In May 2020, Clip.bike was selected to join the Eco Incubator program led by Launch NY. Besides funding and mentorship the program was a unique platform for us to promote our mission and meet with a community aligned with our social and environmental values.
Last month we had the opportunity to join Launch NY and a panel of startups to answer a few questions about sustainability: #LaunchHour Sustainability 101: Sustainability is Everyone’s Business.
Question 1: Who are you?
Clement de Alcala, Co-founder & COO, @CLIP_bike
Question 2: Tell us what your company does.
CLIP.bike is a consumer-tech hardware startup founded and based in New York, with a mission to make e-bike technology more affordable and accessible.
Question 3: How does your organization define sustainability?
Besides being good for the environment and our communities, sustainability solutions need to be cost effective at an individual level to be largely adopted. Sustainable mobility alternatives has to be a no-brainer for commuters and recreational users in terms of cost, performance and accessibility.
Question 4: How did your organization start or move toward sustainability? Does it support your growth plans?
Democratizing sustainable mobility is Clip.bike’s mission. Our Objectives and Key Results (OKR) are directly defined from this mission. This top-down framework helps the team to keep our growth plan focused on sustainability.
Question 5: Do you think every organization should have a sustainability plan?
In this decade of climate emergency, the actions organizations will take in the next few years will be critical to fight global warming. My conviction is that sustainability should be part of the DNA of any organization.
Question 6: What are ways companies can start to make impacts to reduce energy, carbon emissions, and water in their organizations?
Taking the impact assessments from sustainability certifications was a good first step for our team. Pending B-corp status directed to early stage organizations was particularly helpful to identify the specific areas of work to make Clip.bike more sustainable.
Question 7: How can they measure these impacts?
New York state leads several programs to connect startups with experts to measure their impact. The Green Technology Accelerator Center (GTAC) program at New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) conducted Clip.bike first impact study on NYC.
Question 8: How do you create buy in within your company to support these efforts?
The team meets every week to measure our progress on our go-to-market and a maximum impact. Our decisions are framed by our mission and based on consensus. Being aligned on our objective and regularly debating our efforts to get there, reinforces the commitment to our mission.
Question 9: What are groups or trade associations companies can join to be more involved with sustainability?
Participating in mentorship programs, most of them led by NYSERDA, helped to build a community of experts to understand, evaluate and eventually scale our impact. We also collaborate with partners aligned with our mission to reduce GHG emissions: Trees for the future, Transportation Alternatives, the Bike League.
Question 10: What’s the next step a company can take if want to be more sustainable?
Sustainability requires a global approach including organizations, consumers and partners. Our next challenge is to produce and deliver our first series of CLIPs in the US, making sure our entire supply chain is structured to focus on sustainability.
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