The interview that will save the Planet

Lubomila, our pick of the draft, enters the pitch. After studying at the London School of Economics and going through a wide range of professional endeavours (from consumer marketing to banking), Lubomila has decided to steer her focus and energy towards the environmental challenges of our times. Building the first way to measure, reduce and offset a business’ carbon footprint, this is Plan A.

The locker room speech

Paris, 12th of December 2015: 3 minutes of uninterrupted clapping. The Paris Agreement to fight climate change has just been signed by most of the countries in the world, from industrialized to emerging ones.

This agreement sets the following objectives:

  • A maximum of a 2-degree Celsius increase in temperatures by 2100
  • A reduction of fossil fuels usage around the globe
  • A neutral carbon footprint for all the countries

Where do we stand 5 years later?

It’s still difficult to know where to begin when it comes to measuring carbon emissions and properly evaluating a business’ footprint.

Carbon emissions are still skyrocketing and governments are still struggling to make these promises match reality. Fortunately, some strong-willed entrepreneurs are going to the frontlines and driving this change, one measurement at a time.

Plan A aims at providing a standardized approach (using data and technology) to measure and anticipate carbon emissions. Most importantly, pushing their solution to the market is helping in raising awareness on how businesses can positively contribute to fighting climate change, whether it’s coming from companies, their employees or citizens like you and I.

Beyond a technical solution, it’s a mindset that many European companies have already adopted through partnering up with Plan A. Protecting the environment is indeed a long journey to undertake and it has to start with a simple yet essential first-step: opening one’s eye.

Plan A have been granted innovation awards by both private and public institutions, including the German government and the European Commission.

They are paving a greener way for a better tomorrow.

Can you tell us more about yourself?

My name is Lubomila Jordanova, and I am the co-founder and CEO of Plan A. Before Plan A, I worked in investment banking, venture capital and fintech in Asia and Europe.

I was born in Bulgaria and completed my studies in the UK, where I obtained a Master in Management, from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Plan A was founded in Berlin, where I am now based.

Plan A is a Berlin-based startup, developing software for carbon management. Our software helps businesses reduce their carbon footprint and promote a sustainable culture throughout the company.

What pushed you to start such an ambitious project?

Our ecosystems have been impacted by climate change for a long time, so it is vital to focus on solving those environmental issues; even when it seems like it might not be a priority.

Plan A was created to support the transition to a decarbonized economy for all businesses and there has never been a better time to do this. We too, had to adapt quickly to new challenges, from health regulations to lockdowns and more! We also worked with new customer demands, introducing for example a feature calculating the carbon footprint of employees working from home to make our tool more accurate and helpful.

The environmental impact of 2020 has been considerable, and we have to accelerate our transition to a carbon-neutral economy if we want to keep the worst effects of climate change at bay. With the work of businesses, the precision of science and the support of tech, we can make a giant leap forward.

What is your strategy to win?

Plan A was founded in 2017, initially established as a collaborative platform to plan where climate change will hit the hardest.

Today, we help companies become sustainable by creating tools to measure, reduce and offset their carbon emissions. We have developed a unique carbon management software designed to optimise carbon emission reduction and drive an employee culture of sustainability.

With our tool, companies can engage their teams and report on their carbon footprint easily. The software generates tailored action plans adapted to the company’s emission profile. We also publish educational material within the software and on our Academy to keep our community updated and knowledgeable on business and sustainability.

What is the general feeling and feedback from your customers now?

There is remarkable interest and mobilisation over the topic of sustainability. We work with companies that are looking for solutions to start their journey to sustainability in the most scientific and efficient way. We speak on a daily basis to our customers to understand their needs better and how to facilitate this necessary and beneficial endeavour.

We work with organizations of all sizes and from a wide range of industries. Our clients are optimistic about the positive outcomes of becoming more sustainable. They are able to collect data efficiently, calculate their carbon emissions and reduce their footprint, without the support of expensive external support.

What role has technology played in supporting your launch?

We are a science and data-driven company. To build our carbon management software, we used rigorous scientific models, approved carbon accounting methodologies such as the GHG protocol. The technology behind our software uses over 305,000 data points to ensure a high level of accuracy in emissions measurements.

We consistently feed our model a growing amount of public and private data to create an optimised roadmap for each of our clients. With these insights, companies can understand their carbon emission levels and prepare for environmental risks ahead of the markets where they operate.

We are continually developing new technologies for our software that integrate companies to a sustainable ecosystem and community of best practice.

What market trends are you seeing since the beginning of the pandemic?

The pandemic has disrupted business as usual, faster than any other crisis has. Sustainability comes out more central, being one of the pillars of the EU plan “Repair and Prepare”.

The pandemic made us realise that we need to take climate action rapidly. Introducing business goals and methods towards carbon reduction is primordial if we are to meet the objectives set by the Paris Agreement.

Our software enables companies to monitor and reduce their carbon emissions, taking control of their footprint and playing their honest part in the effort.

Of course, we have also noticed the accelerated digital transformation that work and services have gone through. The pandemic will end, but not without having transformed some of our habits as companies and consumers.

Any advice to stay innovative in 2021?

Innovation is an iterative process that needs constant amelioration and feedback, so if you believe that you are redundant during the crisis, think about how you can facilitate your own progress.

Think about how you can reinvent some use-cases, turn your company into a sustainable one oriented towards new segments, maybe? The world in which we operate is a fast-changing place and staying relevant is a constant back and forth.

Anything important we missed during this pandemic?

We launched our “Make 2021 count” campaign, for small businesses to reduce their carbon emissions. We’ll be releasing a great campaign about the business leaders making 2021 the year of sustainability. Stay connected with us to discover more about that.

Because every business should be able to address this global issue.

We are a fast-growing company, with an ever-expanding team. We are still hiring and looking for exceptional minds to join our team, so do not hesitate to contact us at hi@plana.earth

Oh, and last one, Ursula Von Der Leyen (president of the European Union Commission) has talked about us during her opening remarks at the Digital Summit 2020. Nice way to end the year!

Author avatar
Lee H
http://linkedin.com/in/leehobeika
Sales & Operations Expert
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