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A screenshot of the Carbon Hero project page. source

CarbonDiem is a device that, when linked with a mobile phone, provides the user with an estimate of their carbon footprint based on mode of travel.



CarbonDiem is a mobile app that provides a personalised measure of an individual's travel carbon footprint. It uses GPS and cell tower tirangulation to detect the location, velocity and pattern of the user's movements. The application processes the data stream via a database and algorithm. The software uses DEFRA values for the environmental impact of each mode.

The developers have minimised the data input and learning required by the user and have designed the user interface to be engaging for the user. The interface informs them of how different travel choices impact the environment using a combination of text and graphics to show daily, weekly or monthly data (examples being Kgs of carbon dioxide your travel has released, or calories burnt).

The device is currently configured to work in Europe, and it is planned to be released in the USA soon.[1] It also incorporated 1,000 thousand airports from around the world.[2]


CarbonDiem is the creation of Andreas Zachariah and Nick Burch. They set up the company Carbon Hero to manage and create the product.

Zachariah has a B.Eng(Hons) in Materials Engineering, an MBA in Finance, and an MA RCA in Industrial Design Engineering. His career includes: Goldman Sachs Analyst, UniCredito Swaps trader/Corp Bonds & Macro Trader, Daiwa SMBC New Products. His digital skills include: Rhino 4.0, Solidworks 2006/2007, Adobe CS3-Photoshop/Illustrator/Premiere, Flash8, Excel, Powerpoint.

Burch studied chemistry at Magdalen College, Oxford, and specialised in Computation Chemistry in his masters year. He then took a job with an Oxfordshire web applications firm, Torchbox, where he has been since. Nick is involved in a number of open source and open geodata projects, not all of them location related. His involvements include OpenStreetMap, OpenGuides, NPE Maps, and various python scripts targeting the mobile phone. In addition, he is a vice president of the Apache Software Foundation, responsible for the POI project.

Their partners include Friends of the Earth and RSA (Royal Society of Arts) Carbon Limited.


In 2006, Andreas Zachariah came up with the idea of a small and practical device to track personal CO2 emissions during travel. In April 2007, Oxford graduate student Nick Burch joined Zachariah to develop the application.[3]

Zachariah and Burch have filed a patent for their invention were in a closed beta-testing phase in early 2008.[3]

The product was originally a GPS fob, which would send data to another device for processing. As mobile phones advanced Carbon Hero changed their focus from a separate physical product to an app for mobile devices. Choosing to focus on Blackberry to begin with, but have since expanded to Android. As of April 2012 the Android app has "10 to 50" downloads and a review giving it a 5 star rating. [4]

It was first made available to the UK market and then extended to cover Europe and the U.S.[5]


Domestic energy and travel constitute a large proportion of an individual's carbon footprint. Several initiatives have begun to quantify the environmental impact of products/services/activities, e.g. home energy suppliers conveying energy use to households, food producers/supermarkets labelling food with its carbon value. In addition several websites provide calculations of the carbon footprint of different travel modes.

CarbonDiem allows an individual to find out their personal travel carbon footprint by deducing their mode of travel. The developers hope that based on the information provided by CarbonDiem, the user will choose to change their transport habits to reduce their environmental impact, or offset usage through carefully selected projects. Corporations could also be potential users as they are increasingly under pressure to reduce their carbon footprint and make reductions, but also because it could be used to save money by reducing travel costs.[5]

2012 Status

Carbon Hero is continuing to develop the CarbonDiem app. CarbonDeim has mantained its high media, finishing as runner up, in multiple high profile competitions (such as Green Challenge). [6] Zacariah has been interviewed by Buisiness Green,[7] and it is likely CarbonDiem will remain in the eye of the technology specialised media for some time to come. As the year goes by, it is likely Carbon Hero will build on their experience.

External Links


  1. Carbon Hero - News
  2. Tracking carbon through your phone BBC News
  3. 3.0 3.1 Tracking your carbon footprint ESA News
  4. CarbonDiem - Google Play (Android app store)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Carbon Hero to the Rescue EarthTech
  6. Touching Base With Andreas Zacariah - Green Challenge
  7. How mandatory carbon reporting will help, not hinder, the market - Buisiness Green
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