Kora app: creating a new economy by rewarding sustainable action

by Dasha Shvaikovsky

Knowing that global emissions need to be reduced by 50% before 2030 is no longer enough. Politicians, businesses and civil society have a fair share of work to do to make this pledge a reality.

How can our everyday actions reflect our individual efforts to curb the emissions and get us closer to the desired climate goals? A new app, Kora, suggests a simple, yet effective solution: users get paid for saving the planet!

What is Kora?

Kora is a free mobile app that is designed to track the individual’s sustainable behaviour by tracking their CO2 footprint to better understand their impact on the environment. With every action, the user’s carbon savings score will be impacted. 

The current version of the app is focused on transportation and mobility, where users can earn “Koras” for every sustainable commute, be it for using an electrical vehicle, public transportation or simply walking. The app receives data about the user’s movement to calculate emissions from their activities.

Here, data integration is key: Kora integrates with Apple Healthkit to obtain information to track steps and walking/running distance. The data is safely stored in a pseudonymised form on the servers of AWS, and can be withdrawn at any time. Carbon emissions calculations for transportation are based on information from Lufthansa Innovation Hub, Mobitool, BMVI, UBA, Handelsblatt, and Statista.

Kora brings an example of a regular gasoline car, which emits, on average, 200g of CO2 per km driven. Therefore, your carbon footprint will increase by 200g for each km that you drive. And for every km that you walk or bike, you earn another Kora.

Kora is a points system based on reducing your carbon footprint

The points are called Koras, and 1 Kora = 1 Kg (2.2 pounds) of CO2 reduced. The reduction is measured against certain benchmarks, e.g. driving a car over 1 km (0.62 miles), or eating 200 g of meat (7.05 Oz). 

Kora app: creating the new economy by rewarding people for sustainable actions - CleanTech News
Source: Kora App website

Reward system is different from the analogues: instead of taxing people for the carbon production, Kora puts a monetary value on carbon reduction.  The app also adds multipliers based on the amount of effort it requires to complete the action:

  • Walking: x7 – you get 1 Kora for 1000 steps (around 140g CO2 reduction)
  • Staying at home: x3 – you get 12 Koras for 1 day stayed at home (3kg CO2 reduction)
  • Biking: x2.5 – you get 1 Kora for 2km ridden (around 400g CO2 reduction)
  • Public transport: x1 – you get 1 Kora for 7km travelled (1kg CO2 reduction)
  • Electric car: x1 – you get 1 Kora for 10km travelled (1kg CO2 reduction)
  • Train: 0.5 – you get 1 Kora for 15km travelled (2kg CO2 reduction)
Kora app: creating the new economy by rewarding people for sustainable actions - CleanTech News
Source: Apple Store

Koras earned by the user can then be redeemed in the Kora build-in marketplace, where a range of different products from Kora and its partners are featured.

Sustainable community

Kora also strives to build a community of sustainability advocates and help individuals who are collectively making an impact. The users can compare their progress not only with their own personal carbon saving goals but also with their friends and with the collective action of their respective region or country.

The future vision of the company is to also include the food and energy industry data in the app, as well to add even more sustainable action options. Kora’s mission is to create a new economy for sustainable living.

Interested in trying the app yourself and earning your first Kora’s? Download the app here!