The Swiss Climate Challenge: MOTIONTAG technology behind Swisscom, Postfinance, Migros Pioneer Fund and SwissEnergy climate protection app

Starting point


Meeting the global goal of cutting CO2 emissions roughly in half by 2030 and ensuring climate neutrality by 2050 is a major challenge for all of us. In this context, Swisscom has launched the Swiss Climate Challenge initiative in cooperation with Engagement Migros, Energie Schweiz, and the South Pole. It aims to raise awareness and motivate the population to use more climate-friendly modes of transport. To do this, the company needed a technology that would make it possible to track participants’ mobility patterns and subsequently calculate their CO2 emissions.


The solution with the help of MOTIONTAG technology


MOTIONTAG’s SDK solution was integrated into the existing Swiss Climate Challenge app and tracks the users’ mobility behavior via location and movement data that the smartphone automatically logs after an active opt-in. The advantage of the app is that it can be used not only by Swisscom customers. 


In addition, the solution helps app users to learn about their behavior concerning the climate in a playful way and to compare Their performance with that of others. A reward system provides incentives to improve one’s carbon footprint. Users collect so-called Green Coins and Green Points, which they receive by achieving certain challenges. Some of these are activated directly after opting in, while others require a separate registration in the corresponding area for challenges.


The Green Points are received by the user after completing the task and offer the opportunity to compare themselves with others. They have no material value but can support a charitable project after all participants have been added. This is financed by the initiators of the Swiss Climate Challenge or additional sponsors.


Contrarily, the Green Coins have a material value and are provided by sponsors. Here, a task is defined for certain groups, e.g., a company, a city, or a municipality, and a monetary amount is provided by the sponsor for the solved task.


The Green Coins are issued by PostFinance AG and have the value of one Swiss franc. They can be redeemed in the marketplace for sustainable products, services, or donations. The goal here is to reward larger groups for climate-friendly behavior.


How does it all work in the background? To register, users provide either their email address or mobile number to ensure re-identification. Only after the opt-in has been granted the location and movement data can be accessed. The information is recorded and stored pseudonymously on the MOTIONTAG servers and enables MOTIONTAG to evaluate the mobility behavior and CO2 emissions of the user. The distances traveled per the mode of transport, the CO2 emissions and the impact on the climate are calculated using the pseudonymized data and stored in the user’s app. In addition, Swisscom conducts a further data assessment.


Users also have the opportunity to share additional climate-relevant personal statistics so that they can compare themselves with other participants and thus have a further incentive towards more environmentally-friendly mobility. For this purpose, the mobile phone number and an identification number are uploaded to Swisscom’s app cloud and stored pseudonymously for each participant. However, the decision as to whether or not to share the data is solely up to the user.


It is important to note that there is no possibility to trace any of the collected data back to individual persons.




Although the goal was to collect 100,000 Green Points, over 165,000 Points were successfully accumulated. As a result, Swisscom donated CHF 100,000 to two climate protection projects.


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