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Using big data to make an MPG for everything

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A young startup called Energy Points is looking to use data streams to calculate the miles per gallon — MPG — of companies’ resource use, from energy, to water, to waste, to transportation. Why MPG? According to founder Ory Zik, who also founded Israeli solar thermal company HelioFocus and Greenpeace Israel, the various sustainability metrics in use — like kilowatt hours, gallons of water saved and metric tons of CO2 saved — can be confusing, and “people already understand MPG.”

Energy Points uses public and private data to create resource maps that calculate all of the relevant sustainability metrics for a region or industry vertical. Then when Energy Points signs up a customer, the customer gives Energy Points its own resource data, and the Energy Points software can then tell the customer what sustainability decisions will be the best ones to make.

The business intelligence is delivered in an MPG form to the customer, which Energy Points calls “the first universal metric for measuring sustainability.” The Energy Points software translates all the different sustainability metrics into this MPG equivalent.

The value proposition behind Energy Points is that many companies have a set aside budget to spend on making their company more sustainable, but they don’t know what decisions to make, said Zik in an interview. Energy Points is targeting Fortune 500 companies, government organizations and environmental service providers.

Energy Points is a really young company, founded half a year ago, and the tech has been under development for about two years. Zik said the company has pilot customers, but he wouldn’t disclose any names of customers. And the startup is still building out its software-as-a-service platform so that the companies can input their data and get automatic feedback.

In addition, the corporate sustainability space has gotten increasingly crowded over the past few years. Startups like Hara and C3 have raised tens of millions of dollars and have signed up large corporate customers like Coca-Cola and utilities like PG&E. Other companies, like Opower, work with utilities on delivering energy efficiency reports and tools.

Energy Points recently closed its own funding: $3 million led by Plan B Ventures.

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