The SME EnviroApp competition came to an exciting and challenging conclusion at the Finals Day on Friday when each of the five finalists presented in front of a panel of judges and gave live demonstrations of their apps at the Microsoft Offices in Edinburgh. The 2020 Climate Group is delighted to announce that Care2Compare (an App built by Green Oak Solutions with assistance from Glasgow Caledonian University students) was the successful winner of the competition.
The competition was launched in March by the Scottish Government, SSE, SEPA and Microsoft. The app was to raise business awareness amongst SMEs of climate change requirements, measure progress towards carbon reduction, or assist SMEs in either carbon management or enhanced energy efficiency.
The five finalists (Festivals Edinburgh, 1Part Carbon, Envirodigital, Care2Compare and Linknode) each had a very different idea for the SME app, taking different approaches to the same problem. This resulted in a challenging task for the judging panel, especially given the quality of the ideas being put forward. The distinguished judging panel comprised of Ian Marchant (Chief Executive of SSE and 2020 Climate Group Chair), David Sigsworth (Chairman of SEPA), John Mason (Director of Business at the Scottish Government) and Lars Lindstedt (Principal Software Economist at Microsoft).
The thrilled winning team (above) is a collaboration of Glasgow Caledonian University students and Green Oak Solutions, a small Scottish software applications company specialising in environment and sustainability solutions. The University side of the collaboration is comprised of Professor Jim Baird of Glasgow Caledonian University’s School of Engineering and Built Environment and two students from the University Martin Garrett and Max Engesu. Managing director Robert McKechnie and Steven Livingstone-Perez from Green Oak Solutions complete the team.
In his blog about their win, Robert McKechnie said “I’m delighted to report that the Green Oak/GCU entry was chosen ahead of stiff competition from a group of great ideas from the other four finalists”.
Their winning idea was based on the concept of taking the SME on a carbon journey through a number of stages. These stages were:
Compare – enter some basic energy information as well as size of premises, number of employees and turnover and compare energy performance with other companies in your sector;
Take Action – select from a number of categories including energy, heat, water, waste and pick specific reduction actions and see the cumulative impact in terms of cost and CO2;
Measure – companies can then subscribe to Green Oak’s carboncheck, carbon management platform in order to monitor and measure on an ongoing basis;
Plan – create a reduction plan and track progress against the plan.
The Care2Compare team have a busy time ahead following the finals day with presentations to the wider 2020 Climate Group Community, a presentation at the Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference in October, an App to develop and promote and a trip to Redmond, Washington. The trip to Washington is to meet with the Microsoft Global apps and Environmental teams and forms part of the prize along with £50,000 towards developing the app.