What’s a sustainable model for developers to make green apps?
Our objective for green apps is to foster the developer community to create more applications so people can make sound environmental decisions. To achieve that objective, we’re looking for ways to encourage the sustainable development and use of green apps and we’d like to hear your ideas for what makes sense. EPA started with our large-scale challenge, EPA’s Apps for the Environment, that provided recognition to developers and yielded 38 apps. To help us build on the success of that effort, we’re interested in your ideas about sustainable models that support developers so they can make green apps. We think it makes sense to partner with organizations that have expertise in supporting developers and promoting apps. So thanks for sharing your reactions to some of the ideas presented below as well as any other ideas you believe EPA should consider.
In a recent conversation, Troy Abel, Associate Professor of Environmental Policy at Western Washington University (and advisor to Bob Sabie, who won Best Student App, Runner Up in the EPA Apps for the Environment Challenge with his app Environmental Justice Participatory Mapping) suggested a couple of ways to encourage and support developers to make green apps:
- Encourage existing EPA grant programs (e.g., Environmental Justice Grants Program or the People, Prosperity and the Planet Student Design Competition for Sustainability) to explore the role of applicants to consider the role of environmental apps.
- Explore whether large corporations or foundations would want to support an environmental app web site that would collect and promote green apps, and in doing so, encourage more developers to produce environmental apps.
EPA is considering some other ideas such as:
- EPA funding or co-funding a green apps partnerships similar to ChemicalRight2Know, a Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) collaborative forum that the Environmental Council of the States developed through a cooperative agreement with EPA.
- EPA could connect users and developers without formal partnerships. For example, environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other parties could describe their requirements for environmental apps and post them online. The agency could encourage developers to create the apps. Then the NGOs or other parties could sponsor, fund, and host the apps. This effort could be performed in a public online space and several parties could create an app together.
Thanks for posting your reactions to these ideas and sharing ideas of your own.
Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.