do our best to educate our buyers about the market and how conditions might change based on emerging science. CNI works with established, certified, and reputable organizations who are providing carbon offsets for purchase. We started with the Afognak Forest Carbon Project, which is verified by Verified Carbon Standard (VCS): https://www.carbonneutralindiana.org/blog-afognak-improved-forest-management

4. Reduce

Examples like Microsoft’s “carbon fee” show simply creating an internal carbon price catalyzes “transformational change.” We receive messages from our clients about how they are becoming vegetarian, retrofitting their HVAC systems, flying less, or making other changes to lower their emissions profile. We are about nine months into our program and collecting data on how much, exactly, our clients reduced their direct emissions.

We also help our clients reduce their direct emissions with resources on our website. As our membership base grows, we can cross market with organizations and vendors that help reduce direct emissions -- like solar, geothermal, composting, hybrid/EV dealers, etc. Then sometime after measuring a household or business’s carbon footprint we follow up to measure it again.

 

List, with dates if possible, significant breakthroughs and challenges (250 words max):

Spring 2018

CNI Founder Daniel Poynter interviews 200+ people working on environment and climate

Fall 2019

Chris & Daniel begin speaking daily about Project Drawdown solutions in the Midwest

Sept 16-18, 2019

Daniel presents six months of research at Project Drawdown conference

Fall, 2019

Daniel leads a group through Acumen's Systems Practice course.

April 7, 2020

Indiana Forest Alliance fiscally sponsors CNI

April 22, 2020

CNI certifies first household

May - July, 2020

CNI hosts 15 interns and certifies first business

June 19, 2020

CNI achieves $10,000 ARR within 60 days (see “The Power of Ten Playbook” by a Y-Combinator Partner)

June, 2020

CNI begins facilitating group leading to Indiana SB 373, a carbon farming and forestry bill

July 8, 2020

CNI offsets 1,000 mtCO2e (annualized)

July 31, 2020

Senator Braun supports what becomes SB 373 and says, “Behind closed doors many Republicans are worried about climate.”

Aug, 5, 2020

Bill McKibben recognizes CNI in The New Yorker as “inspiring”

Sept, 2020

Daniel learns of Vulcan 3.0 dataset

Sept 18, 2020

CNI helps facilitate a “summer study committee,” where Indiana legislators study carbon markets to incentivize sequestration

Sept, 22, 2020

Daniel speaks on Indiana NPR stations with Jeff Dukes, the state’s leading climate scientist

Dec 16, 2020

CNI begins making Vulcan data accessible and actionable

Jan 10, 2020

CNI offsets 4,000 mtCO2e (annualized)

Feb 1, 2021

CNI hires first full-time contractor

Feb 1, 2021

Indiana Senate Natural Resources Committee votes unanimously on SB 373.

 

Why are you applying for the Keeling Curve Prize? How would the prize money be used? (250 words max)

The Keeling Curve Prize spotlights organizations that are our world’s best hope.

We hope to become a key component in the global response to the climate crisis. We’re applying for the Prize in order to share the successful model we’ve demonstrated in Indiana as well as to gain more credibility. Being spotlighted by the Prize will enable us to unlock more support, improve our peer group, and scale our positive impact.

 

Where do you expect this project to be in 1 year? What is the forward-thinking financial scenario or budget? (250 words max)

In our first six months, we grew monthly subscription revenue 76% month over month -- faster than many well funded for-profit startups. If we maintain just 35% growth we’ll reach $2.75M in ARR by late 2021. This represents ~166,666 mtCO2e offset (~33,000 cars off the road).

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To get there, we are investing in these projects:

1. Supplement live household carbon inventories with an automated alternative.

2. Enable clients to offset historic emissions.

3. Replicate our model in other states.

We own web domains for all states, such as CarbonNeutralOhio.org. Each website will be a local brand enabling high trust. We also have a volunteer team of computer programmers making the breakthrough Vulcan 3.0 dataset accessible and actionable. This means we can publish carbon inventories for 5,000 cities nationwide (e.g. CarbonNeutralTexas.org/Houston). Each web page can become a focal point for local community organizing by leveraging our location-based, grassroots model.

4. Develop an advocate program.

83% trust and take action on recommendations from friends and family. We can help members become more effective advocates by creating shareable videos and other materials.

5. Launch a successful Direct Public Offering (DPO)

We are a revenue generating non-profit, so we can use a DPO to raise funding from our supporters. This will be a $275K impact investment loan, repaid in five years at 2-4%. We are working with the nation’s leading law firm specialized in equity crowdfunding -- Cutting Edge Capital.

 

Where do you expect this project to be in five years? How is your funding situation sustainable? How do you plan to meet your next funding milestones? (250 words max)

Our long term goal is to help each state in the US become carbon neutral. How? Research shows 23% of US adults are willing to contribute ~$40/mo to climate, a total addressable market of $28B. If we achieve $2.75M ARR within a year, and then our growth slows to a mere doubling annually, then within five years we’ll achieve $44M ARR. This represents about 3M tons (580K cars off the road).

But carbon offsets are just a fundraiser. Our real potential is (a) at the policy level, helping to enact a price on carbon, and (b) increasing resources going to reduce emissions.

CNI is revenue positive at each step. That means any philanthropy will accelerate existing growth.

 

What additional benefits does your project provide aside from GHG reductions or carbon uptake (empowerment, education, health, education)? If your project does have additional benefits, please quantify them. For more information on possible additional benefits, see the U.N. SDGs at https://sdgs.un.org/goals (300 words max)

CNI’s focus on achieving carbon neutrality has many co-benefits such as enhancing education, mental wellbeing, ecological land use, and developing business opportunities for pro-climate organizations.

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In addition to SDG 13 (Climate Action) we also advance the following. We are looking for ways to quantify each.

SDG 3 - Good Health and Wellbeing

We’ve conducted 187 carbon inventories over the phone. We start by asking, “How do you feel about the climate crisis?” People tell us they feel overwhelmed, anxious, guilty, and despair.

After they become carbon neutral, people say they feel lighter, a renewed sense of hope, a sense of traction, and connected to a community making a difference.

SDG 4 - Quality Education

The Midwest in general, and Indiana in particular, is known for “brain drain.” Resources are on the coasts so many of our most ambitious future leaders leave. With less local capacity, this creates a vicious loop where more financial and human resources leave the state.

We advance education through (1) awareness (2) measuring carbon footprints (3) our climate change leadership program and (4) public conversations, which applies directly to SDG 4.4 & 4.7.

SDG 15 - Life on Land

Our climate legislation (SB 373) will increase carbon stocks in Indiana (soil and forests). In addition, our future local carbon offset projects will enhance landholder welfare, natural beauty, recreational and social benefits that come with increased access to nature. This applies to SDG 15.a-15.c.

 

How are you or your team or organization connected to other organizations or wider networks locally and globally? Please name the key networks you are connected to (100 words max):

Our founding team is networked with organizations like:

  • Project Drawdown - Our founder researched Drawdown solutions in Indiana full-time for six months, leading to Indiana Drawdown, and presented at this research at the Project Drawdown: Research to Action Conference (2019)
  • My Climate Journey - We have co-hosted/attended dozens of virtual discussions with climate entrepreneurs and investors.
  • CCL - Many of our early adopters are CCL volunteers.
  • Indiana Forest Alliance
  • Indiana University
  • The Effective Altruism Community
  • Plant Chicago
  • The Biomimicry Institute
  • DegrowUs
  • Dozens of other founders working on innovative projects in agriculture, energy, carbon capture, and other areas related to climate change.

 

Please list relevant prizes, awards, and grants you've won and/or applied for.

We are just starting to raise money via grants, private donations, and a direct public offering in mid-2021. We are happy that The Keeling Curve Prize is the first award application we are submitting. Our team has past fundraising experience including:

Chris Powers

  • Room To Read -- $12,500 dollar corporate giving award from Henkel, NA.
  • MyCovidResponse.org -- $160k in funding for a grassroots COVID-19 response network in Southeastern Michigan from United Way, local corporations, and private individuals.

 

Daniel Poynter

  • MacArthur Foundation Young Innovator -- $7,000

 

Anne Laker

  • Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust -- $60,000 grant for environmental education project
  • Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Trust -- $780,430 for adaptive reuse (old factory -> art space)
  • Lilly Endowment -- $20,273 for mobile art truck
  • United Way of Central Indiana - $50,000 for job creation project for ex-offenders

 

Please add the names and contact information for 2-3 references who can comment on your project.

We’ve not talked with Bill McKibben yet, but he wrote the following in The New Yorker: “[It] is inspiring to see local startups, such as Carbon Neutral Indiana, figuring out how to communicate with homeowners and small businesses about their carbon footprint.”

[Email omitted in blog post]

References:

1. Professor Jeffrey Dukes.

Director of Purdue Climate Change Research Center. Professor Dukes is the state’s leading climate scientist, and he participates in a working group we help to facilitate advancing Indiana Senate Bill 373. This bill creates a framework to incentivize carbon farming and forestry. He can speak to our work with SB 373 as well as our team making Vulcan 3.0 data accessible and actionable by publishing carbon inventories for 5,000 cities nationwide.

Contact information:

[Phone number omitted in blog post]

[Email omitted in blog post]

 

2. Rae Schnapp, Ph.D.

Dr. Schnapp is Conservation Director of the Indiana Forest Alliance, the fiscal sponsor of Carbon Neutral Indiana. She studies forest carbon sequestration and has participated in our effort since before Carbon Neutral Indiana was an organization. We speak several times a week, and she can speak to almost all aspects of our work. She’s also carbon neutral.

Contact information:

[Phone number omitted in blog post]

[Email omitted in blog post]

https://www.carbonneutralindiana.org/households-case-study-rae-schnapp

 

3. William M. "Bill" Brown.

First Sustainability Director of Indiana University. Indiana’s leading LEED architect. He’s not been involved in our project very long, but he may be the person in Indiana with the deepest history of sustainability work. Over 700+ students went through his sustainability classes. As such, he can put our very unusual, meteoric growth in context (Indiana’s lethargic culture stunts most sustainability work).

Contact information:

[Phone number omitted in blog post]

[Email omitted in blog post]

 

Additional references:

4. Mark Stoops.

Former Indiana State Senator. Mr. Stoops started the process that became Indiana Senate Bill 373. He can speak to our work helping to facilitate this bill.

Contact information:

[Phone number omitted in blog post]

[Email omitted in blog post]

 

5. Donald Miller.

Mr. Miller is the Land Stewardship Manager for the city of Indianapolis, Indiana. He has more than 26 years of experience in ecological restoration and city park planning and maintenance. He can speak to our work expanding city parks with carbon offset funding from households and businesses. He is carbon neutral.

Contact information:

[Phone number omitted in blog post]

[Email omitted in blog post]

 

6. Professor Robert Koester.

Dr. Koester is Director of the Academy for Sustainability and the Center for Energy Research/Education/Service and Chair of the Council on the Environment. He is the reason Ball State University will be the first carbon neutral university in Indiana. He is a pioneer in carbon markets, having collaborated with General Motors in 2012 to create a methodology for Verified Carbon Standard (VM0025 Campus Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency). He’s not been as involved in our project as our other references, but I’ve kept him abreast since the beginning. Along with William M. "Bill" Brown, Dr. Koester may be one of the most knowledgeable people in Indiana about sustainability.

Contact information:

[Phone number omitted in blog post]

[Email omitted in blog post]

See also 30+ testimonials by carbon neutral households and businesses:

https://www.carbonneutralindiana.org

 

Online Presence - Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.

https://www.carbonneutralindiana.org/

https://www.linkedin.com/company/carbon-neutral-indiana/

https://www.facebook.com/carbonneutralin

https://www.instagram.com/carbonneutralin/

https://twitter.com/carbonneutralin

https://directories.onepercentfortheplanet.org/nonprofit-partners/carbonneutralindiana

https://nationbuilder.com/carbon_neutral_indiana

https://www.kumu.io/danielpoynter/carbon-neutral-indiana-households-businesses

 

List the URLs of relevant YouTube or Vimeo videos.

2020 Q2 update

2020 Q3 update

Example carbon neutral business (professional quality)

Summer internship program

Impact on students at DePauw University

Testimony for bipartisan climate legislation (what became SB 373)

Example presentation to community group of environmentalists (Green Drinks)

Example presentation to community group of entrepreneurs (1 Million Cups)

See YouTube page for more of our public meetings and intern testimonials

 

How did you hear about the Keeling Curve Prize?

We follow or are connected with many of the organizations who were winners or runners up for the Keeling Curve Prize. Most recently, we listened to Jackie’s interview with Ryan Hagen at Crowdsourcing Sustainability

 

Additional Comments.

At CNI we are on a mission to make Indiana carbon neutral. We believe climate change is a problem that everyone can help solve. As the total number of climate solutions increase, we need to focus on implementation by closing gaps in human behavior and social norms. To accomplish these goals, CNI is making it easy for individuals, households, businesses, and policymakers to take concrete steps towards carbon drawdown today and in the future.

We’ve demonstrated how to convert theory into action. 132 households and 8 businesses pay CNI to offset their carbon emissions, and we help facilitate a working group championing bi-partisan climate change legislation (SB 373) in Indiana. Our traction in just a few months proves that people in Indiana are willing to support climate change projects, which has enabled a nonprofit model that is both self funding and growing exponentially.

Why Indiana?

There aren’t enough local pathways -- especially in the Midwest -- for people to take effective climate action. Indiana is just one of ten states responsible for 50% of all US emissions and receives only 2-5% of the climate funding per capita that it should. So Indiana is a highly neglected point of leverage in our national efforts against climate change.

CNI is raising a round of impact investment in mid-2021 to continue growing our impact. Our goal is to scale our model throughout Indiana, and then the Midwest, to channel more money into effective carbon mitigation projects.

We look forward to adding value to The Keeling Curve Prize and related ecosystem of partners.

Thank you for the opportunity to compete for the Keeling Prize and to articulate Carbon Neutral Indiana's plan for arriving at a post-fossil fuel culture.


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