20 Apr 2022

Our Investment in Vaayu: Empowering Retailers to Tackle Climate Emissions

Although businesses have long been encouraged to seriously consider their environmental footprint, the events of the last 12 months or so have dramatically underscored the severity of the global climate crisis. From the grim predictions offered by the IPCC’s 6th Annual Report, to the public scrutiny around COP26 - a shared sense of responsibility to protect our planet is becoming hard to ignore. 

For retailers, this need for action is particularly acute. Recent estimates suggest that the retail industry is currently responsible for 20% of carbon emissions, more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. And this outsized environmental impact is compounding into consumer pressure too; 62% recently surveyed say they are willing to change their purchasing habits to help reduce environmental impact. 

Vaayu's dashboard showing a retail product carbon footprint

But, the current issue for retailers is that they are still finding it difficult to gain the thorough understanding of their carbon emissions that makes it possible to make meaningful reductions. Retailers seeking to track their carbon footprint currently face considerable pain points due to the cost, complexity, and lack of accuracy in manually compiling the data.  

Today, we’re delighted to announce our investment in Vaayu, the climate tech platform that helps retailers understand and reduce their carbon footprint in real-time. Founded by a team of sustainability & retail experts, the company’s vertical focus allows them to address retailers’ specific needs. The platform integrates into their point of sale to provide automated and detailed insight into their product, packaging and delivery supply chains. 

Vaayu's co-founders CEO Namrata Sandhu and CTO Luca Schmid

Vaayu is the very first company that we have invested in following earlier investment from the Atomico Angel Programme - and marks Terese Hougaard’s first investment since becoming a Partner at Atomico. 

Vaayu’s data methodology is based on extremely detailed life-cycle assessment modelling which leans on an extensive database of more than 600,000 data points put together by LCA academics and specialists. The company’s platform automatically pulls and analyses this data to make calculations easy for more than 50 customers including some of the world’s biggest brands like Klarna and SellerX - and solves the problem of imprecise, slow insights into emissions.  

Vaayu's carbon calculation dashboard

This helps crack what is hardest for retailers in this space; tracking the carbon emission of a product. In doing so, Vaayu has built a world-first product footprinting technology so consumers can see the carbon footprint of individual items and make better purchasing decisions.

Founders Namrata Sandhu and Luca Schmid’s credentials in the sustainability space are unmatched; with Namrata boasting 17 years of experience in sustainability,  including Head of Sustainability roles leading retailers  at Zalando and Arcadia Group, while Luca was previously lead developer at German mobility company Vimcar. 

We are thrilled to partner with Vaayu as the team offers the real-time, accessible data that the retail industry badly needs to make tangible changes to its carbon footprint. In doing so, retailers can feel empowered to play their part in decelerating climate change. 

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