Companies looking for ways to encourage their employees to carpool or take alternative transportation to work now have a new tool at their disposal - a GPS-enabled carbon footprint application for the iPhone.
Available for free download at the iPhone App Store, the Carbon Tracker, from carbon-management firm Clear Standards, enables users to calculate the carbon footprint from daily commuting, vacations, or business trips.
The application takes advantage of the iPhone's GPS function to estimate distance traveled. Emissions are calculated based on averages from tools developed by the World Resources Institute.
Users can also set monthly "maximum emission" goals and monitor their progress against their own personal carbon footprint reduction targets.
"Although Clear Standards is known for developing carbon management software for businesses, we recognize the important role of individuals in helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," says Richard Mendis, co-founder of Clear Standards. "The Carbon Tracker iPhone app...engages individuals as part of our overall carbon management and sustainability solutions."
Both businesses and their employees stand to gain from cutting commute distances. Sun Microsystems' Open Work telecommuting program, for example, not only cuts the company's building management costs but also saves employees more than $1,700 a year in gasoline and wear and tear on their vehicles, according to Sun's latest statistics.