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The AWorld app, because there’s no planet B

By March 1, 2021March 2nd, 2022ecology, technology

Chosen by the United Nations for the #ACTNOW campaign to reach the 17 Sustainable Development GoalsAWorld is an app to guide users in adopting more sustainable lifestyles through everyday actions and challenges.

Cristina: Today we came to Torino to meet Alessandro Armillotta, he and his team have developed an app to measure our environmental impact and it’s been recognized officially by the UN for the #ACTNOW campaign. So how did that happen?

Alessandro Armillotta: So, at first we felt the need to take action, we understood that the climate crisis is hitting us everywhere. And with this urgency, we went straight to New York to show what we had in mind. We were developing this app, we felt there was strong need for it when knocking on the doors of who makes the sustainability guidelines, which is the UN. We met them at the 2019 Climate Week, I went networking and spoke to everyone, luckily enough I met someone at the communications office at the Secretariat. Our idea and our vision was so strong and we were so passionate about this that they felt there was a chance of collaborating on this project, so they opened the doors to us and officially invited us to support their #ACTNOW Campaign, the campaign for individual action on climate change and sustainability. And, together, we built this app which is AWorld in support of ACT NOW.

Cristina: That can be really encouraging for young people who have great ideas and they don’t know how to scale them. How do you measure the impact of daily actions?

Alessandro Armillotta: Well, first we wanted to change and shake things up, we decided not to calculate your carbon footprint, so in a negative way, we decided instead to calculate your savings. So suggesting easier actions that give you savings in terms of CO2, water and energy. Then we actually worked closely with the UN office UNFCCC and calculated on average how much your savings are on a daily basis by doing one of these actions. So let’s make an example, I’ll suggest to you Cristina – why not take a 5 minute shower instead of a 10 minute shower? Well, the app will tell you that by taking a 5 minute shower, you’ll be saving up to 47 litres of water on a daily basis. It’s important to show you these 47 litres of water, because if you can measure it, you can actually improve it.

Cristina: I’m with you on that, in fact my showers are 3 minutes long!

Alessandro Armillotta: Perfect!

Cristina: So in a few months you’ve had an impact already, what have your results been so far and what are your goals?

Alessandro Armillotta: We actually launched at the end of September [2020], up to today we are 40,000 very happy users. And active! We received a ton of feedback, we actually reached, all together, over a million logged habits around the world. So the app is open and free to everyone and I strongly encourage you to use it.

Cristina: Great job and good luck on this!

Alessandro Armillotta: Thank you!