Former Stripe employees are attacking climate change... with help from Stripe
The Hustle

Former Stripe employees are attacking climate change… with help from Stripe

Watershed -- a powerhouse founded by former Stripe engineers and funded by giants like Sequoia and Kleiner Perkins -- enables companies to track and reduce carbon emissions at every part of their business.


March 2, 2021

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 15: Protesters carry an inflatable globe during an anti-war demonstration February 15, 2003 in New York City. Tens of thousands attended the rally which coincided with peace demonstrations around the world. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Can engineers help businesses tackle climate change?

Watershed thinks so. The startup creates software for companies to track and reduce carbon emissions at every step of their supply chain — and it’s founded by 3 alum of Stripe, the $100B+ fintech darling.

Carbon-footprint tracking, you say?

Square, Shopify, and Sweetgreen (oh my!) are among the customers of Watershed’s enterprise subscription software per Bloomberg.

What exactly does this software do? Let’s use Sweetgreen as an example:

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  1. It tracks direct emissions from Sweetgreen stores and HQ.
  2. It tracks emissions from directly used energy, such as electricity for its stores.
  3. It tracks emissions from each step of its supply chain. Sweetgreen can now determine which lettuce farms have not only better quality, but also lower carbon emissions.

The last of these is the hardest to measure, yet the most important, as it often comprises the majority of a company’s carbon footprint.

It’s not just Leo and Al Gore fighting climate change anymore

Watershed’s CEO Christian Anderson told Bloomberg that the market is seeing “an inflection moment,” and that climate change is now “a corporate imperative.”

For a company like Sweetgreen, a change at the corporate level trickles down the supply chain. To secure contracts, suppliers are now incentivized to track and reduce their own carbon emissions.

Stripe’s co-founding brothers (Patrick and John Collison) are investors in the startup, and — perhaps more crucially — the payments firm is a Watershed client.

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