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Tanita Mehta

June 5, 2023

Tweak Carbon: Empowering Behavioural Change for a Sustainable Future

Comments like “First ask the companies in China to reduce their footprint” are a common sight on Tweak's ads, and we couldn't agree more that companies need to change the way they produce goods and be held accountable by their respective countries. However, we can't ignore the fact that we, as consumers, play a crucial role in driving that change. We must be willing to stop buying products from companies that prioritise profit over sustainability, such as Shein, Shell, and Nestle.

Some may argue that individual efforts won't make a difference, but let's not forget the case of GameStop, a company that shifted the stock market with the power of individual choices. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) agrees that social and behavioural changes, or demand-side solutions, are essential in addressing climate change. In its sixth assessment report (AR6) released in April, the IPCC highlights the potential of lifestyle changes such as adopting a more sustainable diet, reducing car and air travel, taking shorter showers, and embracing the reuse and repair culture. The report estimates that such changes could result in a 40-70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Linear vs Recycling vs Circular Economy (image source)

To transition towards a sustainable future, we need to address three critical challenges:

  1. Lack of awareness: Many people are unaware of their carbon footprint, hindering their ability to take meaningful action.
  2. Ineffective management: Without proper understanding and management of our carbon footprint, progress becomes difficult.
  3. Incentivizing change: People need motivation and rewards, whether through social pressure or financial incentives, to embrace sustainable practices as highlighted in this study
Image courtesy of the Scientific American

Much like the way calorie information on food packages revolutionised consumer choices, we believe that change begins with individuals making conscious decisions. By understanding the impact of our choices, we can drive demand for sustainable products and influence companies to prioritise ethical and sustainable practices. This is where Tweak comes in.

Enter Tweak—a pioneering South African carbon accounting platform designed to tackle these challenges head-on. By connecting users' bank accounts, Tweak provides a personalised dashboard that offers insights into the size and impact of their carbon footprint. Armed with this knowledge, individuals can make informed decisions and receive tailored tips for leading sustainable lifestyles. The monthly reset feature allows users to track their progress over time, providing a tangible measure of improvement. Moreover, Tweak Carbon introduces a reward system that incentivizes eco-conscious behaviour. Users can redeem their rewards in Tweak's green marketplace, featuring affordable, secondhand, local, and sustainable goods. As users buy from these small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), their carbon footprint further diminishes, leading to increased rewards. This establishes a self-fulfilling cycle of environmental consciousness.

By providing users with knowledge, tools, and the right incentives, Tweak empowers them to make informed decisions that align with environmental sustainability. We believe that change begins at the grassroots level, and by equipping individuals with resources to understand the impact of their actions, Tweak enables them to contribute to the global mission of achieving net-zero emissions. With Tweak, consumers can make more conscious choices and support companies that prioritise ethical and sustainable practices.

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