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New York-based HowGood, a company that provides a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform to empower enterprises with sustainability intelligence, today announced it has raised $12.5 million in a fresh round of funding.
As climate change continues to wreak havoc around the world, organizations are pushing initiatives to make their products and business operations more sustainable. The goal is to measure environmental and social impact (from carbon emissions and biodiversity to human impacts of supply systems), but getting the data associated with these aspects mandates the time-intensive task of sorting through individual studies and research. Plus, there’s no standardized methodology to get the insights.
HowGood’s sustainability intelligence
HowGood was started in 2007 to collect all this data in one place and give the different players in the food industry a simple way to understand their current impact, as well as see where they can improve their operations to become more sustainable. The company initially rated products in grocery stores, but then expanded to business units and went on to launch Latis, a dedicated sustainability intelligence solution.
Backed by what HowGood claims is the world’s largest database on ingredient and product sustainability, Latis conducts instant analysis for over 33,000 ingredients, chemicals and materials and provides detailed insights into product R&D processes.
“With a simple, user-friendly SaaS platform, food brands and retailers can view the impact of any ingredient, source location, or sustainability standard,” Alexander Gillett, the CEO and cofounder of HowGood, told Venturebeat.
“Insights on metrics covering environmental impact, labor risk and animal welfare (among others) are available immediately throughout the process of formulating a product. Team leaders can also zoom out from micro-level ingredient impact data analysis to view the full impact of their portfolio across metrics like annual carbon footprint, water usage, or inherent labor risks, tracking their progress to goals and benchmarking their brand against industry standards and key competitors,” he added
Overall, the solution draws from 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 to make changes throughout the food product lifecycle to improve holistic sustainability. It also helps them meet the rising consumer demand for transparency and eco-friend production.
Particularly in the wake of SEC’s new climate disclosure proposal, HowGood has seen significant demand for its solution. The company’s annual revenue doubled in the past year, with leading food and beverage retailers, suppliers and restaurants coming on board. It also counts five of the 10 largest CPGs, including Danone North America, among its customers.
However, HowGood is not the only player in this space. SourceMap, SustainLife, SupplyShift and Ecovadis also drive product and operational sustainability for businesses, but according to HowGood, their data is not as comprehensive.
“We are the singular, comprehensive solution on the market providing food brands and retailers with actionable insights into product impact…, using data that is not available in any other platform. We also continue to expand the metrics available in Latis through strategic research and implementation, most recently with One Planet Business for Biodiversity’s (OP2B) regenerative agriculture metrics and the EU’s Eco-Score and Nutri-Score scoring systems,” Gillett emphasized.
With this round of funding, led by Titan Grove, HowGood plans to grow its internal teams, improve the sustainability intelligence product, expand industry partnerships in the U.S and Europe and venture beyond the food vertical.
“This funding round will enable HowGood to build our capacity to onboard and support more clients as we triple our team this year, as well as continue to add truly unique and comprehensive datasets to the Latis platform to enable companies to make impactful changes throughout their value system,” Gillett said. “The new features 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 have a big role to play in helping enterprises achieve their sustainability goals. Notably, as many as 66% of companies said they are either currently executing or planning to apply AI to address their sustainability goals. They are looking at AI to help them make their operations more efficient (37%), provide verifiable data on environmental performance (33%) and automate their data collection and reporting (29%) efforts.