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This CEO is making climate-solution tools more accessible with an app that tracks and personalizes your carbon footprint

Sanchali Pal started working on Joro full-time in 2019.

Courtesy of Joro

  • Sanchali Pal is the founder and CEO of Joro, a climate-impact app that launched in April 2020.
  • Joro offers personalized climate-solution tools, including an automated carbon-emissions tracker.
  • Pal’s venture emphasizes the importance of making climate-accountability measures more accessible.

In 2012, Sanchali Pal was the manager of a dining hall at Princeton University when she got an idea. A senior economics student at the time, Pal had just watched the documentary “Food, Inc.” and spoke to her team about ordering more plant-based meals and reconsidering the overall volume of food orders.

Her goal was to monitor and reduce the carbon impact of the dining hall, which fed about 200 students. After she floated the idea, the dining hall cut down its meat servings by 25%, which was the equivalent of taking nearly 50 cars off the road.

Pal then applied her idea on a personal level and started tracking her carbon footprint. This evolved into her current venture as the founder and CEO of Joro, an app that tracks users’ spending to evaluate their carbon emissions.

During the early development of Joro, Pal was pursuing a master’s degree in business administration at Harvard Business School, where she graduated in 2018. She and a group of graduate peers at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology started researching carbon accounting. 

“We were looking at different ways that we could provide real-time carbon data to consumers to make more informed choices,” Pal told Insider. This included analyzing data on consumers’ utilities, locations, and expenditures. 

After receiving $1 million in preseed funding, Pal launched the Joro app in the US in April 2020.

An image with two phone screens showcasing how to track your carbon footprint on the Joro appJoro encourages users to join sustainability-focused challenges like going on a vegetarian diet for a month.


Simplifying accountability measures 

Pal has previously worked on projects related to sustainable infrastructure, agricultural investments, and emerging markets such as the Philippines, Ethiopia, and India. She learned that increasing awareness of purchasing power and simplifying financial decision-making are requirements for making a service like Joro successful.

Joro uses a proprietary emissions data and algorithm service called the Carbonizer to automate insights on personal carbon footprint. After registering on the app, users connect their debit or credit cards through which Joro tracks purchases and converts them into kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents, or CO2e. 

“That’s actually how national-level carbon accounting is done — by looking at flows of capital across different products,” Pal said. “If we could apply that methodology to the personal level, then people would have access to real-time data the way that companies or countries do.”

The app also provides personalized tips for making cleaner spending decisions and encourages users to learn about other climate-focused projects such as Running Tide and Nori.

Sustainability in Joro’s business model

Pal established a three-pronged business model that focuses on producing emissions data through tracking, changing what consumers buy, and connecting people to meaningful carbon-offset projects that aim to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions. 

“Those are the three core value propositions, and they each have a clear monetization and impact path,” Pal said.

The model has generated some of Joro’s most notable functional successes to date. Building out the app’s core tracking technology has enabled Pal and a team of researchers and academic advisors at Yale University’s Center for Industrial Ecology to apply academic analysis to real consumer data. 

Additionally, Pal said, adding a membership feature called Net Zero has led to a high subscriber-retention rate by allowing users to automatically offset their purchases.

An image with three phone screens showcasing how to track your carbon footprint on the Joro appJoro users can view the biggest carbon drivers in their spending history.


But there’s room for growth. One app feature Pal hopes to develop is the ability to estimate and compare the emissions of similar products at different companies. This, in effect, could prompt businesses to be more sustainable in their operations.

Pal also wants to offer more sustainable lifestyle goals that are less daunting to those who are novices in environmentally conscious decision-making. 

“People might want to start with greening their bank, switching to clean energy at home, or even just walking and biking more,” she said. “So we’re trying to build in a variety of actions that allow users to start from whatever’s easiest and most accessible for them.”

Users can also follow friends and view leaderboards that show the progress of their Joro peers’ sustainability efforts. But Pal, who plans to launch the app in Canada next month, is thinking about even more ways to develop a sense of community among users.

Why accessible accountability matters

The research firm Rhodium Group reported that US greenhouse gas emissions rose by 6.2% last year compared with 2020. Consequently, making climate solutions more clear-cut and accessible is becoming increasingly important. 

“The personalized accountability mechanisms are what’s helpful in creating some motivation or benefit to participating in climate solutions,” Pal said.

She believes that Joro can help rectify sustainability pitfalls on the corporate level as well. By encouraging users to make cleaner purchasing choices, companies with sustainable products and services reap the benefits — and companies that aren’t on board must pivot toward sustainable practices or risk getting left behind. 

Companies, Pal added, could also integrate accessible climate solutions into employee benefits packages. 

“It is true that we need climate policy to happen fast to create sweeping change,” Pal said. “But, also, people do have power, especially when we take action together. Collective support can be really powerful in accelerating solutions.”

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