An IT developer from Huntingdon, Jonathan Brunette, heads a team behind an application that finished 5th among some 400,000 developers registered in the “Code Global Challenge 2020” competition organized by the giant IBM.
For its 3rd edition, this international competition aimed to create and deploy applications based on open source technology that can meet some of the biggest global challenges, such as the fight against climate change and COVID-19.
The five finalists in the competition “were chosen from an elite group of the best solutions from each region of the world,” IBM said in a statement. This performance earned them a cash prize of $ 10,000.
Online shopping and ecological footprint
The project led by Jonathan Brunette, called OffShip, was created by a team of developers from Morgan Stanley, for which he works in Montreal.
As Mr Brunette explains, it is a browser plugin that informs consumers about the effect of their online purchases on the environment. It does this by providing an estimate of the carbon footprint of each purchase they are considering, which helps them consider alternatives or purchase and give carbon offsets in a transparent manner.
“For example, a purchase of $ 300 can provide between $ 3 and $ 5 in credit,” he says. There is always an environmental cost to shopping online. With the COVID-19 pandemic raging for several months, consumers are buying more online. This application thus gives them an overview of the effects of their choices and possibly, encourages them to buy local. “
In fact, OffShip acts as a reality check system. He monitors the items in his basket and estimates their carbon footprint based on weight and distance traveled. (See the video below – in English)
The Morgan Stanley team found that in 2018, 84% of Canadian internet users had purchased goods or services online. Through their research, they also found that online shopping is more prevalent among the younger generations. Some external projections predict that by 2024, the e-commerce market will reach US $ 6.07 billion.
The application is functional for online purchases made on Amazon, Apple and Best Buy, where there is the highest volume of online sales.
The competition Call for Code is the result of a grouping that includes IBM, David Clark Cause, the Linux Foundation and the United Nations’ charitable partner for human rights, as well as a global movement of 400,000 developers from 179 countries.