Nowadays, as consumers we are becoming more aware of how we spend our money and who we are giving our hard-earned cash away to. The practices of businesses, whether they are green, ethical, fair trade, sustainable etc., are increasingly a priority to us, but even when we make an effort to only shop ‘ethically and sustainably’, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Enter the new App from GoCo, a way for us to track the carbon impact of our spending in real-time, and which shows us how to improve it by reducing and offsetting.
1. Creating CoGo
CoGo was founded by Ben Gleisner, an environmentalist from New Zealand, with the idea to help consumers change their spending patterns and purchase from companies that share their values. The app is designed to to make ethical living easy, as ‘the first ethical recommendation engine’, to empower consumers with information so that they can make informed purchasing decisions that most benefit people and planet. Currently it is based in the UK and New Zealand, however there are hopes of expanding.
Thanks James for this! Made our day. That and the fact that we found a flapjack we forgot to eat yesterday in our coat pocket.— CoGo UK (@CoGo_UK) December 8, 2020
Join James in moving towards carbon neutrality with CoGo – it’s totally free: https://t.co/fx0EPzOdek https://t.co/saLfrfIEdY
2. How it works
Through using the CoGo app, you are able to:
- See your real-time carbon footprint
- View your people-positive spend
- Grow your positive impact
- Explore the most ethical and sustainable businesses
- Offset your emissions
- Become part of a community
The CoGo app is connected to your bank account to enable it to see the businesses you purchase from. Once you’ve downloaded the app (via Google Play or the App Store), you enter which issues are a priority to you (living wage, environment etc.) so that it can provide the most useful information.
By linking directly to your spending transactions and lifestyle choices, CoGo calculates your personalised carbon footprint in real-time using a carbon footprint tracker built by their team of world-leading carbon footprint specialists and data scientists. You are then able to track your monthly percentage of your spending with real Living Wage businesses and learn how you can support businesses that put people at the heart of what they do, and you can also see what practices make you more environmentally friendly, such as buying green energy or cutting out meat etc.
By seeing the results of your spending on your app, you can reduce your carbon footprint and increase your people-positive spend by committing to actions. The app helps you to learn how to change your lifestyle with its personalised ethical recommendation engine, suggesting changes such as improving waste disposal habits or renting rather than buying your clothes. You can also use it to discover thousands of businesses across the UK and New Zealand that match the social and environmental issues you care about, including loads of great independents.
Husband-and-wife team @TrueStartCoffee make Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee hand-bottled in the UK. ☕— CoGo UK (@CoGo_UK) November 26, 2020
Discover gazillions of do-good companies on CoGo now: https://t.co/Gpgfq8Qmng pic.twitter.com/UWEzLr5yms
To help you aim for and achieve carbon neutrality, the app shows you carbon reduction projects that you can support to help you tread more lightly on the planet. These projects are overseen by Southpole, a social enterprise that works with governments and businesses to decarbonise the economy. By downloading CoGo you also join a community of individuals and businesses that are driving for change, and importantly you can see the real impact you are all making together.
3. GoCo initiatives
Alongside the important information GoCo provides consumers with, it also has several positive initiatives to contribute to a better world. The app employs sustainability experts and in-house fact-checkers who monitor the practices of businesses who are listed, assessing whether these companies are reducing waste, paying a fair living wage or donating to social and environmental charities. Additionally, they provide feedback to brands in order to help them improve their sustainability.
How #LivingWage is your spending? 💸 Find out your #LivingWageScore on the CoGo app to see if your spending your money where your heart is.— CoGo UK (@CoGo_UK) November 12, 2019
Join the #CoGoFoundingCommunity here: https://t.co/l1366iu9vd pic.twitter.com/mc7DOm545L
So far, the CoGo app has been downloaded more than 50,000 times globally. In the UK, it has more than 20,000 businesses listed, all approved by partners such as the Carbon Trust, the Sustainable Restaurant Association, Social Enterprise UK, Co-Operatives UK and the Living Wage Foundation. In order for CoGo to offer complete coverage of the UK, many more independent shops and high street retailers will have to sign up, but if this proves successful it will certainly make shopping ethically a whole load easier, and will hopefully expand on a more global scale so that worldwide we can do our best to support people positive, ethical and sustainable businesses and initiatives. Find out more here.