Why Klima is a commercial company

We have years, not decades, to reverse global warming. This means we need to scale fast. A robust, impact-first business model will allow us to do just that.

When Jonas, Andreas, and I first got together to create Klima, we distilled the scope, urgency, and complexity of the climate crisis down to one simple question: 

“How can we get as much CO2e out of the atmosphere as quickly as possible?”

This question has been guiding every decision at Klima since — whether it’s our product design, marketing strategy, or business model.

It’s also why we decided to build Klima as a commercial company. That decision wasn’t clear from the beginning. Our initial plan was to found a nonprofit — it seemed like the intuitive choice. But we quickly realized that answering our guiding question would require us to focus — above all else — on speed, scale, and efficiency. With years of experience in both NGOs and for-profit startups, we knew that the latter would be much better positioned to achieve this. Here’s why.

Speed, scale, and efficiency

We have years, not decades to solve the climate crisis. Incorporating as a commercial company gives us the freedom to take entrepreneurial risks, fail fast, and innovate quickly. It provides us access to the growth capital needed to scale from hundreds to millions. And it allows us to attract the world’s best talent to solve the world’s biggest problem. But most importantly, building Klima as a professional service forces us to compete on performance only — on the value we deliver for our members, measured in CO2e reduction.

Balancing purpose and business

While Klima is different from an NGO, it's also different from a usual for-profit company, because we follow a purpose-led business strategy. That means our main stakeholder is the environment, not our investors, and our number one KPI is measured in CO2e, not in dollars. We have put very concrete principles in place to achieve this and hold ourselves accountable:

1. No profit from offsets

We’re not taking any profits from offset subscriptions. Any surplus we make gets immediately reinvested into creating more impact, whether through community building or by developing better carbon reduction tools for our members. That way, you can be sure your money goes towards climate action, not dividends. We create investor returns through additional business services.

2. Transparency

We want success to be measured by the impact we create and how effectively we put your contributions to use. That’s why we publish regular reports on how much money we received from our members, where it went, and exactly how much CO2e it avoided. You can find our full transparency statement here.

3. Accountability

Aligning business and purpose requires more than just setting out with the right intentions. We have created a legal and structural framework to keep ourselves accountable by embedding Klima’s social purpose in our legally binding articles of association, and registering as a certified B-Corp.

We are proud of the company and community we are building, and inspired by the great support and feedback from thousands of Klimates that have helped us get here. The trust you put in us is humbling and keeps us pushing to get better every day, as we continue to learn and develop Klima together with you!

Markus Gilles
by Markus Gilles
CEO & Co-Founder
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