The new ecomove app helps users comprehend and reduce their own personal mobility emissions and offset unavoidable carbon emissions. The Audi Denkwerkstatt innovation unit in Berlin came up with the idea for the app. The app will be presented to the public for the first time at the GREENTECH FESTIVAL (June 16 – 18).
Climate change is the greatest challenge facing humanity in the 21st century. More and more people therefore want to understand how much carbon dioxide (CO2) they are generating themselves – such as through their own mobility. This is precisely where an idea from the Audi Denkwerkstatt comes into play: the ecomove app.
The Audi Denkwerkstatt is an ideation and incubation hub operated by AUDI AG in Berlin. Here, Audi employees on permanent and temporary assignments develop digital business models – like the ecomove app – as part of small, interdisciplinary teams that work at the intersection of the group and the start-up ecosystem. “We always work in a user-centric way during our innovation process,” explains Tim Miksche, head of the Audi Denkwerkstatt. “Users’ needs represent both the starting point and what drives the development of our digital solutions.” The ecomove app was born out of many people’s desire to comprehend their own carbon footprint and make corresponding changes to their individual mobility choices.
The ecomove trifecta: understand, reduce, compensate
The ecomove app helps users understand and reduce their personal carbon footprint resulting from mobility as well as offset unavoidable emissions. For example, the app automatically recognizes which means of transportation users are currently using and calculates a personal mobility score. To improve this score, ecomove playfully motivates users to make their mobility more sustainable. Rewards in the form of trophies are used to encourage users to make positive changes in their behavior. In addition, users can offset remaining emissions through the app.
“We wanted to develop an app that makes something as abstract as carbon emissions more accessible and guides people to rethink their own mobility,” says Jan Schäfer, ecomove project manager at the Audi Denkwerkstatt. The GREENTECH FESTIVAL is the ideal place to present ecomove to the public for the first time and to discuss it with potential partners.
Based on the acceleration patterns and the speed at which users travel a certain distance, the app’s algorithm calculates which mode of transportation they are currently using. Whether someone walks, takes the bus, or the train, average carbon emissions values are logged for each mode of transportation. This is reflected in what the app refers to as a `mobility score´, which compares the amount of carbon emitted with the distance traveled. This results in a number between zero and 100.
Based on the targets defined in the Paris Climate Agreement, users can achieve the best result, i.e. 100 points, if their carbon footprint is below 55 g of CO2/km. On the other hand, anyone with a personal mobility score of zero has emitted significantly more than 200 g CO2/km by the means of transportation of their choice.
Collect trophies, reduce emissions
The app encourages users to improve their mobility score and thus reduce their carbon footprint. For this purpose, ecomove offers various challenges. For example, users are prompted to “Achieve a mobility score of at least 80 in two consecutive weeks” or “Use at least two different modes of transportation for five consecutive days.” If the user successfully completes the challenge, they receive a virtual reward. This award in the form of an icon is added to their trophy cabinet.
Compensation through climate projects
Any user that wants to can also offset their remaining carbon emissions via climate credits. In this context, users can select from a number of technological and social projects as well as reforestation concepts. For example, users can invest in solar parks or support water treatment projects. Only projects certified to the highest standards are listed in the app. And the best part is, users can invest in these projects quickly and easily right in the ecomove app.