Crowdfunding site Kickstarter is calling upon its creators to be more environmentally-minded, partnering with the Environmental Defence Fund (EDF) to launch an environmental commitments questionnaire and a matching resource centre.

One of the most popular platforms for crowdfunding projects, Kickstarter's focus has naturally been on providing a platform which allows creators to reach as wide an audience as possible and raise the funds they need to build - or, at least, attempt to build - their dreams. Now, though, the company is looking to reduce its environmental impact, teaming up with the Environmental Defence Fund (EDF) to encourage its users to think about the environment when launching a new campaign.

'Our creators may have a vision for a new piece of technology or design, but they may not know a lot about manufacturing, much less environmentally responsible manufacturing,' explain Kickstarter's Heather Corcoran and Danny White in a joint announcement. 'We can help get them thinking about sustainability at exactly the right time.

'To do that, we teamed up with the Environmental Defence Fund. A fellow from the EDF’s Climate Corps program, Alexandra Crisculo, worked with us over the past nine months to develop two features that we are launching today. We're introducing a new way that Kickstarter creators can detail their commitments to considering the environment as they make and ship their projects. When creators are building their project, they will be asked if they can commit to reducing its environmental impact in five key areas: long-lasting design, reusability and recyclability, sustainable materials, environmentally friendly factories, and sustainable distribution.

'We're also launching an Environmental Resource Center that is the first such guide aimed at people and teams in the early stages of creating a new product. We compiled it by talking to industry experts and summarizing what’s out there already. It's meant to be a starting point for research by our creators — or anyone else who might find it useful.'

Kickstarter's push for sustainability only goes so far, however: The company has confirmed that the environmental commitments are wholly voluntary, but claims that 'creators will welcome the opportunity to tell potential backers about the work they've done and plan to do in these areas [while] backers may also choose to support creators whose commitments align with their values.'

At present, the environmental commitments questionnaire will only appear to creators launching campaigns in the Design and Technology categories and located in the US, Canada, and Mexico, with more countries and categories due to be added in the coming months.


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