THE PROBLEM

The client is a major food and agri-business company, operating in 60 countries and supplying food and industrial raw materials worldwide. With the growing conscience over a sustainable living, it is often confusing to make better decisions for the planet in everyday lives. The client needed a digital platform to help people make better sustainable choices. The aim of the project is to create a culture of sustainability and awareness on carbon emissions to individuals with the help of data driven digital solutions. The platform promotes sustainability in people using convenient, passive methods to gather data on the impact of small actions on the environment.

A carbon footprint calculator was to be developed for understanding individual carbon emissions for a certain period of time. The carbon footprint calculator needed to cover various aspects of emissions, especially at individual level.

The basic components detailed below need to quantified to generate usage data and assess its impact;

Carbon Footprint Impact Assessment From An Individual Level

Travel

  • Collection and interpretation of Individual commute data generated by smartphone sensors
  • Accelerometer traces are interpreted in real-time by the engine’s algorithm for detection of the transportation mode, while GPS data together with recurring online map queries establish the actual way covered

Electricity and Fuel Consumption

  • Upload each month’s Electricity bill and track electricity Consumption
  • Upload Fuel bill and track Fuel consumption

Food Habits

  • Track each users meal plans
  • Calculate and track each users Carbon footprint from food habits

Other Activities

  • Daily Activities
  • Buying Eco Friendly Products

From our research, people have low incentive to be eco-friendly as they value convenience over the environment. More often than not, leading a zero-waste or active eco lifestyle is costly on the short-term and thus, a high barrier to entry. The current attitudes towards the environment shows that users feel that their small actions do not make any significant impact. We want to incentivise people using convenient, passive methods to gather data on the impact of small actions on the environment.

THE SOLUTION

After analyzing the requirements our data engineers were able to capture different elements in everyday lives that can be quantified on an individual level. The solution included a mobile application for individual users and a web platform for admin users which could create awareness about sustainability in users.

The app would track and motivate users to choose sustainable choices in their daily lives by implementing the following strategies;

Team Perfomatix was able to consolidate an application that calculates the carbon footprint with the following functionalities;

User profiling

  • Asking simple MCQs to provide an initial profile of user upon registration, essentially ranking users and giving them points based on their attitudes towards carbon reduction
  • For example, users who have poor eco habits start from 0 points, and users who are good advocates of the environment start from 1000 points
  • Sending push notifications with action buttons, allowing user to give a straightforward easy data input without being disruptive to their routine

Motivating people to use the platform

  • Gamification – Compete with friends/globally to see who gets the most points every week (by logging activities)
  • A ranking system to show your “mastery” of reducing carbon emissions – e.g. level 1 is a Eco Rookie, level 10 is an Environment Reverend
  • Community and connectedness – Blog and information on the eco-movement, to see what others are doing to help
  • Activity feed, to see what kind of content is being posted/what kind of activities are they tracking that serve the environment, from the people the user follows

User behavior tracking 

  • Intelligent Notifications – The application will analyse user logs and activities to show optimal push notifications
  • For example, Notify user to input actions early morning or do not show notifications during the users working hours

We have identified there are 3 types of users for this application

  • Group 1 – Active users / Environmental activists (minority)
  • Group 2 – Passive users who are interested in the cause but may not be dedicated to input data (majority)
  • Group 3 – Users who claim to be interested but are not really interested. (minority)

As the group 1 users will be willingly providing the data promptly, the primary objective of this app is to target group 2 users who are the majority, to gather data from them in an intelligent user friendly manner. The calculator would work with the priciple of Relatability, by tying their tracked activities and lifestyle habits to realistic impact – e.g. Lights switched off per hour = 10 points = 0.51kg of CO2 saved = $0.09 saved

Co2 Emissions Calculations Based On Publicly Available Data

Fuel

Consumption(Lit)*1.52/No: of persons in the household = Co2 Emissions(kg)

Electricity

Consumption(KWH)*0.43 = Co2 Emissions(kg)

Daily Commute

  • Petrol Car – Mileage(Kms)*0.18= Co2 Emissions(kg)
  • Diesel car – Mileage(Kms)*0.17= Co2 Emissions(Kg)
  • Hybrid/Electric car – Mileage(Kms)*0.12 = Co2 Emissions(Kg)
  • Motor Bike- Mileage(Kms)*0.1= Co2 Emissions(Kg)
  • Bus/Public Transport – Distance(Kms)*0.1 = Co2 Emissions(Kg)

Food

  • Meat Eater – 1.189 tonnes of CO2 emissions/month
  • Fish Eater – 0.647 tonnes of CO2 emissions/month
  • Dairy Products-0.631tonnes of CO2 emissions/month
  • Vegetarian- 0.4775 tonnes of C02 emissions/month

The user roles as per the requirements are as follows:

  • End user
  • Admin

The components of the platform are as follows:

  • Android application for end user
  • iOS application for end user
  • Web application for admin

ARCHITECTURE DIAGRAM

INDICATIVE SCREENS

TECHNOLOGY STACK

Technology Stack

FrontendAngular
BackendNodeJS – Loopback
MobileIonic Cross Platform
DatabaseMySQL
Content StorageAmazon S3
Push NotificationsAmazon SNS

ESTIMATED COST AND SCHEDULE

Total Project cost including development, testing, and deployment (USD)
Development of  Sustainability Tracking Solution  USD 45,000
Estimated Duration  14  Weeks

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