By Ben Goldhirsh
From businesses selling vegetables grown locally with less energy than those grown and shipped from different parts of the world, to companies creating sustainability objectives, the proliferation of the smartphone and green initiative apps are influencing, enabling and creating more responsible and sustainable business and consumption decisions.
In fact, as sustainability becomes a greater strategic initiative for organizations, more sophisticated apps are appearing to help them address such pressing objectives as sustainable sourcing, the paperless office, and supply chain management.
The first wave of sustainability apps was focused largely on consumers, providing guidance, for example, on reducing energy consumption at home. But this year, of the estimated more than 400 million green mobile application downloads, an increasing number of them will be aimed at corporate green initiatives and sustainability.
And as this number expands, so too does the need for advanced analytics of the data produced. In an increasingly mobile corporate culture, companies reporting their progress toward sustainability are starting to turn to the Big Data generated from mobile devices to glean insight to help make more responsible decisions while meeting customer demand.
For example, the 123 Zero Build app estimates the cost and savings for using solar (photovoltaic) panels to offset annual carbon emissions for any U.S. office building. The TripSketch Green Book enables travelers to easily find eco-friendly hotels, restaurants, green attractions, transportation and tours in more than 80 cities in Europe, the U.S., Canada, Asia and Oceania.
As green initiative mobile applications become a driving force in everyday business ventures and daily living, challenges surrounding land-energy-water use and our overall carbon footprint will be increasingly easier to tackle. For many, these green business problems were thought to be unsolvable a mere half decade ago.
Going mobile can enhance business sustainability initiatives and create a reliable form of green standards for business executives, employees and consumers to follow. Businesses that do so will see tangible benefits, such as a higher environmental profile, which leads to increased brand loyalty and in turn, a stronger bottom line.