Climate change: Government app to ‘encourage small lifestyle changes’

Written by Sam Trendall on 20 June 2022 in News
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Environment agency signs £500k deal with software developer

Credit: Pixabay

Work will shortly begin on a £500,000 project to create a government app which aims to change young people’s perceptions that they cannot impact climate change and encourage them to make “small lifestyle changes” to reduce their carbon footprint.

The For Planet Climate Change app is being created by the Environment Agency, which has awarded a £500,000 contract to app developer 3 Sided Cube. The deal comes into effect on 27 June and lasts for an initial term of two years, plus an option six-month extension.

The project to build the app – which will be targeted at children aged between 12 and 15 – was born of a collaboration with between the agency and representatives of the UK’s youth parliament.

A key objective of the technology will be to help counteract the perception that means “people think their small actions don’t make a difference and they don’t have enough knowledge on climate change to raise their voice”, according to the contract notice, published earlier this year.  The hope is that the young users of the app will "can engage their parents, guardians, [or] carers in taking climate-change action".


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To do this, the app “will allow individuals to share information and encourage small lifestyle changes within their homes and communities, positively impacting carbon footprint and contributing towards the UK net zero target” to be carbon neutral by 2050.

“For the app to help effect change then we anticipate that we would need hundreds of thousands of users,” the EA said. “If users can be anonymous that would be our preference but if there are good technical reasons for them to authenticate then the supplier should explain the reasoning.

The technology will be a native mobile app for Android and iOS operating systems. A prototype was developed as part of a previous alpha phase, but EA has specified that it wishes to start anew with a fresh system.

3 Sided Cube is expected to provide the entire development team, other than a product manager, a project manager, and a business analyst to be provided by EA – which is an arm’s length body of the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs. 

 Once the technology is live, the expectation is that a third party will also be responsible for its management.

 

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology. He can be reached on sam.trendall@dodsgroup.com.

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