Green Tech Matters – “TripShift – the automated CO2 tracker which shows your carbon footprint as you move

TripShift is an app that gives you unprecedented insight into the carbon you’re producing when you’re moving about, without you having to do a thing, and gives you suggestions and opportunities to make improvements to your habits and cancel out the carbon you’ve produced.

We interviewed Sebastien Thomas (Commercial Director) to talk about this incredibly exciting new product.

ADLIB: Can you tell us more about what the TripShift app does and how it works?

Sebastien: At the heart of the TripShift platform is an automated carbon calculator that is designed to get people moving better.

Its unique because we have managed to automate travel tracking. This means that while other carbon calculators which essentially function as calorie counters where a lot of input is required by the user, TripShift automatically identifies not just where but also how you are moving, calculating your carbon footprint based on your mode of transport.

We help our users as individuals and businesses understand their carbon footprint and provide context by visualising their data. They can see the relative carbon footprint of the various modes of transport they have used as well as comparing their daily, monthly and yearly data. They can also see on a map how the application has tracked and detected their journey.

TripShift then intelligently suggests options to show how the user can move better and reduce their carbon footprint. These are tailored specifically to users data and are updated live. Therefore if one day I am travelling by car within the range of 100 miles, Tripshift might suggest the use of an electric vehicle or public transport options.

The goal is to nudge people in the right direction by giving them a clear understanding of their transport carbon footprint and then provide them with specific solutions on how they can reduce it while still getting to where they need to go.

ADLIB: How did you come up with the idea?

Sebastien: The origins of TripShift are quite unusual for a start up in the environmental economy. Most of the founding team have extensive experience in the airline and private aviation industry. While working on a project, it became apparent that available travel and carbon data was both limited as well as being very expensive to obtain. How to source viable data became a key barrier, how can we make it simple, accessible and help businesses and consumers in an affordable format? TripShift was born!

TripShift was not designed for sustainable experts, it is designed for the rest of us. We set out to highlight how people are moving currently, the carbon they create, offer them alternatives and tips on how to reduce it. Giving that sense of what am I emitting now, how can I improve it and what does good really look like.

ADLIB: It looks like the app incorporates gamification where you can compete with others, can you tell us more?

Sebastien: User engagement is critical to our longer term goals. TripShift is designed to general tangible behavioural change. The more one uses the app, the greater the insight it will provide enabling the user to see a clear picture of travels, habits and patterns, highlighting opportunities to move better and reduce carbon emissions.

We approached this by incorporating gamification principles in the app. The landscape of the landing page which we call the “footprint page” is interactive. It changes according to your levels of emissions. If my emissions or low or if I have improved them in comparison to the previous day or week, the landscape will be lush with a clear sunrise. On the other hand should my emissions increase to a certain level the landscape will deteriorate and grey clouds will start to fade out the sun. It is very easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to the climate crisis. So many aspects are in play, what are my actions as an individual going to achieve. The different levels of landscape in the app are designed to give the user a sense of control and impact. Your actions have direct impact on your landscape and your goal is to keep it as healthy as possible.

In addition we have multiple leaderboards. Building healthy competition between users as well as a community. Making people realise they are not the only one on the journey to move better. We have two kind of leaderboards. The first compares the users average CO2 per km while the second compares “TripShift points” which are allocated to the users according their positive behavior and interaction with the app. In both cases the leaderboards are divided in a national as well as a friends league where the user can build they own community with friend and family or in the case of businesses different teams or departments.

ADLIB: What are you hoping the app will achieve?

Sebastien: Transport and travel accounts for 24% of global carbon emissions, road travel alone amounts to 15%. We have to dramatically decarbonise our transport system and TripShift wants to be at the front of that battle, helping us all to make a difference. To help businesses and users reduce their transport related carbon footprint. It is not about stopping people from traveling or commuting, mobility is essential. It is about getting you where you need go while producing the least amount of emissions. It is about doing the same things slightly differently. Getting people to move better.

ADLIB: What are your plans for the year ahead for TripShift?

Sebastien: Our immediate objective is the full launch of the TripShift platform. The app is currently available for IOS. Work is now underway on the Android version as well as the business dashboard. We want to build our user community, listening to our users and adding additional features and capability based on their feedback. As mentioned previously we want to play our part in the decarbonising transport. To become a recognized leader when it comes to recording, reporting and reducing transport related emissions.

The response to TripShift has been extremely positive. The year ahead promises to be a very busy one for us as we grow in the UK and eye expansion to the European market.

ADLIB: Thankyou Sebastien for the chat.

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Head Of Tech (Permanent)

CTO/Leads, Developers, GreenTech

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Mike Harley