Earn for being green

Greencoin tracks your environmental impact. When you have a positive impact, you earn Greencoin currency. You can  spend it on sustainable products.

What is the problem

Man-made environmental damage is a looming, multifaceted threat that is deeply felt by many people with a strong sense of stewardship over the planet and concern for social justice, their loved ones and future generations. The need to act is increasingly in the public mindset, but  lack of clear information around the positive or negative impact of people’s choices, both as individuals and as a collective, make efforts feel wasted and can be a large disincentive to take decisive action.

How Greencoin responds

Greencoin provides a fully transparent tracing infrastructure and unified ‘GreenScore’ points system to give a clear understanding of the impact of your decisions. Coupled with this new awareness is a currency called Greencoin, which is earned through environmentally positive performance. The service measures and incentivises good behaviour and enables all types of value chains to incorporate environmental value far more.

Get rewarded for being sustainable:
Every sustainable action you do or product you purchase will reward you with Greencoin and increase your GreenScore.

Know your impact:
Helps you truly understand how your actions have an impact on the planet.

Spend your ethical money:
Use your Greencoin to buy sustainable products and services in the knowledge that you have earnt them and that they are good for the planet.

Take responsibility collectively:
Connect your communities and share your score to get collective GreenScores, so you can act together or compete with rivals.

Find out how we did a ‘backcasting of the value propositions’.

What we

We demonstrated a low fidelity prototype of Greencoin to high-need users and this is what we learned:

  • Our extreme users’ response to this was that it would support actions they currently struggled with because a unified platform would help them consistently balance money and ethics in a robust and informed way, while also providing  financial benefits.

Essentially, they see the access to clear and reliable information as a form of empowerment that would help them know they were doing all they could and help them do better.Emerging areas of interest around this proposition are about:

  • the use of the metrics; 
  • the origins of authority within the service; and,
  •  its roots in capitalism
Find out how we ‘Discussed the implications of the prototypes’.


Use of the metrics

People describe wanting to use the scores and coins as a way to educate their families and friends and to support their arguments for more positive behaviour. It seems that advocates for environmental action would find ways to integrate these metrics into everyday life to preach their message to others as well as to game, compete and police their own lives.
Could the use of the metrics distance people from the underlying values and reasons for them?
Could the distinction between a high and low scoring person create new types of barriers and judgements between people?
How does the proposition compensate for effort when we consider that different people have different capacities to ‘act environmentally’ and that the score could be felt as a judgement?



One of the main discussions around the service was about who had the authority to initiate the service and to make judgements about the environmental practices of ‘everything’. This was questioned from the angle of what was technically feasible to achieve as well as who or what process had enough neutral respect and authority in the public eye that it could legitimately administer these judgements without fear of corruption or bias. This question ultimately unveils the need for someone to design algorithmic assessments that would ‘solve’ ethical dilemmas at a global scale, (e.g. Which scores higher, a book printed in europe or an amazon kindle made in china?). What happens if these assessments are made incorrectly? if they influence people disproportionately? If they are corrupted? While the question is profound, ultimately, our users were comfortable settling on authoritative figures in their lives such as David Attenborough or ‘Which?’ (the consumer goods reviewing service).



For us, the final area of emerging discussion within this space is about the clear alignment of this model with the capitalistic prerequisite for growth. The proposal could be described as totalitarian-hyper-eco-capitalism. It is clear that growth in its current form cannot be sustained, but what other models are needed and how might civilisation navigate from the current state to the next? Would models like this enable a stepping stone in cultural change? Would it prolong a delusion? If it did facilitate change, would this be the right direction?

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Our new direction of exploration

If this proposition is progressed, the strategic question of relevance to our investigations is more along the lines of:

How might technology affect the way micro-actions are influenced at large scale to support people’s values and prevent catastrophes, while avoiding manipulation, corruption and collective mistakes?

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Ethos learns, tracks and guides people’s behaviours to help them live more in line with their values and beliefs.


Pragmatic collectives

Distrust in the ability of governments and large organisations to offer genuine solutions to pressing issues may result in the adoption of individual action organised around new models of ethical priorities and infrastructures.


Scarce authenticity

Technologies that can alter core beliefs could be used to design lifestyles and characteristics to optimise wellbeing. Wellbeing could be co-opted to suit a corrupt agenda.

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Let's find the place to think, the freedom to challenge and the capability to act on real change. Together.

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Let's find the place to think, the freedom to challenge and the capability to act on real change. Together.