Plan3t app offering planet coins as bonus for more climate-protection

Three Hamburg-based founders seek to slash individual carbon footprint
23 November 2021
Kaspar Wehrhahn, Lukas Wehrhahn, Christian Gärtner (f.l. to r.), foundes of Plan3t

A new app called Plan3t app is now urging users to leave their cars at home, switch to a green energy provider or eat only vegan food for a few days to make their lives climate-friendlier. Lukas Wehrhahn, joint founder of the Hamburg-based Plan3t start-up, pointed out: "We start with the ‘low hanging fruit'. Mobility, energy and food use the most CO₂. Yet, many people do not adapt these measures even though they know just how sensible those steps are." The app is essentially a reward system for sustainable consumer behaviour and was born during Wehrhahn’s studies. His brainwave was brought to fruition with his brother Kaspar and Christian Gärtner, who was working as a product developer at Technologies. A beta version of Plan3t’s app went online in March and the final version became available in Apple and Google app stores in September and now has around 7,500 users.

Three steps to more sustainability

"Our app is designed as a daily companion for all those who wish to live more sustainably and does so in three simple steps," said Wehrhahn. In a first step, the user answers questions about their individual lifestyle. The app then calculates their annual CO₂ footprint. The second step gives tips on how to gradually change consumer behaviour and offers challenges e.g., take shorter or even cold showers as heating up water uses an enormous amount of energy. Shoppers are urged to buy in stock to avoid wasting food. Lastly, all these measures are rewarded with so-called planet coins, which can be used at over 50 partner companies, including Got Bag, Etepetete, Refurbed, Planted, Tier and Flix Mobility.

© Plan3t

Making sustainable consumption affordable

"Users can also donate their planet coins to social and climate projects. But above all, it's about making the switch to sustainable consumption affordable for everyone," said Wehrhahn. Although more and more people are concerned about climate change, they are often merely paying lip service, according to the founders. "There is a gap between  'intention and action. Around 65 per cent of Europeans would like to switch to sustainable consumption, but only 26 per cent actually do so. Asked why, 60 per cent say organic products are too expensive," he added. This is where planet coins might ease the switch.

Pan European expansion planned

The Plan3t app will be available in large parts of Europe next year. "We have positioned ourselves in Europe from the start and will launch an English-language app in 2022," says Wehrhahn. The app will be automated gradually in the coming months with the help of the European Open Banking Standard (PSD2). By linking the bank account, individual transactions can automatically be given a CO₂ imprint. Planet coins can be earned for purchases from partner companies." The app will be available initially in Scandinavia, Britain and the Netherlands as those countries are generally open to Open Banking,

Views of Hamburg
© Yvonne Scheller
Views of Hamburg

Slash CO₂ consumption from eleven to three tonnes

Germany places great emphasis on data protection. Yet, more information is needed. "Naturally, we guarantee that all data is handled in compliance with data protection laws. We work with pseudonymised data and use only European servers," said Wehrhahn.

Plan3t recently raised EUR 750,000 during a pre-seed round of funding. The investors include the Berlin early-stage investor APX, the Hamburgische Investitions- und Förderbank (IFB) and Marc Sasserath, Guido Syré and Mutabor founders Heinrich Paravicini and Johannes Plass, who are all well-known business angels in the German digital and advertising industry including. The founders will put the funds towards their goal of a largely greenhouse gas-neutral Germany by 2050."Everyone would have to limit their average CO₂ consumption to three tonnes to achieve the envisaged climate goals. However, the average is 11.5 tonnes,"  Wehrhahn pointed out. That requires a 10 per cent reduction annually. "Our users can easily achieve more!"