Gorgias was founded in 2015 with a belief that decentralized commerce is better for merchants and customers alike. Since that time it has cemented its reputation for outstanding customer support and helpdesk software used by merchants on Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento. Gorgias recognizes the importance of building their business in a way that supports the planet, and in 2020 they began to invest time and resources into sustainability.
Gorgias understood that corporate sustainability is a journey. Significant emissions reductions, measurement and accounting of emissions, and carbon removal projects are all necessary to maximize our collective opportunity to make a livable future inevitable. They complete an annual measurement of their footprint, examining travel, office operations, and interactions with suppliers and customers.
“Sustainability has always been top of mind for Gorgias, and as we work to reduce our footprint, we’ve also made a purchase of carbon credits for each year, to compensate for our emissions,” said Brittany Walker, Impact Ambassador at Gorgias. “In 2023, we wanted to find a partner to help us scale our impact.”
Gorgias was looking for a partner that could provide a range of vetted projects, but also streamline the process of making contributions. For that, they turned to Patch.
Navigating the voluntary carbon market
Patch is building the infrastructure to power the voluntary carbon market, including a modern software platform that helps buyers to discover, purchase, manage, and monitor their climate impact, plus advisory services to help them navigate the market. The Patch network now comprises over 150 projects across 23 technology types, making it possible for buyers to purchase credits that align to their climate commitments including nature-based and cutting-edge technologies.
“As I was planning our current year contribution, I studied the market with a goal to find a single partner that could provide access to multiple vetted projects, answers to our questions, and a simple way to transact. I found Patch, and connected with the team who were responsive and helpful in answering my questions,” said Brittany.
For the current year contribution, Gorgias wanted to ensure they supported high integrity projects, and was eager to find a way to support multiple projects. While historically the company had supported nature-based projects, this time they wanted to also support emerging technologies. Yet, Gorgias found that these tended to have higher price points given the nascent state of their operations. The company was also keen to reduce the likelihood of delivery risk, in the event that a project developer was unable to meet its commitment.
Gorgias came to Patch and connected with the climate team to learn more about the platform, and found that it offered not only a wide breadth and depth of projects, but also provided a seamless way to meet their requirements of supporting multiple projects.
Diversifying impact with portfolios
Having worked with hundreds of corporate buyers, Patch had learned that many were looking to make to make the process of browsing and selecting projects easier for buyers. The platform provides buyers with important information needed to make a decision (like how a project is externally verifying its carbon impact, and how variables like vintage — the year the climate impact takes place — affect a project’s potential to create lasting benefits). With a growing range of projects, Patch explored ways to make the process simpler.
In Summer 2023, Patch launched Portfolios, a mechanism for buyers to seamlessly purchase curated groups of credits. Each portfolio comprises a number of projects, diversified by mechanism, technology type, and geography. With the portfolio structure assigning a weight to each project, this created a blended average price for the portfolio. An investment into the portfolio would automatically assign funds to each developer at their specific weighting.
“We had done our research, and wanted to make a contribution to projects at around a $40 per tonne price point,” said Brittany. “Because we wanted to support traditional and frontier technologies, Patch was a great fit. We were able to browse, review, and purchase the 'Avoidance and Novel Removal Technologies' portfolio through the Patch dashboard. The weighted price fits our requirements. Compared to buying directly from six developers, the process with Patch was fast and simple.”
The Carbon Avoidance and Removal hybrid portfolio offers a 50/50 blend of avoidance and removal projects. In addition to supporting conservation, reforestation, and revegetation projects, this portfolio supports novel technologies including biochar and ocean-based carbon removal.
All purchases through Patch are issued a digital certificate that provides insight into the retirement of credits, giving Gorgias the visibility to manage and monitor their contribution. In addition, Patch helps to de-risk the contribution. In the event that any particular project developer is unable to meet their commitment, Patch will substitute equivalent credits from another developer.
For the project developers, this represents a new way to secure the funds that help grow their operations. This is particularly important for emerging technologies, that are working to demonstrate and scale their projects.
Amplifying climate impact
Gorgias continues to focus on building an inclusive and responsible corporate profile. They recently secured BCorp certification, which requires them to demonstrate high social and environmental performance, ensure their governance is accountable to all stakeholders, and provide transparency in their operations.
The company is also exploring how to leverage their learnings and experience to their network of over 12,000 customers. By highlighting their own efforts from emissions measurement to reduction, and their support of carbon avoidance and removal projects, they seek to amplify the impact.
“Gorgias is taking action to reduce its impact, and we’re defining our climate commitment with a view to being Net Zero by 2030,” said Brittany. “Partnering with Patch helps us make meaningful contributions to high integrity carbon credit projects, and help lead us to our goal of a more sustainable future.”