Moving Green with Green Coins
By: Samanata Thapa
Green Coins, a technology-driven business was one of the 8 tourism enterprises in the ICIMOD Tourovation Hub. Oftentimes, businesses are categorized on the basis of what they have to offer directly in products and services and not the socio-environmental impact hidden behind it. The incubation journey with Green Coins was a unique experience for the company and the incubation team to explore the bigger picture of integrating technology to create a sustainable and resilient tourism ecosystem in Nepal.
Green Coins offers an exciting mobile application called ‘Walkman’ for users to earn green coins by walking. You could be walking or cycling to your local shop, school, work, park or trekking in the Himalayas and be rewarded with Green Coins that can be redeemed in the market. Green Coins is more than just earning virtual coins that can be exchanged for goods and services, it is a wholesome experience for users to keep themselves fit, reduce their individual carbon footprint and make conscious everyday choices. According to Suyam Baidya, Founder and CEO of Green Coins, the app is capable of calculating carbon reduction with every step that we take while walking. Each green coin is estimated to be equivalent to 33 Nepali Paisa and 8.19 grams of carbon dioxide reduction. Walking is no doubt a cleaner alternative to taking a bus, car or motorbike that uses Internal Combustion Engine (ICE), but the application also aims to promote any means of transport or innovative solutions such as a ride-sharing app that provides a better and cleaner alternative. They look forward to partnering with companies who can provide sustainable mobility options in exchange for green coins.
Every year Nepal welcomes more than 2,00,000 trekkers, the app aims to collaborate and partner with the tourism industry to provide domestic and international trekkers with special offers and discounts through the green coins they earn while trekking in Nepal. Alongside creating perks for the trekkers, the app will also serve as a platform to promote and recognize businesses that have been incorporating renewable energy and sustainable practices into their business. Tourism enterprises similar to the ones we have at the Tourovation Hub are expected to benefit from the app as service providers in the hospitality industry. Besides emphasizing in the hospitality industry, the application is a one-stop platform for users to practice and switch to cleaner energy by rewarding and encouraging a green mindset. They aim to do this by partnering with companies that provide clean, green and sustainable solutions in the market in the form of technology, service and product.
“The program has helped us explore and develop ideas around how to integrate the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficient aspect into our business. Our session with SELCO Foundation helped us identify the need for emotional rewards for businesses like ours. Through the incubation program, we are able to map our place in the ecosystem to support sustainable and resilient tourism businesses in Nepal. We want to bring a green mindset amongst the people and through the program, we were able to strategize our approaches to promote sustainable practices and encourage the adoption of RE and EE technologies in Nepal amongst consumers.”
Suyam Baidya,Founder and CEO
Through the Tourovation Hub, the company was able to map the potential of making a difference in the tourism industry and be a catalyst to adopt a green mindset. They are currently working on the final bits of the application that is expected to launch in October 2021. The Beta version of the app is currently available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store where, more than six hundred users have downloaded the Beta version. The company is also set to introduce ‘Hariyo Bazaar’, an online marketplace that exclusively promotes ethical, sustainable, and green products and services.
Green Coins is not just a company but a movement that can be joined by just anybody through one download to be a part of the green revolution that the world needs. It is socially, environmentally, and economically rewarding and can be your next download to commute, consume and act responsibly.
If you run a business that aligns with the values of Green Coins, you can reach out to them through:
Phone: _977 9845184892
E-mail: [email protected]