France

Being green pays off

8 Marzo Mar 2012 1827 08 marzo 2012

A brand new website rewards people for being green saving them up to 200 euros per year

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A brand new website rewards people for being green saving them up to 200 euros per year

Being green is time consuming and we all know that time is money. Whether recycling, taking public transport or car pooling your environmentally friendly activities are bound to cost you precious minutes, which is why three French environmentalists have come up with the idea of rewarding green behavior.

Through a website called CitéGreen users are encouraged to carry out actions that decrease their carbon footprint, like separating their waste, travelling on transport powered by renewable resources and using green energy to power their homes. Partnerships with local authorities, organisations and green companies enable CitéGreen to track the activities of its members and every time a green action is accomplished members are awarded points which can then be traded at partnering companies for discounts on products and services.

"The goal is to encourage consumers to engage in socially responsible behaviour while at the same time providing them with an increased purchasing power, especially in this economic climate," says Emmanuel Touboul, one of three founders of CitéGreen. The user interface is easy to use and once you have registered all you have to do is choose what area you want to engage with – recycling, eco-mobility or renewable energy. Once you have accumulated enough points you receive vouchers which you can use in 14 partners, all of whom are sustainable businesses. "An average user will receive the equivalent of 200 euros per year," explains Emmanuel Touboul. Some of the partners include clothing brand LeKiosque.fr, Tudo Bom, CanalPlay, Ethos (organic clothing), Natura Box and electric bike maker Buzibi.

Recycling

Recycling, eco-mobility and renewable energy are the three areas CitéGreen is concentrating on for now. It is currently "in discussions with local authorities to develop a system capable of measuring the amount of household waste being recycled," says Julien Schweickardt, president of CitéGreen. The idea is that the recycling bins will be equipped with RFID chips (Radio Frequency Identification) that will identify both the household and the weight of waste being recycled, for each kilo of recycling the household is awarded 20 points. Calculating the quantity is fairly straightforward, according to Schweickardt, “the real challenge is measuring the quality of the recycling "

Transport

Among the other partners are also Tickengo car pooling and Cityzencar car sharing. By the start of the summer Paris' bike sharing Vélib should also become a partner. "Other French cities may soon follow," says Schweickardt.

Energy

CitéGreen has partnered with Planet Yes, a 100% renewable electricity supplier. Members can earn up to 100 points every month and after eight months they earn an 120 euro discount on the purchase of an electric bike. "We need a paradigm shift”, explains Touboul. We do not want to force people into this shift but ease them into this new logic. Citégreen hopes to reach 100,000 members by the end of 2012.

www.citegreen.com