In Depth: The Environment, CO2 Consumption, And Commute Greener!

  • April 25, 2011 8:53 pm


Planet Earth has a finite number of resources and amount of said resources to give. Once everything has been exhausted, we face larger issues than deciding which Starbucks location to blog away at. Seriously. Environmental issues are cause for concern, regardless of what you label it.

Consumers have choices however. We can car pool, walk, use renewable energy, etc. Though it would be both handy and interesting to see how much CO2 you as a human being (or company) actually pump into the atmosphere, wouldn’t it? One such app that allows you to do just that is Commute Greener, a joint venture between Volvo Group and New Zealand based Pocket Web, a company who specializes in location-based information intertwined with social media.

Over the past few days, we’ve had the pleasure of talking with the founders of Commute Greener, Michael Heinzel and Alexander Koeppen about what exactly Commute Greener’s updated service can do for the average consumer as well as large corporate and where the pair see the app going in the future. Hop on past for the full interview…

GS: What was the initial driving motivation behind CG that really got the ball rolling? Any big event or news article that made you say “Wow, we really need to do something to help people…”?

CG:

Initial motivation clearly was that the greenhouse gas problem had reached a tipping point. To really make an impact, we intended to be in the market way before the Kyoto follow up conference in Mexico. So we wanted to raise awareness of each individual that they are part of the problem, but also can be a significant part of the solution!

GS: How has adoption been amongst corporate users? Consumers?

CG:

Adoption amongst organizations is high with initial partners as the cities of Mexico, Gothenburg etc. and many others currently in discussion with our partner Volvo Group, e.g. The San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago and New York. Interest is also high from corporate users where we have done initial initiatives and are currently working to extend our service offering to address the requirements of Corporate Social Responsibilities Officers.

While consumers were using the solution from day one as well, we will really address this target segment now in a third wave by adding new features around social media and further commuting related support features

GS: Where do you see CG going in terms of added functionality, reach, features, etc. in 6 months? 12 months? 36 months?

CG:

We don’t want to give away the road map yet but it is clearly around improving features for our 3 target segments - organizations/cities, corporations and individuals for all eco-mobility related aspects. This can include travel information, ride sharing, sound reporting etc.

GS: Any future ideas that involve external add-ons (ie: hardware devices)?

CG:

Regarding hardware we clearly focus on mobile devices, but are open for additional requirements from partners (e.g., GPS tracking of buses etc.).

GS: Any plans for apps on other platforms?

CG:

As for the underlying Pocket Life Platform we currently approach partners across industries who want to extend their services by mobile locations based and social media blended services. Our next launch will be a general location based service that will address the privacy issues users have with services like Facebook and others. We want to allow users to make use of their location without even having to register or login.

While Commute Greener is clearly marketed more towards the corporate environment currently, the envisioned social media aspects do sound intriguing. As of writing, Commute Greener is available in the App Store free of charge.

GS readers: Have any ideas or tips for the Commute Greener staff moving forward?

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Gadget lover, smartphone collector, and beer connoisseur. I've been writing about gadgets for three years now and loving every minute of it. Outside of the digital landscape, I enjoy being active outdoors. I'm always up for a good conversation, so feel free to drop me a line!