Kim Heras is a Sydney-based technology writer and entrepreneur. His passions include the Australian startup industry, innovation and the Kim Heras is a Sydney-based technology writer and entrepreneur. His passions include the Australian startup industry, innovation and the web as an enabler of change. You can follow Kim on twitter - @kimheras
The Volvo Group has teamed up with Australian startup, PocketWeb, to build and launch Commute Greener – a mobile and web based service aimed at helping commuters reduce their carbon footprint.
It was a smart move for Volvo to hook up with the Pocketweb team. They are a recent winner of the global Nokia Innovation Award as well as the Queensland Galileo Masters award for satellite navigation.
Using the Commute Greener site/app is dead simple, especially the iPhone App.
Once you set it up you define the trip you plan to take and modes of transport you might use (e.g. the car, train, bus, ferry or bicycle). The application then calculates how much carbon dioxide is emitted when using those different modes of transport
There’s also has a strong online community component for exchanging experiences and for running carbon dioxide emissions reduction competitions between colleagues, friends and family members.
“Our tests have shown that individuals can quickly reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by more than 30 per cent using Commute Greener!” says Magnus Holmqvist at Volvo IT.
The service is also available to corporate customers who can use it to measure and reduce the CO2 footprint of the whole company or selected departments.
The first organisation to run the app across its employees is the City of Göteborg in Sweden. No doubt many more will join in the coming weeks and months.
Below is a 3 minute video explaining the service. It looks like it could have been shot by the BBC, so it’s not super-exciting but it covers the good points.
Personally, I think Commute Greener has the potential to be like a Nike+, the running community that has been a great example of how corporates can embrace social media to help ordinary people get value out of something they’re passionate about, without being evil about the way they do it.
In light of the recent Copenhagen Climate Conference and the increased awareness (the non-sceptic) people have of the importance of reducing carbon emissions, I can really see people jumping on board and wanting to be part of a global community of greener commuters.
Have a watch of the video and let me know what you think.
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