Lubomila Jordanova is the founder of Berlin-based start-up Plan A, which helps companies to measure, monitor and reduce their carbon footprint.
The climate crisis is increasingly becoming front-of-mind for people, no matter what industry they’re in. For some, it’s even driving them to create new companies to help tackle the challenges the planet is facing, many of which involve technology.
Lubomila Jordanova is the founder and CEO of Plan A, a Berlin-based start-up developing an end-to-end platform that enables companies to measure, monitor and reduce their environmental footprint and improve their environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance.
“Before I started Plan A, I worked in investment banking and venture capital as well as the fintech industry in Asia and Europe,” she told SiliconRepublic.com.
“However, in 2016, I was increasingly confronted with the topic of climate change, be it by friends or the news, as it was starting to become more prominent due to extreme weather events.”
Jordanova then took a trip to Morocco and instead of surfing, she spent her time cleaning beaches. “After I came back from this trip I really felt a need to learn more systemically what the problem was, structure my understanding, and then develop a view on how I can act on it. One year down the line, I had learned enough and decided that I needed to build a product to address these issues.”
This, she said, is how Plan A was born in 2017. The company’s platform calculates organisations’ emissions through automated data collection processes. It then monitors these emissions over time, allowing companies to understand their progress. It also creates tailored action plans and recommendations to help businesses take action.
“Based on the indicators with the most significant reduction potential, the platform empowers companies to set science-based net-zero targets and achieve them through [more than] 1,000 decarbonisation solutions and activities, best practices, as well as a network of service providers and sustainability professionals,” said Jordanova.
“To meet the highest standards, our internal team of scientists, researchers and subject matter experts, as well as our recently appointed scientific advisory board, ensure that all platform-embedded calculations and decarbonisation solutions are fully aligned with internationally recognised scientific methodologies and standards.”
Tech is an ‘integral piece of the puzzle’
When Plan A was first founded, Jordanova said the conversation around the climate crisis and sustainability still played a subordinate role, but this has changed significantly in recent years, which has also resulted in more clean-tech companies and tools.
“I see there is a huge urge for cooperations to share knowledge and expertise and benefit from each other to solve the complex and overwhelming challenge we’re facing. To facilitate this need for networking and collaboration between clean-techs is also why we founded the Greentech Alliance.”
The Greentech Alliance connects more than 2,000 start-ups with more than 500 advisers from VCs, businesses and the media to form what Jordanova said is “a powerful community”.
“It not only offers members access to knowledge, best practices, experts and funding sources, but also educates businesses and external stakeholders on the topics of climate, environment and sustainability through various channels and events.”
While platforms such as Plan A can be seen as a way for technology to mitigate the negative effects of the climate crisis, the industry itself also has its own issues, from data waste to energy consumption.
However, Jordanova is optimistic about tech’s role and said these innovations are an “integral piece of the puzzle”, but they require much more societal engagement, governmental collaboration and corporate investments.
“To have a tangible and sustainable impact on the climate and the planet, we need to test and expand on any of these solutions as part of implementing them in the real economy. And we have to do it at scale,” she said.
Going forward, Jordanova said her team’s main focus next will be to develop the Plan A platform further. “In order to do so, a vital part will be hiring to grow our teams and expand internationally, with the opening of offices in international hubs,” she said.
Looking to the tech industry in general, she added that she’s excited about the growing trend of AI and the potential it could have in her own industry.
“Artificial intelligence is not a new trend, but given the recent breakthroughs, it is becoming an unbelievably powerful technology that can stimulate entirely new sectors of the economy and fundamentally disrupt existing industries,” she said.
“The opportunities seem to be endless. It will be exciting to see how and at what pace AI further develops and also how we at Plan A can benefit from this in our endeavour to further deepen our software capabilities in this regard.”
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