CoGo - the ethical app
Yours Sustainably were recently invited to Join CoGo, an easy to use ethical app which aims to connect consumers and businesses. We asked them to write a guest blog outlining the history and aims of this exciting project.
The idea for the CoGo app first started when Co-Founders’ Ben and Melissa were doing a masters in environmental studies in 2010. Frustrated about how hard it was to find local cafes that were doing good, they created a range of stickers that businesses could put in their windows to indicate the good things they were doing - recycling, using fair trade coffee and free-range eggs, paying their staff a living wage etc.
The stickers did the trick initially and helped the community of Wellington, New Zealand, to make more informed choices about where to spend their money, but Ben and Melissa quickly realised that they could have far wider reaching impact if they went digital - and so the CoGo app was born!
Available for free on all smartphones, users simply download CoGo and select the ethical and sustainable issues that matter to them most - from minimising packaging waste to paying staff a living wage. The clever technology then links these issues to the user’s payment cards, enabling them to send an anonymous signal to businesses every time they shop and see how their spending is contributing to good.
The ethical and sustainable sector is characterized by lots of good intentions, lots of hope-filled rhetoric, and lots of heart-felt hand wringing. What it hasn’t yet made, sadly, is lots of progress. CoGo takes a different approach. It understands that to make real change happen, people – both businesses and consumers - have to be able to see the difference they are making. The CoGo app presents evidence of success so that both businesses and consumers are encouraged to participate more fully in the ethical and sustainable economy.
By making it easier for consumers to make ethical choices, CoGo empowers individuals to live by their values while simultaneously demonstrating to businesses that a people and planet friendly way of operating is - and must be - the future!