Provides businesses with climate risk management tools and services.www.427mt.com
Emilie Mazzacurati, who hails from France, was always interested in starting her own business, but the idea for Four Twenty Seven, the company she founded in 2013, grew out of a pitch she made to a now former employer. A carbon trading expert with a passion for analytics, Emilie suggested they explore potential services and business opportunities around climate adaptation. When the idea was not supported, Emilie moved ahead alone, taking an evening class in finance for entrepreneurs, writing a business plan, and eventually quitting her job to work full time on building the company.
Four Twenty Seven’s name is inspired by California’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the 427 million tons it was at in 1990. Emilie describes it very much as a ‘mission-driven business,’ providing tools and services to understand climate impacts, assess risks to business operations, and increase resilience by developing and implementing climate adaptation measures. More careful management of natural resources by businesses leads to a more resilient economy. ‘Corporations are a large part of the problem, and therefore need to be an integral part of the solution as well.’
Founded last year, the company currently has two main products: a climate risk calculator – presented in the form of a computer dashboard – and supply chain risk management, which models the chain to look at its exposure and vulnerability to climate-related risks and its ability to adapt accordingly. In services, it teaches courses on climate risk management and offers a reporting and consulting package that supports local governments and cities in their efforts to adapt to climate change.
‘Suppose you are a big tech company that relies on international suppliers to bring together the pieces of a computer for assembly. Mass flooding hits Thailand, where half of the world’s chip manufacturers are located and are out of commission for months. This leads to shortages and disruptions and millions of dollars lost.’ According to Emilie, ‘You want to know what you can do to identify risks and make your supply chain more resilient.’
At present, Four Twenty Seven is targeting the US market, where extreme weather events are estimated to have cost the economy U S $100 billion in 2012. While it started small as a one-woman venture, Emilie points out that there is strong growth potential. ‘The risk management services market in the US is a billion-dollar industry growing at an annual rate of 5.8%.’
A firm advocate of women’s rights, Emilie has found it challenging to build a business alone and is eager to join a community such as the Cartier Women’s Initiative and receive guidance on her business plan. Back when she was mulling the decision to enter entrepreneurship, she was also interviewed for a position to lead a climate-related programme for a foundation. ‘The positive feedback I received helped make up my mind! I decided that if they trusted me, I should trust myself with running my own venture.’