Swiss Climate Challenge | How does travel impact the environment?

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Around half of all CO2 emissions in Switzerland are caused by people travelling, including flying and travel abroad. At the touch of a button, a new app now shows the environmental impact of your journeys compared to your fellow travellers.

The Swiss Climate Challenge, a joint initiative of Swisscom, South Pole and Engagement Migros with support from SwissEnergy, provides transparency on the environmental impact of your journeys as well as game-based incentives and guidance on how to start making changes.

Climate change is one of the great challenges of our time. Nevertheless, most people find it hard to see how they can make a difference on a personal level. Not least because, before now, calculating one’s own CO2 footprint required considerable effort and could only be estimated.

Swisscom, South Pole and Engagement Migros, with support from SwissEnergy, intend to change all this with the Swiss Climate Challenge initiative.

Today, they are launching a new ‘piggyback’ application that can be used to measure your own mobility behaviour at the touch of a button from popular media apps. At the launch, the function will be exclusively available in the Blick app. It is listed as a separate item in the menu.

The Swiss Climate Challenge thus creates your own personal carbon footprint and shows how easily it could be reduced – and the impact this would have.

“We know from many conversations with sustainability-conscious customers that there is high demand for honest and transparent CO2 analyses,” explains Res Witschi, Head of Sustainability at Swisscom. “Our technology is able to show everyone how their individual actions affect the climate.”

Reducing your carbon footprint is like counting steps

Anyone taking part in the Swiss Climate Challenge can see at a glance how much CO2 is generated by different forms of transport – and the environmental impact of their travel compared to the population in their own canton or Switzerland as a whole.

They also discover how much the climate would improve or deteriorate if the entire world population followed their example. To incentivise behavioural change, participants can also measure themselves against others. This can either be done anonymously with other users or openly with friends and family who can be invited to join in the Challenge. “Climate change is no game, but participants can still have fun while doing their bit to improve the environment,” explains Res Witschi. “It’s a bit like the pedometer. That too was a fun way of encouraging us to move more and improve our everyday fitness.”

Results to be used in climate research

To set the technical barrier as low as possible while at the same time ensuring maximum data protection, users are given complete control over how their data is used and for what purpose. Before using the app, participants are required to accept the terms and conditions of use and the privacy policy (opt-in). They are also free to withdraw their consent at any time.

In addition to the Swiss Climate Challenge, the aggregated data records obtained, which do not contain any personal identifying information about the users, may be used by Swisscom for the purposes of climate research, in collaboration with Swiss universities.

An innovative solution for Switzerland

Swisscom itself has been at the forefront of sustainability since the start of the company’s history. With future-oriented investments in its own operations and innovative solutions for its customers, Swisscom is today helping to save more CO2 than it generates. The Swiss Climate Challenge represents another tool that Swisscom and all the partners in the initiative hope will encourage behavioural change on a personal level for the good of the climate through a voluntary, fun challenge. Ultimately, this will benefit the entire country.

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