Sam Johnston – Negative co-founder

Negative co-founder, Sam Johnston, shares his creative process in coming up with a carbon footprint calculator. Sam’s inspiration for Negative came from his frustration with climate inaction from our governments and his desire for a better, sustainable future for the next generation. For Sam, Negative is a product that can help the public feel confident in their contributions to climate action.

Negative was created by a team of social entrepreneurs to help those concerned with climate change to reduce their carbon footprint to zero (i.e., neutral) or less (i.e., negative). By taking more carbon out of the atmosphere than we are responsible for emitting, Negative users can create a positive impact on the environment.

Achieving personal neutrality is necessary but not sufficient because not everybody is willing or able to participate in such voluntary programs. Furthermore, governments do not yet fully appreciate the urgency of the climate emergency, and are similarly unwilling or unable to coerce their constituents to reduce or offset their footprints — attempts to do so in countries like Australia have resulted in laws being repealed and even governments being voted out! Yet every carbon footprint matters when it comes to ensuring our future — our environment doesn’t care how carbon emissions occur, only that they occurred!

In our early market research, we found that people were not confident calculating their own carbon footprint, which was one of the first challenges we needed to address. Existing approaches involve tracking carbon emissions by individual activities (e.g., travel, food, energy) and summing up the estimated emissions. This creates too much work for users, and worse than that results in precise but not necessarily accurate results. Furthermore, other business practices often have a saying, “Don’t give your users sh*t work”. People enjoy doing this as much as they like tracking calories (which is to say, not at all!).

Sam draws his motivation for Negative from his love and passion for the environment. He cares deeply for the Negative community and urges those of us who can, to take action against climate change.

Join the Negative community here.

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