iAMcarbon.com Business Plan

Goal: Create a commercialy viable website that connects

motivated US green consumers with eco-marketing US suppliers.

Why are consumers motivated to act green?

Driven by activity from the Obama whitehouse, US consumers are being bombarded by news-stories on proposed Carbon cap & trade program, and various environmentally focused programs. Major US businesses such as IBM (Smarter Planet) are pushing environmentally conscientious behaviour into the B2B space, and those workers will take this sentiment into their own homes and daily lives. Cause celebrity continues to associate 'green' with 'chic', from fashion to music to home.

Why would consumers come to iamcarbon.com?

There are a numerous environmentally-focused websites, many of which can help consumers to understand their carbon footprint. Some of these sites are run by government agencies, but only make recomendations for changing behaviour.  Others are tied to carbon credit generation programs, but are in essence swapping bad behaviour for monetary support of environmentally redeeming projects (carbonfund.org). A few websites neatly tie singular activities with carbon offset programs (expedia.com supported by terrapass), but do not help consumers to set a fully green agenda. Many websites appear homespun and overly "earthy", thus disenfranchising the more progressive and upwardly mobile consumer (carbonfootprint.com).

iamcarbon.com will provide a platform that allows a user to create his own green agenda. It will connect him with as many options and programs as he so desires--an interactive home for manifesting eco-friendly behavior.  Similar to online financial planning environments, iamcarbon.com will exhibit a user's carbon footprint by aggregating numerous commercial online accounts. The site will not only hold a user's history, it will also help her to plan for the future... building a house, taking a trip, stocking groceries, etc.

iamcarbon.com will not judge users, nor push them to reduce their carbon output for any political, social, or environmental purpose. It is meant to act more as an online carbon bank that will motivate consumers to reduce their impact on the planet... the same way that reviewing their spending habits through an online financial bank helps them to save money.

The experience will be designed to encourage weekly or monthly interaction through a sleek and modern interface. It will be fronted by a marketplace environment with reviews and reccomendations (similar to cnet) with a personalized account-based platform behind (similar to mint.com) allowing users to benchmark their behaviour against the entire user population base,

Why would suppliers associate with iamcarbon.com?

Suppliers are constantly looking for ways to connect with a potential buying audience. Green is one of the top buzzwords for consumer marketing today, and many products are being created to leverage the popular movement. Suppliers such as Whirlpool, American Airlines, [Architectural Supplier], [Food Supplier] can all take advantage of connecting their product with this audience. The iamcarbon.com experience will be designed to create environments such as a virtual grocery store showing locally supplied food. where suppliers can post their advertisements. It will have tools that allow you to create your home or apartment and then add green products and utilities from a list of readily available suppliers. It will have maps depicting your path accross the globe, and the transportation companies that get you there.

How will the site make money?

Revenue will come from the suppliers. A variety of options will be considered: advertising space, clickthrough payment, sponsorship opportunity, transaction percentage, etc. Eventually, the user population will be large enough so that the demographic data can be valuable in it's own right and sold to advertisers and media companies. Fortunately, the consumer carbon footprint business has been established in Europe for a few years, so lessons can be learned from existing operations.