It is especially important for Intuit to share climate action experience with its customers, Garg believes, as they tend to be small and micro businesses that do not otherwise have access to sustainability expertise.
“Small and micro businesses represent 90% of the world’s companies and roughly half of global GDP, yet, unlike large companies that have full-time sustainability staff, small businesses do not have the help or advice they need,” he says.
Nevertheless, these businesses are just as keen to play their part as their larger peers. “We started talking to customers and it was clear they really do care,” Garg says. “They want to reduce their environmental impact but it’s difficult for them to take action because they often lack advice and there are economic constraints on them.”
Intuit’s customer sustainability outreach is just beginning and there are various potential initiatives where advice can, or will, be passed on.
Launched at COP26 last year, Intuit’s Climate Action Marketplace helps small businesses to reduce their impact on the environment by selecting sustainable solutions. With one click, the marketplace allows users to replace high carbon activities across energy, travel, office supplies and other categories with more sustainable alternatives, often at a discount.
A second climate action solution, currently being beta tested, uses data from Intuit’s QuickBooks accounting service to determine how customers can make significant carbon reductions.
“We can leverage the data to see what kind of business activity a customer has, whether they make products or are service-based, and how much their gas, electricity and other additional bills might be,” Garg explains. “That helps us inform what recommendations we make in terms of what might be the most impactful action you can consider.”
Recommendations might include switching to LED lightbulbs or electric cars, reducing food waste, or cutting down on product packaging, Garg explains.
“We have also partnered with carbon footprint measurement partner, Normative, on a questionnaire that will help companies work out their emissions.
“If customers find this useful, we will integrate it into QuickBooks so companies can get a good idea what their carbon footprint is automatically, using data to both reduce their impact and record the positive impact of the changes.”