In a world increasingly focused on sustainability, the challenge of measuring and reporting carbon emissions is paramount for enterprises. Addressing this critical need is Mumbai-based KarbonWise, a startup founded in 2023 that leverages data engineering and AI/NLP expertise to help companies navigate their decarbonization journey. With over 10 clients already onboard, KarbonWise is on a mission to simplify carbon footprint measurement and reporting.


Tackling the Decarbonization Challenge

Companies embarking on decarbonization face two significant pain points: measuring supply chain emissions and adhering to reporting guidelines. Arjun Vijayaragavan, founder and CEO of KarbonWise, recognized these challenges through his decade-long career as a sustainability consultant. His vision was to create a technology platform that could streamline data aggregation, analysis, and understanding, enabling companies to meet their sustainability goals and reduce their carbon footprints.

“India aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2070, with enterprises playing a crucial role in this transition. We aim to assist enterprises by providing tools to measure and reduce their carbon footprint and adopt sustainability practices amid growing pressure from stakeholders such as consumers, investors, and regulators,” says Vijayaragavan.


The Platform's Capabilities

KarbonWise offers a comprehensive web-based platform that integrates data from various sources to provide insights into carbon emissions and other environmental data for enterprises. Its services include automating carbon accounting, setting realistic targets, reducing emissions, and streamlining reporting requirements to ensure compliance with global ESG standards.

“Our platform uses AI-driven models to analyze and identify carbon hotspots within an organization by aggregating and ingesting enterprise data from internal systems and applying specific models to calculate carbon footprint and other ESG metrics,” explains Vijayaragavan. A standout feature of KarbonWise is its focus on Scope 3 emissions—those not directly controlled by the reporting companies, such as employee commutes. The platform uses advanced data engineering and AI/NLP to integrate data from various sources and automate calculations. Additionally, a generative AI layer is being developed to recommend proactive pathways and alternative inputs to reduce the carbon footprint.


Client Engagement and Growth

Currently, KarbonWise works with more than 10 clients, including mid to large enterprises and niche companies seeking product or project lifecycle analysis to meet customer requirements. Although the startup has not disclosed client names, it aims to onboard 3-4 times its current client base within the next eight months.

“Businesses often struggle to balance growth, cost, and environmental impact, lacking a comprehensive understanding of their actions' impact on sustainability metrics like carbon footprint, ozone depletion, and biodiversity,” says Vijayaragavan. For instance, the pharmaceutical industry faces challenges such as tracking emissions across complex supply chains and limited access to renewable energy sources.


Sector-Specific Approach

KarbonWise tailors its services to various sectors. For example, it offers lifecycle analysis modules for construction projects and portfolio emissions management for property managers and developers. The startup also helps mid-size suppliers align with the net zero emissions goals of global pharma and chemical leaders. Later this year, KarbonWise plans to explore the financial services sector. A construction company with multiple projects across different countries can use KarbonWise to get a real-time view of carbon emissions and environmental impact. The platform analyzes project materials and activities, providing insights to track emissions, identify inefficiencies, and develop strategies to reduce the environmental footprint.


Competitive Edge and Business Model

KarbonWise competes with players like San Francisco-based Watershed, New York-based Greenly, and Arizona-based Persefoni. What sets KarbonWise apart is its focus on Scope 3 and supply chain emissions, areas that early clients and prospects haven't found in similar solutions. The data accuracy aligns with globally recognized carbon accounting standards such as the GHG Protocol and ISO 14064, and the software's calculation methodologies and algorithms are designed to be flexible for third-party audits.The carbon accounting software market is predicted to grow by $16.55 billion between 2023 and 2028, at a CAGR of 29.27%, according to Research and Market. KarbonWise generates revenue through platform subscription fees, a one-time system integration fee, and consulting services offering bespoke solutions.

“Our pricing structure varies depending on factors such as the size and complexity of the client's needs, the specific modules they opt for, and the level of consulting they would like embedded in the offer. So it’s difficult for us to provide a one-size-fits-all number,” Vijayaragavan adds.


Future Plans

KarbonWise plans to invest in sales and growth, expanding its client base through both inbound and outbound efforts. It also aims to enhance its product offerings, particularly in ESG reporting, and build a generative AI-based intelligence layer to strengthen its market presence.With a clear focus on addressing the complexities of carbon footprint measurement and reporting, KarbonWise is poised to play a significant role in helping enterprises navigate their sustainability journeys and contribute to global decarbonization efforts.