Kickstarter and EDF Team Up to Push for Greener Product Development

New Features on Kickstarter Encourage Environmental Thinking at the Idea Stage

November 27, 2018
Natalie McKeon (EDF), (212) 616-1338,
David Gallagher (Kickstarter),

(BROOKLYN, N.Y. — November 27, 2018) Kickstarter PBC and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) today unveiled new features on Kickstarter that will help creators evaluate and reduce the environmental impact of their products.

Kickstarter and EDF worked together to develop an information hub called the Environmental Resource Center, as well as a space where project creators are asked to publicly commit to environmental practices. These features will help thousands of people create sustainable products by embedding environmental considerations into the early planning stages.  

“As a Public Benefit Corporation, Kickstarter is obligated to consider the impact of its decisions on society, not just on shareholders,” said Perry Chen, Kickstarter’s Chairman and CEO. “We’re committed to helping creators make environmentally conscious decisions, and these new features are our biggest step yet toward fulfilling that commitment.”

Kickstarter staff worked with an EDF Climate Corps fellow, Alexandra Criscuolo, over the last nine months to conceptualize and develop the new features. EDF Climate Corps is a fellowship program that empowers and connects environmental professionals with leading companies to help accelerate the transition to a clean energy future.

The Environmental Resource Center, at, presents case studies and best practices from industry experts on how to assess, adopt, and communicate sustainability efforts. With a digestible format and pointers to information around the web, the Center will serve as a starting point for research.

The other new feature is an important change to Kickstarter’s core service. When creators are getting ready to launch design and technology projects, Kickstarter will ask them to commit to reducing their environmental impact in five key areas: long-lasting design, reusability and recyclability, sustainable materials, environmentally friendly factories, and sustainable distribution. Their responses will appear in a new “Environmental Commitments” section of their project pages.

These features will reach thousands of people who are on the path to making a product, as well as the people who choose to support them. Over the past year, 9,500 design and technology projects were launched on Kickstarter, attracting more than a million supporters.  

“We’ve seen an increased interest from the public in knowing how products are made and how they’ll impact our planet. Creators who are thinking innovatively about ways to produce sustainable products will gain an advantage,” said EDF president Fred Krupp. “The Environmental Resource Center is an important new tool for scaling sustainability throughout the entire Kickstarter network — and beyond.”

The Resource Center features tips like these:

  • Consider how your product can be repaired if it breaks: “Make disassembly easy by choosing  crews to bind parts instead of glue, for example.”
  • Design your product with recycling in mind: “Black plastics aren’t usually seen by optical recycling sorting systems, causing them to end up in landfills.”
  • Think carefully about your packaging: “Use sustainable filling materials like organic starch cushioning, instead of styrofoam.”

The Environmental Commitments feature is available now for design and technology projects in the US, Canada, and Mexico, and will expand to other countries in the coming months.

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Kickstarter ( is where creative projects come to life — everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Since its launch in 2009, 15 million people have pledged $4 billion on Kickstarter, funding more than 154,000 projects. Kickstarter is a Public Benefit Corporation based in Brooklyn, N.Y., with a team of 150 people.

Environmental Defense Fund (, a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on EDF Voices, Twitter and Facebook.