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"CO2 Pedometer" Lowers Volvo Group Employees' Emissions
Kerstin Hanson
Business Innovation Manager
Volvo Group
Gothenburg, Sweden

Kerstin Hanson, 43, developed a "CO2 pedometer" application for cell phones, which measures commuters' carbon emissions. Inspired by the data, Hanson's test group altered its behavior and reduced its carbon footprint by 30%.

"The main reason people drive to work alone is because that's what they usually do. We want to promote efficient transport solutions, and sometimes public transportation is the right option, which helps free up the roads for drivers.

With the pedometers, we wanted people to make a conscious choice by visualizing the consequences of their driving habits. People suddenly start to think, Maybe I don't need to take the car today. In business, what gets measured gets done, and it's the same for individuals. People feel a sense of accomplishment in reducing their CO2 emissions and even compete with colleagues to see who can reduce the most. It lets us use the carrot instead of the whip to help people change their behavior."

A version of this article appeared in the September 2009 issue of Fast Company magazine.