Partnered with the UN since 2015 through the Climate Neutral Now initiative, the French startup WeNow, whose R&D department is located in Mabilay offices, in Rennes, offers a connected solution that helps drivers measure and reduce their carbon emissions. We met with Marion Daras, WeNow’s Communications Manager, to find out more.
Working together to help the environment
After working for major groups in the energy sector, Valérie Mas and Fabien Carimalo founded WeNow, a startup with a strong focus on environmental protection, in 2014. “It is urgent that we act to improve the climate,” says the CEO of WeNow. “In Europe, the transportation sector’s CO2 emissions have remained constant for the last 25 years.”
But what exactly is WeNow? This service operates in three stages: the measurement, reduction and offsetting of CO2 emissions. “The idea is to help drivers measure the environmental impact of their trips in terms of fuel consumption, to help them reduce this impact, and eventually to give them the opportunity to fund offsetting projects such as tree planting,”, Marion Daras explains.
Who’s the best driver?
WeNow is an innovative solution with two components: a smart box that the driver plugs into the OBD (On Board Diagnostics) port of his vehicle, which is connected via Bluetooth to a mobile application. At the moment, the service is primarily addressed to company fleets.
“After each trip, the driver receives an eco-driving score and a detailed report of his trip. He then receives personalized recommendations to improve his driving. For security reasons,” Marion Daras specifies, “this information is only shared with the driver once his engine has been shut off.”
Is the gamification of eco-driving a reliable way to ensure responsible driving behaviour? For WeNow, the answer is yes: “We wanted to develop a gamified digital eco-driving tool to help drivers change their behaviour in the long run, to reward them for their efforts and to make this digital training profitable for the company.”
The use of scoring and personalized advice enables the user to improve his driving practices each time he uses his vehicle. In the long term, this solution is beneficial for companies… and even more so for the planet. Within its already equipped fleets, the startup observed fuel savings of 8 to 10% in the first year following the installation of its solution. « WeNow perfectly meets our needs in terms of CSR values and economies. The service goes even one step further with the eco-driving app and a system where every CO2 ton is neutralized”, shares Constant Charier, Project Director from Charier company.
A company recognized by the UN
Since 2015, the French startup has become a signatory of Climate Neutral Now, a United Nations initiative that encourages the reduction and offsetting of carbon emissions.
This international recognition goes hand in hand with the company’s goals for the future: “Our two- or three-year plan,” Marion Daras adds, “is to grow business internationally, in countries where we have identified a huge potential. The service is already available in English, German and French.”
inOut, a key networking opportunity
From March 14th to 18th, WeNow, will take part in the inOut event. An unmissable occasion, as Fabien Carimalo, President of the company and born in Brittany, explains: “For WeNow, inOut is a key event for us to expand our activity in the Western France and Breton departments, which are well-known for their environmental commitment. The metropole of Rennes is also recognized for its innovativeness in the intelligent and sustainable mobility sector. Combining our expertise is a huge opportunity and honour for us”.
Over the four days of the event, the startup will take part in pitching sessions to present its concept, and make a “In parallel, we will allow users to try our solutions during an event organized by the Orange Group.” A good way to test the interface on a broad audience.
The device is currently being tested in Anor (a town in Hauts-de-France with a population of 3,000) by a panel of 175 volunteers. And what about you, would you consider using this service to reduce your carbon footprint?