Here at Carbon Lighthouse, we’ve never been afraid to think big — the breadth of our ambition is matched only by the enormity of the problem we confront: global climate change. For us, it’s not enough to reduce emissions by half or even 90 percent. The world needs to reach zero emissions today — and we have the means and motivation to be a catalyst for positive and profitable change.
That’s why, over the past eight years, we’ve applied our conviction that capitalism will save the planet, targeting the largest source of carbon emissions: the built environment. In the United States alone, buildings drive nearly 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, according to U.S. Green Building Council, more than any other sector.
Across the U.S. non-residential building landscape, we estimate that about $100 billion in wasted energy — what we call ‘Efficiency Reserves’ — exist because up to 55 percent of annual energy spend can be eliminated, using today’s technologies. The value escalates considerably when supply technologies, such as solar, are feasible onsite. Inspired by Big Oil, we view Efficiency Reserves as another kind of valuable energy reserve. Carbon Lighthouse exists to extract and produce efficiency from the built environment, and to share that value with building owners.
Our team built Carbon Lighthouse from scratch – rather than looking at existing business models, we asked the question, “What should exist?” and not, “How can we improve upon current solutions?” Building both a company and an entirely new category hasn’t been easy. We never expected it to be.
But thanks to the passionate idealism and grit of our growing team, we’ve created a data-obsessed approach that gets beyond the traditional barriers to climate progress, unlocking substantial profits for our clients and ourselves along the way. Our proprietary software platform, CLUES®, helps our engineers turns vast amounts of original data into actionable building upgrades without upfront costs or disruptive construction projects. Then we continuously monitor performance and take ongoing action to correct the inevitable drift, guaranteeing the real dollar value for our clients.
After applying Efficiency Production to more than 500 buildings across 16 states, we’ve already managed to eliminate the emissions equivalent of six power plants. In 2017 alone, we signed under contract the equivalent of nine more. Some of the organizations we’ve helped benefit from profit-driven carbon elimination include Alexander & Baldwin (A&B), a Hawaii-based publicly traded REIT and Kilroy Realty Corporation, a California-based REIT. And this list continues to grow.
Since 2010, it seems, our proof of concept has become a ‘thing.’
Today, Carbon Lighthouse is humbled to announce that we’ve raised a highly oversubscribed $27 million strategic growth round, which will allow us to scale impact dramatically by growing our engineering teams and advancing CLUES® to deliver more Efficiency Production to more buildings faster. GRC SinoGreen led the round, with participation from JCI Ventures, Pierre Omidyar’s Ulupono Initiative, and SV Tech Ventures. Other investors include Tom Steyer’s Radicle Impact Partners; Steve Girsky, former Vice Chairman of GM; Ekistic Ventures; and JB Straubel, Tesla’s Co-Founder and current CTO, to name a few. They bring deep experience and expertise beyond funding that will ensure acceleration of Carbon Lighthouse’s business and mission.
Don’t mistake this with your typical Silicon Valley series funding, which many startups pursue to keep the lights on and run their day-to-day business. We aren’t trying to build a ‘flip’ company to get acquired or end with an IPO — we’re committed to solving the climate change conundrum for the next 150 years. We’re in it for the long haul, and this round provides additional capital to an already profitable business that has been growing faster than Moore’s Law.
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges humans have ever faced, and we won’t stop until the world reaches zero emissions. We’ve got the right people, and the right tools to achieve this — it’s time to get to work.