• Trace co-founders Catherine Long and Joanna Auburn.
    Trace co-founders Catherine Long and Joanna Auburn.
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Homegrown carbon tech company, Trace, one year on from launch, is working with Australian businesses Grounded Packaging, Replated and RecycleSmart, to measure, reduce and offset their carbon footprint and track their impact over time. 

With the race to net zero on everyone's radar, reducing and offsetting a business's carbon footprint is good business for all.

Trace lays claim to being Australia's first carbon management platform for businesses and individuals, empowering climate conscious Australians to measure, reduce, offset and track their impact, no matter where they are along their sustainability journey.

For every tonne of Co2 a Trace member offsets, Trace says it purchases a carbon credit from a verified, high impact project delivering carbon reduction mechanisms that align with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

Grounded Packaging is an end-to-end platform that allows customers to manage multiple orders of sustainable packaging products from across the globe, with an ethos derived from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s vision for a Circular Economy, where all packaging is 100 per cent reusable, recyclable, or compostable and one where governments and businesses both play a role in end of life infrastructure and objectives.

Working with Trace since February this year, Grounded Packaging has  offset over 50 tonnes of CO2 on behalf of 33 clients as well as the manufacturing and freight emissions of all of its client packaging orders, while Trace has planted 267 trees on behalf of the company as a result of meeting their offsetting targets.

Another key player in the world of sustainability, Recycle Smart, an entirely carbon neutral recycling company that makes recycling “the tough stuff as easy as ordering an uber”, has worked with Trace since November 2020 to offset 21.4 tonnes of CO2 - the entirety of the emissions produced by its staff - and has seen over 122 trees planted as a result of the goals set in their partnership.

Trace’s newest client, Replated, the sustainable homeware brand on a mission to eliminate single-use containers for takeaway food by making reusable lunchboxes that “your local takeout will accept instead of disposables”, has offset 5.5 tonnes of CO2 of manufacturing, freight and staff emissions, with Trace having already planted 31 trees in response to the company’s progress over the past three months.

With temperature increases likely to exceed the Paris Climate Agreement, coupled with the gap left by lack of political will and inaction from the Australian Government, businesses large and small are urgently showing leadership.

Progress also rests on the quality and intention behind change makers, with a big watch out area in carbon offsetting resting on quality, explains Joanna Auburn, Trace’s chief product officer and co-founder.

"Carbon offsets are unfortunately gaining a bit of a bad reputation due to mis-management and mis-regulation. However, if you choose externally verified projects from responsible and credible project managers, you can guarantee that for every tonne of carbon that you want to offset, it has been avoided or reduced. Those on the front line of carbon offsetting in their business should look to only invest in projects that are externally verified, have genuine additionality and work to achieve broader sustainable development goals."

Auburn believes over the next decade there will be a strong role for carbon offsetting and Australia is uniquely placed globally to see carbon farming right up there with other major agri-farming contributors to the economy.

With that being said, Catherine Long, CEO/Co-Founder of Trace adds that "the mission to go out of business is to keep us, the companies we work with, and individuals we offset with, truly accountable" concluding that "with or without policy or funding mechanisms, consumers are moving, businesses are moving, and it's going to create a great green wave for this country."

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