Could gamification help make corporate travel green?

Previous attempts to use gamification to prompt corporate travelers to make specific decisions never really took off.

But with sustainability top of mind for many companies, the concept could be revived as companies look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

GBTA research from earlier this year reveals that 88% of the business travel industry sees addressing climate as a top priority. In addition, 80% of the companies surveyed already have a sustainability program or a sustainability team.

While carbon reduction efforts are already in play in many large corporations, one area, or “black box,” companies have less information about what an employee’s carbon footprint is as they move through cities.

To help empower employees to make more sustainable transportation decisions while commuting or commuting, mobility platform Iomob is launching its WheelCoin app, which rewards employees for making greener decisions.

The concept is based on the popularity of “move2earn” projects, such as SweatCoin and Step’N, which reward consumers for exercising.

Boyd Cohen, co-founder and CEO of Iomob, says: “The big black box for businesses is how employees move around cities, how much emissions are generated going to and from the office and when they travel to other cities for work and one time”. they are there.

If you want to create an engaging way to encourage people to go green, you need to make it fun.

Boyd Cohen – Iomob

“They know about flights, but they don’t know about the rest of mobility on the ground. The idea is not to penalize an individual employee, but rather to create some transparency and awareness for the company about the overall emissions of employee mobility so that they think about how they can encourage employees to move more sustainably.”

The app also serves as a way for companies to demonstrate their green credentials, which helps attract and retain talent, says Cohen.

App users earn WheelCoin by opting for lower carbon options. A single WheelCoin is equivalent to 1kg of carbon avoided, and users can see how much carbon they have avoided over the course of the day.

Behavior change

The gamification element allows users to compete with others through leaderboards that show who is saving the most emissions in a city or in a club, for example.

To earn WheelCoin, users must buy or earn NFTs with the tokens available for various types of bikes, trains, and other modes of transportation.

“The app detects motion and triangulates data to detect and validate which mobility mode you’re using. We detect walking, cycling, public transportation, trains, cars and planes, but we’re not rewarding cars and planes because they’re not low carbon,” Cohen says.

“If you want to create an engaging way to encourage people to go green, you need to make it fun, you need to do things to encourage people to want to earn more so they actually change their behavior.”

David Bishop, COO of Gray Dawes Group, a UK-based travel management company, sees the potential.

“…using this concept from a green angle seems like a smart and lasting way to do the right thing. Environmental concern about flying is not going to go away and will only increase as Gen Z voices become more prominent in the debate,” he says.

“We have a client that we met this week, and their new policy is focused on environmental impact and they are discussing a department/project ‘leader board’ for environmental impacts. It’s weird, as some departments/projects will require more travel than others, but then it’s about using this as a baseline to take data based on travel options (mode/plane) in the future.”

Opportunities

In addition to the corporate travel use case, Iomob also sees potential in partnering with airlines to incorporate WheelCoin into existing loyalty programs.

“With a commercial airline, one of the things on the table is a branded WheelCoin app. Could an airline have its own ground mobility loyalty program based on our green mobility gamification scheme? Airlines are trying to figure out how they can be part of the low-carbon economy given that they can only reduce emissions from the planes themselves to a certain extent,” says Cohen.

“Is there a path to create some kind of interchange between an interoperable ground mobility loyalty program and an airline loyalty program? It’s a better way than just doing carbon offsets.”

The WheelCoin initiative also plays into Iomob’s own strategy going forward, with Cohen insisting the development is a “powerful synergy” between WheelCoin and Iomob’s mobility platform.

“Within 2023 we will inject the Iomob network into the WheelCoin app. It’s critical to our business and revenue, but it’s really what’s going to make it truly sustainable in the long run. And the app economy will work better when you can earn WheelCoin not only for doing good things, but also earn more for booking green mobility within the app,” he says.

“So the incentive scheme will evolve and we think WheelCoin will become what we call our demand partner. We believe it will be our most in-demand partner for the Iomob mobility network.”

He adds that moving to B2C through WheelCoin means the company is no longer constrained by waiting for industry partnerships to form.

“We can go big and fast and that allows us to accelerate our vision of being the largest mobility network in the world.”

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