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Created on 22.03.2021

Paths to innovation: a green ecosystem for Switzerland

There are many ways that innovations can be successful. In the case of the Green Coin, for example, the combination of two innovation projects is proving crucial. The merging of the new green digital currency as part of the Swiss Climate Challenge means a new green ecosystem for Switzerland is now emerging.

Around a year ago, the  PFLab and the Swisscom digital business unit came up with the idea of initiating the Green Coin as an innovation project: a green, digital Swiss franc that can only be used for sustainable products and services. The Green Coin is what is known as a stable coin: a cryptographically secure digital currency based on the  The link will open in a new window “Swiss Trust Chain” blockchain infrastructure of Swiss Post and Swisscom. This joint idea went on to be promoted, and quickly found its first intended purpose: the Green Coin was merged with the  The link will open in a new window Swiss Climate Challenge, an initiative of Swisscom, Energie Schweiz, Engagement Migros and South Pole.

Green Coins are given as a reward

The Swiss Climate Challenge is in fact an app that allows you to measure, compare and optimize your mobility. But there is a lot more to it than that: it is a green ecosystem for companies, public bodies and institutions that are encouraging their staff and customers to be more sustainable in day-to-day life, for brands who want to appeal to an environmentally-minded audience and a society that needs to attain sustainability goals. And this is where the Green Coin comes into play: this green, digital Swiss franc is used within this closed ecosystem to reward sustainable behaviour for a specific purpose. The participants receive the green currency as a reward for their behaviour in a series of challenges, and they can use it to stock up on sustainable products and services in the ecosystem’s very own marketplace, or to donate money.

A climate objective compass for the people of Switzerland

In spring, the project is being launched as part of an internal large-scale pilot project for the staff at Swisscom, PostFinance and Swiss Post. In parallel, it will also be adapted for the broader public as part of a joint challenge – the Swiss Climate Change. This will go ahead as part of the  The link will open in a new window climate day. The long-term goal of the Swiss Climate Challenge is to provide a compass for the Swiss population and motivate them to do their own bit for the Paris Agreement climate objectives. Greater awareness will also be raised about a number of other areas beside mobility, such as consumer behaviour.

Anne-Käthi Leuenberger from PostFinance and Christian Schuepbach from Swisscom (see “About”) explain what it takes to make such a diverse project a reality.

Success boost 1: Green Coin + Swiss Climate Challenge = green ecosystem.

Anne-Käthi Leuenberger: “The fact we were able to combine the Green Coin with the Swiss Climate Challenge is a great success. It’s only a combination of these two building blocks that will form the basis for Switzerland’s green ecosystem. By doing so, we are ensuring that environmental protection is no longer seen as a sacrifice, but something that will also bring tangible benefits to individuals as well as to society as a whole.”

Christian Schuepbach: “Our project combines two central themes that need to be addressed today: preserving the environment and digitization. As such, we see a lot of potential in the merging of Green Coin with the Swiss Climate Challenge.”

Success boost 2: Simplifying things

Anne-Käthi Leuenberger: “On our journey to becoming Switzerland’s green ecosystem, we have always tried to simplify the project.” If nothing else by deciding in the first test phase to try out the Green Coin separately from the Swiss Climate Challenge.”

Success boost 3: Using the freedoms you have

Christian Schuepbach: “Since the PostFinance and Swisscom participants work in a lab-like environment, we have a certain degree of freedom to try out different things in an informal way. This is an important success factor, especially at the beginning of such a project.”

Success boost 4: Making progress through pragmatism

Anne-Käthi Leuenberger: “Everyone involved directly in this project complements each other. Even though we come from large companies and we have to get a lot of support for what we’re doing internally, we have, thanks to our pragmatism, been able to find a way to make progress together – and all without needing to conclude countless agreements beforehand.”

Success boost 5: Trust as a basis

Christian Schuepbach: “PostFinance and Swisscom have jointly been able to set a number of other innovation projects in motion before. This allows us to work together on a basis of trust and transparency. As such, we are able to make progress a lot faster. And when it comes to innovation, speed is often a game changer.”

About

Anne-Käthi Leuenberger is responsible for the project on behalf of PostFinance. She is Joint Head of Corporate Responsibility/Sustainability with PostFinance, and worked in the PFLab Growth Team prior to that.

Christian Schuepbach is responsible for the project as Co-Project Manager on behalf of Swisscom. He is the Joint Head of the FinTech team within Swisscom’s Digital Business unit. 

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