UT alum creates carbon footprint impact app

Brynne Herzfeld

UT alumnus Dakota Stormer said he wants to help people understand how their actions impact the planet. To do that, he developed Footprint, an app that allows users to log their daily activities and recognize their yearly carbon footprint.

A test version of the Footprint app is currently available online and in the Google Play Store, according to the official website. The full version of the app will be released on the App Store in late 2019 or early 2020, said Mizuki Kurata, Footprint’s director of sustainability. 

“We quantify the amount of carbon that is associated with each activity that you do,” Stormer said. “You can see what your impact is that day and how that’s improved from your average overall.”

The app’s target audience is those who are interested in sustainability and fighting climate change, said Jerry Yang, Footprint chief operating officer. Stormer said 100 users have access to the app’s test version, but over 100,000 people either individually or through a business are signed up to download the app when it is fully released.

“One of the biggest issues with climate change is it’s super hard to see how you make a difference,” finance junior Yang said. “The point that we’re trying to stress is that every individual difference matters.”

Yang said Footprint also has a community function where users can see how they rank against others and challenges for users to complete. Government freshman Kurata said she hopes Footprint can be a tool not only for individuals curious about their impact, but also for larger organizations. 

“We hope many companies or organizations will start to use this app, so they are always aware of the impact they are possibly making at all times,” Kurata said.

To create the mobile app, Stormer said he enlisted a team of students at the Colorado School of Mines. While there are similar apps on the market, Yang said he thinks these competitor apps do not create an incentive for users to keep participating.

“We’re not the first ones, but we think we have a lot of differentiating factors,” Yang said.

Yang said the team will be pitching the app to venture capitalist organizations to secure more funding on Thursday.

“We want to help people understand and learn about (their) impact,” Stormer said. “There’s so many things we can do day to day (that) we don’t realize have an impact on the planet.”