ANU students to pitch climate ideas in Paris

2 December 2015

A team of students and graduates from ANU will pitch their climate change ideas to a global audience in Paris next week.

The pitching event brings together top entrants of the global Climathon event, and will be held alongside the meeting of world leaders at the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP21.

The local team is behind startup company Certified Renewable, which plans to offer certification to businesses using 100 per cent renewable energy as an incentive to promote the uptake of renewable energy.

Certified Renewable co-founder Lily Wang, who is studying Chemistry at ANU, was excited yet nervous about the opportunity to pitch in Paris.

"I knew that I believed in the venture, but to have UN Climate Change Conference organisers show their belief through their invitation and financial support was a big milestone in our journey to recognition," Lily said.

"I'm most looking forward to the chance to talk and swap ideas with the other winning teams there, and seeing how world representatives react to each pitch."

Lily first met her other team members, ANU business student Rommel Macaraeg and ANU alumni Joshua Petrass, Vijay Nandagiri and Mitch Woolfenden, during a Canberra Climathon event where the idea for Certified Renewable was first conceived.

The team's idea was selected as the local winner. The idea was then selected by the European Union network of private and public organisations to be one of the top ideas from around the world to be pitched in Paris.

Since winning the Canberra Climathon event, the team has continued to develop the idea and to receive support and funding.

The team participated in InnovationACT, an ANU startup program, where their idea was recognised as one of the most innovative. The team was awarded $10,000 in seed funding to further develop their venture.

"Certified Renewable owes its entire being to ANU and the local community. The ANU Climate Change and Energy Change Institutes were key supporters of Climathon, where the idea was born, and the idea was largely developed under the wing of the InnovationACT program, which taught the basic skills needed for a startup to flourish," Lily said.

"Mentors from these events then connected us to key parts of the local community, including the ACT Government and the Conservation Council ACT."

The team sees Paris as the beginning of a longer journey.

"We have grand dreams here at Certified Renewable," Lily said.

"In short, we aim for Certified Renewable to be key in eradicating the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions for the world."