11 Jan 2019 Story Environment under review

Finger on the pulse of your food footprint

Hugh Weldon, Young Champion of the Earth for Europe in 2018, and the team at Evocco are taking their app to the next level in 2019.

They started off on a good note, named among the Irish Times' “50 people to watch for 2019”.

Evocco was named among the top 50 people in Ireland by the national newspaper for their smartphone app, which helps consumers to align their purchasing behaviour with their ethics. The app, already available to a select group of consumers, will be officially launched soon.

The tech company has also been listed among 30 top tech start-ups to watch in 2019 by the Silicon Republic, a key resource in Ireland for technology news.

“We designed a solution to help engage people on the climate impact of the food products that they buy, allowing them to reduce that impact every time that they leave the supermarket —a bit like a fitbit for tracking your food impact,” said Weldon.

When you take a picture of your food shopping receipt, the app gives you a climate breakdown of the products that you’ve bought, also helping you track your impact over time. The Evocco team have already made some impressive advances since winning the Young Champions of the Earth prize in September 2018.

“We’ve organized a pilot for customers and have seen some strong interest already, including among two supermarkets and a catering company. This is really exciting, and a great boost to the design of the app,” said Weldon.

Evocco now has its first office at Huckletree co-working space in Dublin and is discussing collaboration with a digital receipt company based in London.

“We've completed initial testing and are currently implementing a new dataset with more climate impact scores so that we can expand testing further,” he added. “At the same time we're working out a lot of bugs with the product. Testing is slow but vital.”

The team wants to increase development capacity in 2019 and is looking to hire new team members. For example, they are looking for an iOS and Android app developer and someone with marketing experience in business-to-consumer software.

In addition to applying for funding grants, the team presented at the Creative Responses to Climate Change conference in Dublin hosted by the French Embassy.

“It’s really exciting for us to be working with UN Environment on this, and this year we look forward to empowering people to reduce their impact on the environment through the food they eat.

“A key part of this work is to help people lose that feeling of hopelessness that often surrounds conversations about climate change. We believe helping people to make those small changes every single day is a great step in the right direction.”

We encourage everyone who wants to make a difference for our planet to see if they have what it takes to be a Young Champion of the Earth. Stay tuned to this website—the application portal is opening soon! The Young Champions of the Earth Prize is powered by Covestro.