Launched in March 2012 by the Scottish Government, SSE, SEPA and Microsoft, the SME EnviroApp challenged developers to create a software application for small and medium-sized enterprises to help play a part in delivering Scotland’s ambitious carbon emissions targets.
On 11 October Scotland’s First Minister presented the £50,000 prize at the Scottish Low Carbon Investment conference to the winning developers, software company Green Oak Solutions and their project partners from Glasgow Caledonian University, who won praise for their ‘Care to Compare’ smartphone and computer application that enables small and medium-sized businesses to measure, manage and reduce their carbon footprint. The free app, which educates businesses about carbon and provides tools to plan and measure improvements in areas such as energy use, water consumption and waste management, was selected as the winner after a closely-fought finals day in August.
The First Minister said: “I’m delighted to present this well-deserved award to the team from Green Oak Solutions and Glasgow Caledonian University. Their winning app can help businesses across Scotland to measure, manage and reduce their carbon footprint, while making cost savings at the same time. The SME EnviroApp competition has not only uncovered one winning app, but several other great ideas that are being taken forward and I congratulate all of those who took part. This successful initiative is also testament to the important work being undertaken by Scottish business and industry and the leadership being shown by the 2020 Climate Group.”
The winning team are now planning how to bring the app to Scottish businesses, including a development visit to Microsoft Global Apps and Environmental Teams in Washington which forms part of their prize. The app is expected to be available by next April.
Ian Marchant, Chair of the 2020 Climate Group and Chief Executive of SSE, commented that ‘I have been encouraged by the innovative response to this competition from Scottish developers, the quality of entries was very high and Green Oak Solutions and the team at Glasgow Caledonian were worthy winners. Their app will provide a vital tool for businesses to help them to respond to Scotland’s ambitious carbon reduction goals’.
SEPA Chairman, David Sigsworth, said:
“A clean and healthy environment is essential to Scotland’s economic success. SEPA is keen to help companies improve their resource efficiency and profitability, growing our economy and protecting our environment at the same time. I am delighted that we were able to support the development of this app, and congratulate Green Oak Solutions on their success. I look forward to the app being available to help SMEs contribute to achieving Scotland’s carbon reduction target, and as a vehicle to improve access to SEPA’s resource efficiency guidance for businesses.”
Derrick McCourt, Microsoft’s Scotland Director adds:
“Microsoft is keen to support the Scottish Government s Low Carbon Agenda, and firmly believes that technology has a major part to play in encouraging businesses and consumers to be aware of the significant £savings that a low carbon approach can bring, through for example reduced travel, being promoted though our Anywhere Working campaign, or the reduced energy usage that Care 2 Compare encourages. I add my congratulations to the Green Oak team, and we are providing whatever support we can to deliver a successful App, and to make sure that the trip to Redmond provides invaluable learning on our latest development platforms”