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New York-based HowGood, which offers a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform to empower businesses with sustainability intelligence, announced today that it has raised $12.5 million in a new round of funding .
As climate change continues to wreak havoc around the world, organizations are pushing for initiatives to make their products and operations more sustainable. The goal is to measure environmental and social impacts (from carbon emissions and biodiversity to the human impact of supply systems), but obtaining the data associated with these aspects requires the time-consuming task of sorting through individual studies and research. Also, there is no standardized methodology for gaining the insights.
HowGood’s sustainability intelligence
HowGood was founded in 2007 to gather all this data in one place and give the various players in the food industry an easy way to understand their current impact and see where they can improve their operations to become more sustainable. The company initially assessed products in grocery stores but then expanded to business units and launched Latis, a dedicated sustainability intelligence solution.
Backed by HowGood’s largest database of ingredient and product sustainability in the world, Latis performs instant analysis on over 33,000 ingredients, chemicals and materials and provides in-depth insight into product R&D processes.
“With a simple, easy-to-use SaaS platform, food brands and retailers can view the impact of any ingredient, place of origin or sustainability standard,” HowGood CEO and co-founder Alexander Gillett told Venturebeat.
“Insights into metrics covering environmental impacts, labor risks and animal welfare (among others) are immediately available throughout the process of formulating a product. Team leaders can also zoom out from the micro-level ingredient impact analysis to view the full impact of their portfolio via metrics such as annual carbon footprint, water use or inherent worker risks, track their progress towards goals and benchmark their brand against industry standards and main competitors,” he added
Overall, the solution leverages over 550 independent data sources and certifications to provide UPC-level impact data on over two million products – all at the individual ingredient analysis level. This can then be used by brands to determine how and where changes need to be made throughout the food lifecycle to improve end-to-end sustainability. It also helps them meet increasing consumer demand for transparency and green production.
Especially after the SEC’s new climate disclosure proposal, HowGood has seen significant demand for its solution. The company’s annual sales have doubled over the past year, with leading food and beverage retailers, suppliers and restaurants coming on board. It also counts five of the top 10 CPGs among its clients, including Danone North America.
However, HowGood is not the only player in this space. SourceMap, SustainLife, SupplyShift and Ecovadis are also driving product and operational sustainability for companies, but according to HowGood their data is not as comprehensive.
“We are the unique, end-to-end solution on the market that provides food brands and retailers with actionable insights into product impact…using data not available on any other platform. We continue to expand the metrics available in Latis through strategic research and implementation, most recently with One Planet Business for Biodiversity (OP2B) regenerative agriculture metrics and the EU’s Eco-Score and Nutri-Score scoring systems,” Gillett said.
With this funding round, led by Titan Grove, HowGood plans to grow its internal teams, enhance the sustainability intelligence product, expand industry partnerships in the US and Europe, and move beyond the food industry.
“This funding round will enable HowGood to build our capacity to onboard and support more clients as we triple our team this year, and continue to add truly unique and comprehensive datasets to the Latis platform so businesses can leverage their… change the overall value of the system,” said Gillett. “New capabilities added to Latis include enhanced capabilities for Scope 3 greenhouse gas reporting, as well as a significant expansion of supplier-specific data and on-pack sustainability claims.”
According to a recent IBM survey, data and AI play a big role in helping companies achieve their sustainability goals. Notably, up to 66% of companies said they are either already implementing AI or planning to use AI to achieve their sustainability goals. They are looking to AI to make their operations more efficient (37%), provide verifiable data on environmental performance (33%), and automate their data collection and reporting efforts (29%).