Competing for Greenest Business

Shine Case Study


Organization Name: Austin Green Business Leaders

The City of Austin is targeting to become carbon neutral by 2050. Through its Austin Green Business Leaders Program, the Sustainability Office provides tools and resources to help businesses save money, expand market share, protect the environment, and support the local community. In the fall of 2014, the Sustainability Office sponsored their first competition using their Rethink/ powered by JouleBug app – – Austin Green Business Leaders Green Cup.

Austin’s Office of Sustainability operates several programs designed to help achieve the city’s goal of net-zero community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The city has its own mobile app – Rethink/ powered by JouleBug – to encourage  its citizens to adopt behaviors that protect and preserve what’s best about Austin. To further engage the business community in the app, the Sustainability Office sponsored a 10 day Austin Green Business Leaders Green Cup Challenge.

“We could not have been more pleased with our first Green Cup Challenge and are very excited about our future Challenges.”

Amy Petri

Communications Manager Office of Sustainbility, City of Austin

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The Green Cup Challenge introduced some friendly, but sometimes fierce, competition to see who could claim bragging rights for being the greenest. The app provided an easy way for participants to share and learn from each other. Some companies provided their own encouragements, such as giving away bus passes or organizing a walking “field trip”. Teams were formed and the winning team’s name is engraved on the Green Cup trophy. The trophy will be reused for future Green Cup Challenges, planned at least annually.

JouleBug provided an analysis at the end of the Challenge so the Office of Sustainability was able to demonstrate estimated savings, such as energy usage, to the business and the city. Austin believes in and supports green business as good business. The Green Cup Challenge introduced an element of fun energy to the sustainability focus and they are looking forward to the next one.

“There was lots of fun competition to see which team could do the most to make Austin a little greener.  It was great to see the savings report confirming just how much our small actions can really add up for meaningful impact.”

Amy Petri

Communications Manager Office of Sustainbility, City of Austin