Climate Smart

An app for our times

Climate Smart was an innovative company that trained businesses on how to track and reduce their carbon emissions.

They offered an integrated certification service: a unique blend of training, personalized coaching, and software for small and medium sized businesses. In other words, Climate Smart was a startup way ahead of its time.

The company succeeded by persevering on its mission and accruing expertise, hard data, and a significant customer portfolio, exiting successfully — with our help! — in the fall of 2020.

The challenge

Climate Smart was using a third-party app adapted for their needs and it was difficult (or impossible) to make changes. More importantly, they did not have direct access to their own data. They needed a multi-tenant web application for customers to enter their emissions data, with admin capabilities for managing accounts and emission factors.

They had a logo and some initial branding work, but they needed great design to make their offering stand out. The marketing website needed to be something they could manage themselves going forward.

What we did

To address these challenges, we ported the functionality of the app from their previous provider’s platform to their own Ruby on Rails app with tests. We then repatriated their data to their own database.

We also built a scalable content marketing sytem. This ensured that as the customer base grew, so would their presence in search engines with a Climate Smart certified business directory. The custom-built marketing website gave them control over their content, branding and messaging.

Rough sketch of reporting area
Screenshot of finished reporting area
From whiteboard sketches to finished product

Thanks to the design system we built for them, we delivered a consistent brand experience and were able to implement new features faster.

We kept the software and infrastructure dependencies up-to-date and monitored services and backups. We managed their infrastructure with Netsign’s in-house automation.

As we continued developing new features over the next decade we also provided support with design, user experience, and strategy.

We provided the design and implementation of a second product microsite,, a data product that provided Business Emissions and Energy Profiles (BEEPs) for municipal governments.

In the summer of 2020 we implemented a branding refresh led by FlipSide and ran with it, carrying the new design throughout the website and application.

  • Ruby on Rails
  • Vue
  • PostgreSQL
  • Sidekiq
  • Ansible

How it turned out

We were able to successfully port the app and ensure all the imported data tallied to the correct emission totals in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. This was no small feat with the amount of data and number of calculations involved while changing the implementation.

Creating their own app and owning the data built the foundation of Climate Smart’s intellectual property. It positioned them to be nimble as they led thousands of client businesses on their carbon accounting and emission reduction journeys.

Climate Smart login Climate Smart login Climate Smart login

As Climate Smart’s product development partner for a decade, we were able to ramp up or ramp down development efforts as needed to ensure Climate Smart continued finding success through product-led growth.

When Climate Smart was acquired by The Radicle Group, (who then became our customer) in October 2020, we were the technical point of contact for due diligence, helping them move seamlessly to their next chapter.

Netsign proved to be our key strategic software development partner from start up to acquisition. They helped us meet many milestones and built us a robust platform that delivered impact.
Elizabeth Sheehan President, Climate Smart Businesses Inc.