Sustainability? There’s an App for that.

November 29, 2013 - 13:49

Whether you’re looking to catch up on the latest news, find the best deals, lose weight or even track a ghost (yes, really), you can almost always find an online tool to help make the process fun and engaging. It’s estimated that more than 1.2 billion people worldwide are using mobile apps, and that number is expected to reach a whopping 4.4 billion by 2018. The driving force behind this new-age style of marketing is called gamification, where game mechanics are applied to a product, program or campaign in an effort to attract and engage consumers. Client response to gamification thus far has been resoundingly positive, as studies have shown that games drastically increase not only client engagement, but brand awareness and loyalty—key factors to added revenue.

The environmental sector has not been blind to this growth, and recent years have seen a number of ‘green’ apps hit the marketplace, with many apps offering creative and fun ways to raise awareness for sustainable activities and the environmental impact of our daily activities. Apps like EcoChallenge aim to teach users how to reduce their environmental footprint by presenting weekly eco-challenges, and awarding points for each task completed; scores can then be compared against those of your friends.

At Carbonzero, we can’t help but take note of the growing number of companies that have approached us looking for help in engaging employees in their green initiatives. One of our most successful client projects in this regard has been the ‘Acts of Green’ program. This initiative assigns a carbon value, or points, to common ‘green acts’ that relate to the home, workplace and community. Employees are awarded points for each act they pledge and accomplish. This framework creates a spirit of friendly competition, and motivates employees to strive for continual improvement while learning about which activities produce greater environmental results.

Skeptics may think the idea that games could produce a real societal shift is soft, but with more than 2.2 billion youth under the age of 18, and 6.8 billion owners of smartphones worldwide, it’s worth seriously considering digital gamification as a viable means to generating large-scale engagement in sustainable thinking. Click here for a list of some of the best eco-friendly apps available!

Let us know by joining the discussion on our LinkedIn Group, our Twitter feed or just send us an message if you’re not the social media type.

Jennifer Fisher, Project Manager