A group of employees from the Volvo Group in Goteborg, Sweden are taking part in a prototype project in which a personal “CO2 pedometer” has kept a check on what their commuting to work costs in the form of carbon emissions.
Their commutes are registered using software in their mobile phones. By changing their behavior, the group reduced their carbon footprint by more than 30%.
Participants use their mobile phones to contact a website where they register. The environmental impact is calculated on the basis of distance and means of transport. Tickets for public transport can also be purchased via mobile phones and eco cars could be booked and unlocked in the same way.
Many participants chose to take the bus or bicycle instead of traveling by car. People who leave their cars at home are able to make business trips during working hours using eco cars from a car pool.
“If this kind of IT-based system can increase people’s motivation to use alternative means of transport, we can also reduce the load on our roads,” says Niklas Gustavsson, director of environmental and social affairs at AB Volvo. “This means that commercial traffic and the people who have to use their cars will be able to travel more smoothly.”
“We are currently analyzing the results and they look promising. Several of the participants are going to continue commuting by bus, as they have seen just how smoothly it works,” says Kerstin Hanson at Volvo IT, where the prototype was developed.