Employees at the Volvo Group in Göteborg, Sweden have been asked to reach a new level of carbon emissions obsession with personal cell phone-based CO2 “pedometers” that calculate the emissions of their daily commutes. The prototype emissions project, run in conjunction with the city of Göteborg, asked employees to set a target for reducing their environmental impact. Volvo employees diligently took the bus and rode bicycles whenever possible, resulting in an overall carbon footprint reduction of 30%. Participants in the experiment didn’t receive any compensation for their CO2 cuts, but future incarnations of the program could be even more successful if employees are offered some sort of reward for achieving their goals.
Volvo’s cell phone app figures out emissions based on means of transportation and distance traveled. The app makes alternative transportation especially easy by providing options for the purchase of public transportation tickets and the rental of gas-sipping cars.
The car company’s proprietary cell phone app isn’t yet available to the public, but other CO2-related apps are already on the market. The Clear Standards Carbon Tracker iPhone app calculates carbon footprints from commuting, vacations, and business trips, and the Avego iPhone app uses GPS technology to connect drivers with spare seats to passengers in need of a ride.