“The second thing is that the way they take action accelerates the construction of green, green, green, clean energy and pressures polluters to reduce their emissions. So it’s almost like a form of political action by using those dollars to squeeze the market for pollution. You’re actually also accelerating impact as well. So that double impact at point of sale to engage the consumer and that integrity piece, which says not only are we removing carbon from the atmosphere, but we’re doing it in a way that accelerates the change we all need. So they’re not just taking a step. They’re actually speeding progress on climate change and not just for themselves.”
– Michel Gelobter
- Research showed that through the pandemic consumers eagerly want to align with brands who share their values
- Cooler offers calculations instantly so you can neutralize your carbon footprint as a business to achieve your customers’ climate goals
- Michel and Jon share how the company was founded and how they’re working to fight climate change
Consumer loyalty through the pandemic and still into 2021 is up for grabs. What we saw throughout COVID and the particularly crazy political climate we’re living in still is that consumers eagerly want to join up with brands that are ethically aligned with their own values. What Michel Gelobter, Jon Dorn and the team at Cooler Incorporated offer is a solution and technology that brands and consumers can trust with a mission to make your business part of the climate solution conversation.
Taking action as a consumer against climate change can feel daunting and what numerous studies and reports through 2020 showcased, is that consumers are no longer looking at their governments and representatives to solve the problems for them. They’re looking at the brands they self identify with and are aligning their dollars with those brands who are actively joining the fight against climate change.
On this episode of Channel Mastery, you’ll hear how brands can become “Cooler” and work to first identify their full carbon footprint on the products and services they provide and then create a plan to neutralize that carbon footprint. Michel shares the planned official launch of the business, which also happened to align with the very beginning of COVID and explains how his relationship with Jon Dorn of Outside Inc. helped the company pivot to work closely with the outdoor industry.
Thirty years ago, Jon left a low-paying job in academia for a lower-paying job as a magazine editor at Backpacker. But that opportunity to become a full-time adventure journalist fed his wanderlust, and he’s never looked back. He’s slept under the stars in 17 time zones (only 7 to go!), come face-to-face with wolves and grizzlies, led Backpacker to five National Magazine Awards, and made it the world’s first carbon-neutral magazine.
At Active Interest Media, Jon served as editorial director and later as president of the company’s Active Living Group, which included brands such as SKI, Yoga Journal, Backpacker, Clean Eating, and Climbing. After several years as the company’s Chief Innovation Officer, during which he added oversight of AIM’s video studio, online education platform, and in-house marketing services agency, Jon took a break to co-launch Cooler, a software startup that calculates and eliminates the carbon footprint of any product or service at checkout. He jumped back into media in October 2020, helping Pocket Outdoor Media rebrand as Outside Inc. after the acquisitions of Outside magazine, OutsideTV, and several other adventure brands. Today, he oversees Outside and several related business development projects. In his spare time, he serves on the board of a nonprofit serving homeless youth in Colorado and is an avid triathlete, cyclist, and hiker.
Michel Gelobter is the CEO of Cooler, inc (cooler.dev) and Managing Director of Reflective Earth (reflectiveearth.org). He has held senior positions in advocacy, government, academia, and business, with an ongoing substantive focus on innovation, climate change, energy, and social justice. As a businessman, he founded the first consumer-facing climate software company, Cooler, and was a founder or senior leader in two other cleantech startups. As an advocate, Michel co-founded a number of environmental justice, water, and oceans organizations, including the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, and led Redefining Progress from 2001 through 2006, where he worked to originate and design the world’s most aggressive climate legislation (California’s Global Warming Solutions Act).
As an academic Michel was the founding director of the Program on Environmental Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Prior to that, his government service included a stint as a Congressional Black Caucus Fellow, staff at the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee and serving as Assistant Commissioner for the New York City’s $2 billion-a-year water utility and environmental agency.
Michel earned his MS & Ph.D. at UC Berkeley’s Energy & Resources Group and presently serves as a Board member of CERES, the California Clean Energy Fund, and the African-American Advisory Committee of the Spence-Chapin Adoption Agency. He is co-founder the Green Leadership Trust, and is a part-time Director at infoedge, a boutique management consulting firm operating at the intersection of big data and strategy. In that role, he leads the innovation and sustainability practices.
Michel also published Lean Startups for Social Change: The Revolutionary Path to Big Impact (Berrett-Koehler Press, 2016). He lives with his three children in Berkeley, CA.
Fight against climate change, carbon footprints in business, neutralize carbon footprints, sustainability in business, sustainability in the outdoor industry
“I would just point out on Michel’s point about ensuring that the carbon you’re paying for really is going away. Look at what happened with wildfires in California over the last 18 months. To the fragility of trees as a form of carbon capture. Whether I’m an editor, a business owner or a regular citizen and individual, if I can see that that smoke stack right over there is going to be pumping out 20% less CO2 E over the next quarter, because the companies that I patronize are Cooler, that’s a very real and immediate and permanent impact. That’s 20% less of that exhaust that’s going. So I know that’s real. I literally, I can see it.” – Jon
“Consumer research has shown people want more action out of companies than they want out of Governors, out of Congress, out of Presidents. They want to see companies taking action on climate. So we give companies a way to show at point of sale to people they’re selling to that. They’re taking action.” – Michel
“The second thing is that the way they take action accelerates the construction of green, green, green, clean energy and pressures polluters to reduce their emissions. So it’s almost like a form of political action by using those dollars to squeeze the market for pollution. You’re actually also accelerating impact as well. So that double impact at point of sale to engage the consumer and that integrity piece, which says not only are we removing carbon from the atmosphere, but we’re doing it in a way that accelerates the change we all need. So they’re not just taking a step. They’re actually speeding progress on climate change and not just for themselves.” -Michel
“Global warming is a different form of pandemic for which there will not be a quick anti-viral cure. And I think as we have smoke in our nostrils and broken pipes in our basements, or, you know, even the pipeline shut down in the Southeast is a part of that as part of the problem. We’re in a lot of trouble on this issue. And I think people, consumers in particular, we’re going to be looking for anybody. Who’s sort
of putting their shoulder behind the wheel? Because there’s no MRNA vaccine. It’s been a long time getting to this problem. It’s going to be a long time solving it, but people are gonna want to see wheel spinning fast and people acting fast. And this is a way companies that are on this bandwagon can be seen as part of that team.” -Michel