“We have seen huge benefits, particularly from the mentoring, which enabled us to better articulate our proposition.” – Emma Kisby, Managing Director of COGO

28/06/2021 | Emma Kisby

COGO is a new fintech company which has developed a real-time carbon footprint tracker. Its application is on a mission to help millions of consumers better understand the impact of their spending on the planet. 

It’s now widely accepted that there’s a climate crisis. We are the first generation to really feel the effects, with rising sea levels, melting glaciers, and intense droughts. The future is uncertain, and now, ‘climate anxiety’ is one of the main causes of stress, particularly amongst Generation Z.

Consumers and businesses alike are looking for ways to be part of the solution, but it can feel overwhelming. Terminology can be challenging to navigate, with many unsure as to the real meaning of expressions like ‘carbon positive’, ‘net zero’ or ‘decarbonisation’. Moreover, many feel that their individual actions won’t have an effect.

However, the good news is that a tidal wave of change is coming. Through collaboration and innovation, we can create green solutions to help consumers make informed, sustainable choices. With their green solutions, COGO aims to make sustainable living easy –and this is an urgent project.

Emma Kisby, Managing Director of COGO, decided to sign up for the challenge of Santander X, the Santander X Environmental Challenge, Banco Santander’s global entrepreneurship network, to raise the profile of their business –and with the help of Santander X, COGO is becoming a trailblazer for conscious consumption.

COGO UK team COGO UK team


Green solutions for a brighter future: how COGO makes sustainable choices easy 

COGO believes that the financial sector has a crucial role to play in helping consumers make sustainable choices. By combining technology and data, COGO is creating greater transparency around sustainability. This seeks to empower consumers via their own financial data. With this information, they can monitor the environmental impact of their spending and support causes that matter to them.

“As a small fintech, we can be nimble, iterate and test in a way that can be difficult for big corporations –and speed is of the essence when it comes to the climate.”

Emma Kisby

COGO’s solution is remarkably simple. Consumers have an app, which they link to their mobile banking. They input their key concerns –whether it be living wage or personalised carbon footprint data– and then the app collects data on their spending. This data is then matched to the company’s or product’s sustainability, informing consumers as to the environmental impact of their spending habits.

“We can give them [consumers] ethical nudges to help them switch their spend to be more sustainable .”

Emma Kisby

This innovation isn’t only available to consumers. COGO is also looking to extend their technology to businesses, particularly big banks. As a small startup, they’re able to be extremely agile, which can often be harder for big corporations. They can test and iterate products fast, constantly refining and upgrading their technology. Via collaboration with startups like COGO, big corporations can bring these green solutions to their customer bases and start making a real impact.

For companies, COGO can integrate these tools into their own environments to make their customers and employees spending activity more sustainable. For example, COGO’s highly personalised carbon footprint tracker can be combined with a bank’s app to create an ethical financial management tool.

How Santander X has helped COGO grow

Tools like those offered by COGO are essential to making sustainable living easier. Through innovation, technology, and collaboration, companies, governments and consumers can work together to build a more sustainable future for all. This, ultimately, will lead to a more sustainable, prosperous economy, as well as helping to protect the environment.

“The reality is, this is the decade of change. We can all do something to help solve the climate crisis.”

Emma Kisby

For this reason, COGO was one of the six winning companies of the lastest Santander X initiative: Santander X Environmental Challenge. This is a global challenge for entrepreneurs with innovative green solutions to build a more sustainable future, and COGO beat more than 800 projects and 20 finalists globally.

Emma Kisby, the startup’s Managing Director, explained why Santander X’s assistance was so invaluable to the growth of COGO. Primarily, the mentoring programme took COGO’s pitch to the next level; by enabling them to refine their pitch into a concise, compelling presentation, they were able to get the investment they needed to grow.

Secondly, as a small startup, it can be difficult to get exposure. The Santander Environmental Challenge helped COGO gain popularity. Moreover, it instilled confidence in the COGO team that their green solutions were valuable and marketable, and had potential in the wider market.

“Through this process, we have connected with some amazing people in lots of different markets. I would heartily recommend being part of the Santander X Challenge”.

Emma Kisby

This belief was further reinforced by Santander’s engagement with the product. Via the Santander X Challenge, COGO began a collaboration with Santander UK to roll out the tool to their customer base –demonstrating the enormous potential of COGO’s technology for big banks.

Santander X is committed to projects like these and is always on the lookout for promising companies and compelling ideas. This is the reason why Santander X, in collaboration with Oxentia Foundation, launches the next Santander X challenge, Santander X Global Challenge | Helping Businesses Prosper,  aimed at startups and scaleups that have innovative projects that help companies to become more efficient

Each round, a group of international experts will evaluate the proposals and the four best solutions, two from startups and two from scaleups, will be eligible for different prizes. For startups, they will win €10,000, and for scaleups, € 50,000. In addition, they will have five hours of mentoring by experts of the Oxentia Foundation’s global community and the opportunity to present their solution to the Fintech Station, Santander's open innovation team, plus great visibility via the dissemination campaigns of the winning proposals.

Are you a startup or scaleup and have an innovative solution that contributes to digitization and increases business efficiency? Sign up for the Santander X Global Challenge | Helping Businesses Prosper and turbocharge its development.

(At the moment the Santander X Global Challenge | Helping Businesses Prosper has reached its end, but we encourage you to take a look at the Santander X to find the call that best suits you and push forward your entrepreneurships. Seize the opportunity!)

Emma Kisby, Managing Director of COGO