Kooling solves the critical challenge of achieving accurate carbon emissions measurements where data is poor and/or unavailable. This is of critical importance for organisations that aim to improve both environmental and financial performance, raise employee awareness and ensure compliance to prescriptive regulatory requirements in the field of Climate Change. Our technology can also play an important role in monitoring investment risk for ‘green finance’. Green finance typically comes with favourable terms that are linked to the recipient meeting certain criteria in terms of environmental performance. Our technology can help both recipients and investors to monitor and report such performance.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
While Kooling as an actual company was born in 2019, the idea itself has been brewing in me for many years. I have been travelling overseas on a weekly basis with work since I arrived in London in 2008, for more than ten years. It did feel that I was literally burning through a lot of resources – fuel, electricity and so on. Everyone knows what it means burning through savings: there will be problems! But natural resources?
Not so easy – lots of data to crunch, complex science, maths – it is easier to decide to think about it tomorrow. The clarity between cause and effect from research papers has struggled to get traction in the real world. What I realised doing research on this topic is that the climate problem was in fact largely underserved by technology. And then 2019 arrived. Huge crowds began flooding the streets in all major cities around the world. An issue that was mildly addressed and overlooked for decades can no longer be ignored.
Climate is now on everyone’s priority list and it is here to stay until the job is done. Governments began accelerating environmental legislation and setting targets. More and more investors spoke out. Businesses understand they need to lead in environmental performance. The time is now for a new standard and we want to contribute to create a new ‘greener’ and a new ‘better’.
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What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?
I can say what works for me: the purpose and the people must be right. The problem you are trying to solve should be something that really resonates with who you are. It is a tough journey and it can feel like sailing in a tiny boat in the middle of a storm, trying to hold it together. You want your goal to be worth the fight. You also want the people around you to be not just the best at their craft, but great human beings that you admire and respect.
My first thought goes to my colleague Dr Jonas Poelmans, Kooling CTO, who has been inspirational in putting a complex technology product like ours together, on top of being a lot of fun to work with. Also worth mentioning – be alert, be on the watch. When the business slowed down in spring 2020 due to all the difficulties related to COVID-19, we slightly pivoted from client focus into R&D focus and thanks to this move we also found and won a grant from Innovate UK. We did well to turn adversity into an opportunity.
What can we hope to see from Kooling in the future?
Great question. There are two very exciting strands of innovation that are being finalised and you will hear from us in the very near future. Both of these aim to improve the environmental performance of the clients we serve while improving their financial performance. The first strand focuses on delivering accurate measurements of carbon emissions sources that today are very difficult to handle, even for the world’s leading businesses.
Examples of this are Commute and Mobility. This is very important for large corporations subject to regulatory requirements and for investors seeking to monitor the environmental performance of their assets. The second aims to enable businesses and people to connect in a new way, empowering sustainable businesses to generate more sales and rebound stronger from the weakening caused by COVID-19. You will hear more about this in the coming months!