Pledge’s $10m Series A Fundraising Reflects Rise Of Industry-Specific Carbon Accounting

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Pledge’s $10m Series A Fundraising Reflects Rise Of Industry-Specific Carbon Accounting

Founded in 2021, Pledge is a London-headquartered carbon management software provider, with solutions catered towards supply chain emissions management for both logistics services providers and freight forwarders. In May 2023, Pledge announced it had raised $10 million in a Series A funding round led by Zinal Growth, with additional investors including ACE & Company and Base Partners. This fundraising reflects a growth in corporate appetite for solutions that cater to sector-specific carbon accounting challenges; in this instance, the need to manage logistics-related emissions across supply chains.

Pledge allows firms to calculate emissions associated with specific shipments, and include these calculations within digital shipping dashboards and booking platforms. Organizations can use carbon performance as a competitive advantage, allowing them to make verifiable claims about the emission footprints of specific shipments.

This functionality demonstrates corporate desire to highlight carbon performance as a competitive differentiator when marketing products and services; the Verdantix Global Corporate Survey 2023: Net Zero Budgets, Priorities and Tech Preferences reveals that 37% of respondents are seeking to use climate change performance as a competitive advantage within their industry. Concurrently, carbon accounting methodologies that cater to industry-specific emissions challenges are emerging; in the logistics sector, this includes the GLEC (Global Logistics Emissions Council) framework for freight transport emissions calculations. In the financial sector, the PCAF methodology has emerged as the dominant carbon accounting framework, while the GHG Protocol recently released guidance for forest, land and agriculture (FLAG) related emissions.

Firms looking to prove carbon accounting performance are using industry-specific methodologies to improve the quality and relevance of emissions calculations – and carbon management platforms are responding to meet this requirement. Software providers are at a crossroads concerning functionality development: adopt an industry-agnostic approach to address the whole market, or specific data collection and framework alignment capabilities for sub-sections of the market?

Increasingly, it’s looking like the latter. For financial institutions, Persefoni, Sweep and Watershed all provide specific, PCAF-aligned functionality. The market is shifting away from a ‘one stop shop’ approach to carbon management, with no single platform being able to provide comprehensive coverage across data collection, management, reporting and disclosure creation. Firms should therefore consider how to build carbon management digital infrastructures carefully to ensure they can quantify and demonstrate industry-leading climate change performance.

Connor Taylor

Senior Analyst

Connor is a Senior Analyst in the Verdantix Net Zero & Climate Risk practice. His current research agenda focuses on carbon management software, climate change consulting services, and the voluntary carbon markets. Connor joined Verdantix in 2021, with prior experience in EHS technology sales and development. He holds a BA from the University of Cambridge in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic.