CoClear Calculator Tracks Business Sustainability

The CoClear Calculator is due to come out in June to help businesses identify sustainability factors of their operations. The product began as a collaboration between Columbia University and PepsiCo. Sally Paridis is the CEO of CoClear, a New York-based consulting firm, and she shares a hopeful expectation of the calculator’s ability to provide businesses with information and areas for environmental improvement.

“We use existing company data to calculate greenhouse gas emissions, water and energy consumption, as well as solid waste. We also track the company cost associated with these metrics, making it easier to identify efficiency opportunities.”

The new sustainability calculator will also help businesses understand the impact of alternate ingredients and methods. A feature of the calculator is to analyze any single product or brand, but it will also be able to assess entire corporate portfolios to project the impact of sustainable strategies.

Paridis adds that the new calculator can help businesses in other areas.

“If they implement the strategy, we track the annual performance to show increases or decreases in efficiency.”

Prior to CoClear, Cool Farm Alliance came up with the Cool Farm Tool – with the help of Unilever, the University of Aberdeen and the Sustainable Food Lab. That application is specific to helping growers reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The University of California, Berkeley, also came up with their own sustainability application, CoolClimate, which helped track carbon footprints.

How is the CoClear Calculator different?

CoClear is an interactive and rather comprehensive tool with financial and environmental metrics. In short, it appeals to the business sense of corporations, while still meeting sustainable goals.

As an example, CoClear could analyze a fictional yogurt company’s ingredients and identify that coconut milk is its top ingredient. It could also analyze that this ingredient makes up 37.14 percent of the company’s greenhouse gas emissions while also accounting for 22.57 percent of the product line’s expenses. With that information, the calculator can then assess changes in these percentages if the company used dairy, nut, soy, or other coconut milk substitutions.

“Substitution scenarios can be run through the application to search for alternatives that may lower both GHGs and cost, and result in a supply chain optimization opportunity,” adds Paridis.

Wrapping up its pilot phase with Ben & Jerry’s products, the calculator received great reviews. The ice cream manufacturer’s manager of natural resources, Andrea Asch, felt CoClear provided visualizations and projections that highlighted how ingredients related to end-of-life scenarios.

Sustainability is a hot topic with Inquisitr reporting how even bottled water companies in California have been severely criticized and blamed for the state’s ongoing drought. People and businesses are avidly interested in solutions to environmental challenges by looking at more sustainable choices.

[Photo courtesy of Peter van der Sleen/PA/ The Guardian]