Michael Lebbon Michael Lebbon Michael Lebbon Michael Lebbon Michael Lebbon

The Emmi Story

The journey for Emmi has realistically been 15 years in the making. With a grounding in finance I was captivated by the idea that markets (if functioning properly) could solve climate change, so I went back to University to research Carbon Markets in the 2000s (before it was a thing). It then dawned on me the true solution to climate change was entrenched in the financial system. I ensured I had best in class financial skills by becoming a CFA® Charterholder so I could devote my entire professional career to understanding the financial mechanisms that allow carbon emissions to be internalised, priced and traded.

Australia was one of the leaders in this space when the government implemented a carbon price across the economy in 2012. I was fortunate enough to be involved in every carbon pricing and trading scheme in Australia (yes there has been a few). I created and traded the very first Australian Carbon Credit Unit back in 2012. However global carbon emissions continued to rise, I realised that despite the markets best efforts, climate change became deeply partisan and politics would always trump implementing effective carbon financial policies.

Something else was needed, so a few years ago I started to think about building something different. Most people drawn to carbon and climate finance markets gravitate to the supply side of the equation – that is the creation of carbon credits and other green certificates. However only focussing on the supply side of the equation creates a one sided and dysfunctional market, resulting in very little action towards carbon reductions. The real solution requires bolstering the demand side of the carbon market so I started designing and implementing ideas which is where Emmi was born.

After many early iterations, I was introduced to climate scientist and entrepreneur Ben McNeil who became an important part of the founding team for Emmi. We realised that to have any real impact on a global scale, Institutional Investors, with their enormous capital deployment power, needed to lead the carbon reduction demand.

The problem, however, was whilst Institutional Investors had a feeling that decarbonisation was happening and was a financial risk, very few actually knew how to easily assess it and do something about it… Until now…

Ben and I set about using our 40+ years in carbon finance, climate and data science to produce an objective, transparent and data driven carbon risk algorithm. The aim was simple:

Allow Institutional Investors to understand the carbon financial risk of any listed company via a universal benchmark. This would also give them data-driven intelligence in how their portfolios are positioned for the emerging net zero carbon economy.

Out of this the Emmi Score was born.

The game changer is that the entire Emmi system is priced and transparently structured, so any investor doesn’t need a PhD in finance or climate science to easily interpret the outputs. After all carbon is just a financial problem so why complicate it with highly technical climate jargon… Institutional investors are important, but we have big ambitious plans to help companies themselves better understand their own carbon risk and act accordingly.

Emmi has now grown to a team of 10+ smart passionate people. I couldn’t be more fortunate to work with such a wonderful team towards achieving our goal of eliminating carbon risk – and with it lowering the impact of climate change.  

Michael Lebbon