Interview: Jenny Morgan of Tradewater and Anne Pisor of Fortifyd

Jenny Morgan of Tradewater and Anne Pisor of Fortifyd met in June to talk about their mutual passion – using data to educate, support, and inspire behavioral change.

Data to Drive Impact

Jenny (Tradewater): Tradewater is preventing some of the most toxic greenhouse gases from entering our atmosphere, land, and groundwater. We are doing it in a way that can be scaled quickly and effectively all around the world. We’ve taken data to understand how we can best utilize our skill sets, our dollars and our time to enact the biggest amount of climate impact we can do today. How is Fortifyd using data to drive impact?

Anne (Fortifyd): Yes! You all are using data to prevent climate disaster, while Fortifyd is using data to help people prepare for some of the impacts we’re already feeling. Two important parts of the puzzle! At Fortifyd, we’re creating an app that helps people prepare for climate impacts, especially natural disasters. What I find is that people are really overwhelmed about where to start. We take the data, help people actually figure out what they should do to protect themselves first, set goals, and then track those goals that are actually personalized for them. 

Jenny: That’s amazing. We know that people sometimes feel climate change is somewhat outside of themselves, but what you are saying is climate disaster is not a confusing puzzle that we don’t have solutions for. Putting tangible actions to these really big, complicated concepts is really smart. What’s taken you from this transition from a data-driven mindset to actually providing specific tools and steps that can get someone from point A to point Z?

The backstory

Anne: I’m a scientist. I’m a professor when I’m not working on Fortifyd. I started wanting to understand how households actually prepare for climate impacts. I wanted to talk to people: How are you doing this? What’s working for you? And folks stopped me. They said, we’re happy to share data, but we actually want recommendations.

I figured out that I basically needed to have both things in my life to make that happen: to study what people are doing and what’s working for them, but then also to support solutions that are tested and tried and true for people who are looking for them right now.

The necessary 3: data, information, human behavior

Jenny: Having both is key. The B Corp community, which is how you and I became connected to each other, has done very well managing both. They address climate change, climate preparation, becoming climate resilient, and how that all not only impacts the environment, but our collective home. Why do you think it is so hard to prepare for these types of impacts?

Anne: I’ll bring in my behavioral scientist hat to answer this. You have to feel, ‘I can do this.’ This really popped up when I first started working on the project that eventually became Fortifyd back in 2022. I was talking to farmers, I was talking to activists, I was talking to students, and I was really struck by how often they mentioned that they were overwhelmed and that they didn’t know what to do. What we really hit on in these groups, and what you hear again and again in the climate communication space, is that motivation and hope really help in terms of getting people from knowing they need to do something to actually making that impact – providing ingestible pieces of information. Having something or someone that you trust to guide you through that process is really key, and that’s where Fortifyd comes in.

Jenny: That is where our messaging comes together. (At Tradewater), we’re targeting greenhouse gases that are the most potent, and warm the planet thousands of times faster than carbon. They can’t be sequestered once they’re leaked and everyone feels that sense of urgency you mentioned, but it doesn’t actually go into an actionable sense of urgency. If we can effectively meet people where they are, then we can make an enormous impact on climate security. 

Stories are the connectors

Anne: That’s a big actual focus in my lab. Going from numbers to relatable stories about everyday people making change. There are a number of platforms I think that do this really well. One of my favorites is actually Yale Climate Connections. They use a combination of their blog and radio stories to digest data into stories that often have really positive messages.

I think inspiring change really means telling the story in different ways for different communities. And telling the story in ways that inspire hope and meet people where they are. Everyone wants a life where their family and friends are safe, and their direct environment is protected and secure and supports a livelihood that fulfills them.

And underserved communities are often forgotten in the climate adaptation investment space, in terms of money and support, when it comes to preparing for impacts like severe storms, flooding, and wildfires that we experience often in the Northwest. Fortifyd’s mission is to help people get there regardless of physical disability or income, or whatever may be standing in their way. What those obstacles are is unique to each person’s journey, and we want to accommodate for that. 

Preparedness is the plan

Anne: We realized that our strength was really to focus on helping people get from point A to point B. We connect with our audience to define the kind of risks they may be facing at the moment and share what they can do about it. We find that folks already have, for example, weather apps and AQI apps that are working well for them, so then we provide solutions beyond just the data.

One other space we find where people are really hungry for next steps is when they’re buying a home. They’re often very aware of the risks that come with that home because they’ve gone through the process of doing all the inspections and looking at the risk assessment for that area. And suddenly they’re in this moment where they really want to know what to do next. This is the key moment to catch people and say, hey, here’s something that you can do.

The dynamic climate duo ended with: hope for the future, and 3 Takeaways

Jenny: I am really glad there are companies like Fortifyd that are helping the individual take action on protecting themselves. My belief is that if they are able to alleviate their concerns a bit around their own climate security, they can then help fund and support solutions in their communities to truly curb climate change. It really works hand-in-hand, so that we can put all actions in place to create climate security for all. And that is exciting!

To end, what is exciting you about this climate momentum?

Anne:  I’m excited for the next decade. And one of the reasons is, I think there’s been a shift in attention and prioritization of climate adaptation. I’m inspired by the increased investment of money and of attention into climate adaptation and climate resilience.

And I also see interest now increasing in the industry space where folks are actually saying, ‘yes, I want to see more companies that are helping people adapt to climate impacts.’ I’m excited to be part of that through Fortifyd and also through my academic research. I’m very inspired by what is happening with Gen Z. I’m finding in my classroom they’re ready to act and that energy is really inspiring.

Jenny: Thank you for the conversation, Anne, and I, too, am optimistic about the solutions both Fortifyd and Tradewater are making possible. For those out there listening, the take-aways are: individual action is still action, start small with achievable goals, leverage others that can help, and community matters.

Thank you for your time!


Emission reductions are considered permanent if they are not reversible. In some projects, such as forestry or soil preservation, carbon offset credits are issued based upon the volume of CO2 that will be sequestered over future decades—but human actions and natural processes such as forest fires, disease, and soil tillage can disrupt those projects. When that happens, the emission reductions claimed by the project are reversed.

The destruction of halocarbon does not carry this risk. All destruction activities in Tradewater’s projects are conducted pursuant to the Montreal Protocol , which requires “a destruction process” that “results in the permanent transformation, or decomposition of all or a significant portion of such substances.” Specifically, the destruction facilities Tradewater uses must meet or exceed the recommendations of the UN Technology & Economic Assessment Panel , which approves certain technologies to destroy halocarbons, including the requirement that the technology achieve a 99.99% or higher “destruction and removal efficiency.” Simply put, this means that Tradewater’s technologies ensure that over 99.99% of the chemicals are permanently destroyed. During the destruction process, a continuous emission monitoring system is used to ensure full destruction of the ODS collected.


Some carbon offset projects necessarily rely on estimations or assumptions when calculating the emission reductions from project activities. Forestry projects, where developers make assumptions about the carbon that will be sequestered over future decades if trees are conserved, are a perfect example. Such projects sometimes result in an overestimation of the environmental benefit of the project.

Tradewater’s halocarbon projects avoid the issue of overestimation by consistently conducting extremely precise testing and measurement of the amount of refrigerant destroyed in each project.

  • Every container of ODS that Tradewater destroys is weighed by a third-party using regularly calibrated scales. The ODS is then sampled by a third-party and analyzed by an accredited refrigerant laboratory to determine its species and purity. These two steps combine to ensure that credits are issued only for the precise volume and type of refrigerant destroyed.
  • The destruction facilities that Tradewater uses continuously monitor the incineration process during destruction events to ensure that over 99.99% of the ODS is destroyed. This monitoring is mandated by regulatory protocols and is part of the verification process to which projects are subjected.
  • Tradewater accounts for the project emissions created during the collection, transport, and destruction of ODS, and the number of offsets issued is reduced by a corresponding amount. The protocols that we use also build in other reductions to account for substitute chemicals that will be used to replace the destroyed refrigerants. Tradewater publishes this information in the documentation for all its ODS destruction projects. These documents outline how the material was obtained, the project emissions calculations, the test results, and the amount and type of ODS chemicals destroyed, among other information.
  • Additionality

    It is a basic requirement of all carbon offset projects that the underlying project activities are additional. “Additional” means that the projects would not happen in the absence of a carbon market. Tradewater’s halocarbon projects simply would not happen – and the gases would be left to escape into the atmosphere – without the sale of the resulting carbon offset credits. This is because there is no mandate to collect and destroy these gases. It is still permissible to buy, sell, and use halocarbons that were produced before the ban. There are other reasons halocarbon destruction projects are additional:

    • There are no incentives or financial mechanisms to encourage halocarbon destruction. According to the International Energy Agency and United Nations Environment Program, “there is rarely funding nor incentive” to recover and destroy ozone depleting substances in storage tanks and discarded equipment. And collecting, transporting, and destroying halocarbons is time-intensive and expensive. The burden to collect and destroy these gases therefore remains prohibitive outside of carbon offset markets—meaning that if organizations like Tradewater do not do this work, nobody else will.
    • Countries are not focused on the need to collect and destroy halocarbons. The Montreal Protocol has been celebrated as a success because of its production ban. This success, however, ignores the legacy gases produced before the ban and is a blind spot for government regulators. In the U.S., for example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed a Vintaging Model in the 1990s to estimate the quantify of ozone depleting substances left in circulation. Based on the inputs and assumptions put into the model, the EPA predicted that no CFCs would be available for recovery beyond 2020 in the United States. But this prediction did not prove accurate. Tradewater has collected and destroyed more than 1.5 million pounds of CFCs globally in recent years and continues to identify thousands of pounds per week.
    • International carbon accounting standards do not require corporations to measure or track emissions tied to halocarbons, and refrigerants are specifically excluded from Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) commitments. These commitments derive from emissions reporting under the GHG Protocol, which requires companies to report on emissions only from new generation refrigerants, such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), but does not establish any obligation to report inventories or emissions of refrigerants still in use, such as CFCs and HCFCs. All these factors combine to make Tradewater’s carbon offset projects highly additional. As Giving Green, an initiative of IDinsight, concluded: “Tradewater would not exist without the offset market, so this element of additionality is clearly achieved.” The case for additionality is not so clear for some other project types, such as forestry and landfill gas carbon projects. For example, some forests are already being conserved for their beauty, or for use as parks, and generate carbon offset credits only because those conservation efforts do not yet have full formal protection in place to avoid deforestation in the future. Similarly, methane from landfills can be used to make electricity or captured as compressed natural gas, thereby creating additional revenue streams to support the activities, beyond the sale of carbon credits.