BetterPoints aims to reach 10 million kg of CO2 savings by December 2021
Since 2010, we have helped our clients motivate people to mitigate 5 million kg of CO2 emissions. We aim to double that by December next year.
It’s an ambitious target. But we face a climate emergency and, as many countries begin to emerge from lockdown, now is the perfect time to change the way we treat our planet.
We’re not new to this game, though: we have a track record of encouraging active and sustainable travel such as walking, cycling, car-sharing and taking public transport. We have helped businesses and local authorities, in the UK and beyond, motivate people to take small steps to changing their behaviour in ways that add up to a profound impact on public health and the environment.
Our technology famously helped the city of Bologna get 22,000 people out of their cars and travelling more sustainably. Just by walking and cycling a bit more, they alone mitigated 1.4 million kg of CO2. Small gestures add up: if we could encourage such populations to turn those new behaviours into habits, imagine how much we could achieve?
Cars are major polluters. The European Commission estimates that cars are responsible for around 12% of the EU’s total CO2 emissions. In fact, depending on which factors you take into consideration, long journeys by car can be even more polluting than taking an aeroplane. Ditching cars is certainly not a panacea for climate change, but the more people we can encourage to use alternatives, the more chance we have of changing habits and attitudes and reducing emissions in meaningful quantities.
And we’re pretty confident because the mood is finally beginning to shift. Only today, a group of major multinational corporates – including Microsoft, Danone, Nike, Unilever, Starbucks and Mercedes-Benz – launched an alliance dedicated to ‘speeding up the business community’s transition to net zero‘.
Of course, measuring how much CO2 hasn’t been emitted is a dark art: it depends on many, many variables – not least the size of car, number of passengers, traffic (cars stuck in traffic jams emit 2.5 times more CO2 than in normal conditions) and whether the air con is on (air conditioning can add as much as a whopping 20% to the amount of CO2 emitted). For our part, to measure the CO2 emissions saved by our users, we assume that each journey replaces one in a large petrol car (as defined by Defra, 2013).
Will we hit our target? We don’t know. We certainly hope so. But we need to grasp the opportunity right now to embed the greener and healthier behaviours that people began adopting during lockdown.
So we’re going to give it our very best shot. We’re determined to reach December 2021 with 10 million kg of mitigated CO2 emissions under our belt.
Are you a BetterPoints client? Ask us how you can help reach our target.