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RFID Solution Enables Consumers to Manage Carbon Footprint at Stores

Ecoingot's IoT-based system employs blockchain technology and HF RFID-based connectivity from Compass Marketing, enabling shoppers to gain information regarding the carbon emissions related to products before making a purchase, and to buy credits or offset carbon use, via the company's app and a public ledger.
By Claire Swedberg

Ecoingot provides the carbon footprint calculation, says Russell Young, the firm's chief operations officer. The company, he adds, has "gone to a great deal of trouble with our calculation model to make those estimates as accurate as we can, and to be transparent about how they are derived."

Traditionally, Young explains, there are two models for calculating carbon impacts or carbon emission data: "top-down" (EEIO—Extended Input-Output) and "bottom-up" (PBLCA—Process Based Life Cycle Analysis) models. While working on Ecoingot's carbon calculation model with U.K. professor Mike Berners-Lee (the author of How Bad Are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything) and his team at Small World Consulting, Young says, "We agreed to develop a hybrid approach, which would take the benefits of both existing models and combine them into a hybrid system."

The resulting dataset contains a variety of hybrid emissions factors, Young says, by which both PBLCA and EEIO are used to deliver a result that is specific to a particular product or service and has the system completeness of EEIO. The factors considered include the amount of electricity consumed, the impact of road transportation and, in the case of food, the supermarket operation-based emissions.

At present, White reports, Whole Foods, Giant Eagle, Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy are all using SRL's network at some of their stores to provide product information to shoppers. The technology utilizes a variety of cameras, weight sensors, RFID readers and robots, he adds.

Smartrac, in providing the HF inlays and tags, says it takes pride in providing solutions aimed at sustainability in consumer goods. "We are very happy to support Compass Marketing and the all-encompassing platform Ecoingot," says Christian Uhl, the company's CEO. "The 'Internet of Carbon,' as envisioned by Ecoingot, perfectly fits into Smartrac's strategy."

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