Sep 20, 2022 - Economy & Business

Time launches platform to help companies tackle climate change

Illustration of the earth on a large pile of money
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Time is launching a sustainability division called "CO2 by Time" that will offer companies tools that go beyond just offsetting their carbon emissions.

Why it matters: While the division does take a small servicing fee from clients, executives say the venture isn't meant to drive revenue.

  • Rather, the purpose of the division is to bring authority to Time's editorial coverage around climate and to live up to its mission of driving global change.
  • "In addition to covering climate leaders, as we do, in our journalism, we want to be a leader ourselves and this is an opportunity for us to take action within our own company," said Time editor-in-chief and CEO Edward Felsenthal.

Details: CO2 by Time is launching curated climate action portfolios that will allow companies to offset their own carbon emissions and fund additional climate-friendly activities.

  • It's an independent division within Time that doesn't sit within the company's newsroom or business department.
  • The business is funded by Time initially but eventually plans to be self-sustaining through service fees. Executives declined to disclose the service fee percentage. So far, a dozen people have been hired by Time to work within the division.
  • CO2 by Time essentially aims to become a "surrogate sustainability team" for companies, said Simon Mulcahy, Time's president of sustainability, who is leading the new division as CEO. "Because the climate market is full of so many junk quality projects, they're just risking throwing money away," he said.
  • It will also include tools for companies to analyze their climate commitments.

Between the lines: CO2 by Time is launching its own climate portfolio called "Planet Portfolio."

  • "Our model is roughly a blend of 40% removal, 30% reduction, 20% protection of critical natural ecosystems and 10% innovation," said Shyla Raghav, head of portfolios & partnerships at CO2.com.
  • Other portfolios curated in conjunction with climate experts will also be available through the CO2 by Time platform.

By the numbers: The average brand is expecting to put in $10,000 to $100,000, Mulcahy said. "This is what most companies are spending at the minimum on offsets."

  • For now, CO2 by Time will focus on enterprise clients, but Mulcahy said it aims to launch a consumer platform later.
  • The division's first client is TPXimpact, a UK-based digital services company. Mulcahy hopes "thousands" of companies will launch their climate action plans through CO2 by Time within the next year.
  • Time itself is also a customer of CO2 by Time. It aims to reach net zero emissions by 2026.

The big picture: The new division is the latest expansion since Time was acquired by Marc and Lynne Benioff in 2018.

  • Last month Time bought Brandcast, a company that licenses software for easy-to-build marketing websites. It's also launched a lucrative TV and film licensing business and a web3 platform that includes a profitable NFT community.
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