An FAQ is a list of frequently asked questions and answers on a particular topic.

1. What is the Swiss Climate Challenge?

The Swiss Climate Challenge provides a simple tool that enables your personal mobility as well as the associated climate footprint to be monitored, compared and improved.  


The Swiss Climate Challenge is an initiative of Energy Switzerland, Engagement Migros, South Pole (with expertise in the area of climate protection) and Swisscom. The Swiss Climate Challenge tool is being developed by the Swisscom subsidiary NGTI, which also provides evaluation services. What's more, the Swiss Climate Challenge is also being supported by the tracking partner, MotionTag, which is based in Potsdam (Germany). Ringier and Bluewin are the media partners. 

2. What is the goal of the Swiss Climate Challenge?

Mobility is (source: greenhouse gas inventory of the FOEN and the FSO microcensus study) responsible for around 50% of the personal carbon emissions of people living in Switzerland. This figure includes air traffic and travel abroad, which in turn account for around half of the emissions from mobility. The Swiss Climate Challenge is an initiative that starts here. It wants to create incentives that will motivate companies and private individuals to reduce their own mobility-related CO₂ emissions.

3. Who is behind the Swiss Climate Challenge?

The SCC is an initiative of Swisscom, Engagement Migros and Southpole, with the support of Energie Schweiz. The Swiss Climate Challenge tool is being developed by the Swisscom subsidiary NGTI. What's more, the Swiss Climate Challenge is also being supported by MOTIONTAG, which is based in Potsdam (Germany). The technology company is a pioneer in the area of mobility tracking. Ringier and Bluewin are media partners, but companies, schools, events and NGOs can also become partners of the Swiss Climate Challenge.

4. What can the tool do?

The tool, which can be integrated into apps, tracks the user's mobility behaviour, after an active opt-in, using location and movement data that a mobile phone automatically registers. This data allows you to determine how the person is moving.

5. Which apps can the Swiss Climate Challenge be used with?

The Swiss Climate Challenge can be integrated into any app. It is available to all interested companies, events, organisations or schools, in order to motivate their customers, employees, participants, members and/or pupils to pursue climate-friendly mobility. The prerequisite for this is an app with a lot of users, in which the Swiss Climate Challenge can be integrated with the intention of entering into dialogue with the app users, so that both can make a contribution towards climate protection.

6. Is the Swiss Climate Challenge also available to other companies, events or organisations?

he Swiss Climate Challenge was launched in order to motivate as many people as possible to participate in climate-friendly mobility in a playful way. The increase in reach via the apps of companies, events, schools, NGOS or other organisations is explicitly desired. The Swiss Climate Challenge tool is provided at a low price.

7. What kind of data is collected for the Swiss Climate Challenge?

The tool utilises the individual location and movement data collected on a mobile phone. Location data describes the position of the user and, together with a comparison of the GPS data with geo-data (so-called "geo-matching"), it enables the route that was travelled to be determined. The movement data is used for the movement profile (e.g. acceleration pattern) and is required to determine the type of transportation.

8. How is my mobility data collected?

Before this mobility data can be used, the consent (opt-in) and registration of the user is required. After registration and activation via an opt-in, the mobility data is collected using location and movement data. The tool periodically queries the location data on the mobile phone in order to feed it back in, in evaluated form.

9. Where is my data stored and how is it protected?

A differentiation must be made between the following data and processes: 

·   Registration data: Users register with their mobile phone numbers. This is used to ensure the re-identification of the user when using the app.

·   Location and movement data: Only after registration and agreement (opt-in) that the user's location and movement data may be accessed, will this mobility data be recorded and stored in pseudonymised form for each individual user on MotionTag's servers. The location and movement data form the basis for making statements about mobility behaviour in the form of CO₂ emissions, the details of which are provided by MotionTag. Only MotionTag and Swisscom have access to the pseudonymised data. 


·   Climate-relevant data and contact details: The CO₂ emissions, distance travelled per means of transport, and the influence on the temperature of the planet are calculated based on the pseudonymised mobility data by MotionTag and stored in the app on the mobile phone of the respective user. Furthermore, this climate-relevant data is temporarily stored and evaluated by NGTI.


The climate-relevant data can also be approved by the user for comparison with the data of other participants, which in turn can provide an additional incentive for climate protection. For this purpose, the mobile phone number and an identification number from each contact in the address book are uploaded into the App Cloud of Swisscom and stored in pseudonymised form. Following this, the data can then be compared with that of other participants. Users can decide for themselves whether to share their climate-relevant data with other users in their address books.


·   Aggregated data for additional purposes: Based on aggregated data (i.e. data records from at least 20 people) from the Swiss Climate Challenge, Swisscom may, in collaboration with the EPFL, ETH Zurich or MotionTag, have analyses carried out for the purpose of developing solutions for mobility and more climate-friendly cities. Only the results derived from this are passed on to third parties (such as Swiss energy cities), and no personal data. The data is completely anonymised through aggregation. There is no possibility to reassign data to individual persons, and the data may not be used for advertising purposes. 

It may not be used for any other purposes, either. 

10. Who has access to the pseudonymised data?

What is aggregated data?

Aggregated data relates to data records that cannot be traced back to a single person. This is done by merging the data of several persons (at least 20 in this case), so that only the group value remains identifiable. In contrast to pseudonymised location and movement data, this aggregated data no longer enables conclusions to be drawn about the location of a person. In connection with the Swiss Climate Challenge, aggregated data sets are only used for solutions related to the development of efficient mobility and climate protection by communities and cities with selected universities or MOTIONTAG.

11. How can I stop my data from being used after initially providing my consent?

The user can unsubscribe from the Swiss Climate Challenge at any time. From this point on, no further mobility data will be collected in the app. Furthermore, it is possible to switch location identification, movement and fitness data on or off at any time in the settings of the mobile phone.  
If you want any data, which has already been collected, to be deleted immediately, you can send a message to info@swissclimatechallenge.ch.

12. How long will my data be stored? How can I unsubscribe?

The user can unsubscribe from the Swiss Climate Challenge at any time. From this point on, no further mobility data will be collected by the app. The pseudonymised mobility data and the calculated climate-relevant data will be stored on the servers for as long as the Swiss Climate Challenge campaign lasts. If users unsubscribe from the Swiss Climate Challenge, no further data will be collected. If you want the data to be deleted immediately, you can also send a message to Auskunft.Datenschutz@swisscom.com.  

13. How are my CO₂ emissions and climate impact calculated?

CO₂ emissions are calculated on the basis of the actual distances travelled with the respective means of transport. The CO₂ emissions factors of Mobitool and the Fraunhofer study 'THG-Bilanz der E-Mobilität' (THG Balance of E-Mobility) from February 2019 are used for this purpose.

Based on the mobility behaviour recorded and the corresponding CO₂ emissions, the CO₂ mobility footprint can be extrapolated. The temperature scale shows what average global warming temperature would be reached by the end of the century if everyone on Earth behaved in the same way as the user.

The CO₂ emissions in the Swiss Climate Challenge tool not only consist of direct emissions from the means of transport, but also include so-called grey energy: i.e. energy related to the manufacture and disposal of the vehicle, the provision of energy for the operation of the vehicle and the construction of roads and tracks as well as vehicle maintenance are included.

14. Why does the thermometer show 1.5 °C, even if I am not causing any CO₂ emissions?

Following the Paris Agreement, 197 countries have agreed to aim for an average global warming temperature of well under 2°, 1.5 °C being even better. Higher temperatures would lead to dramatic extreme weather events and consequences for society and the economy.

1.5 °C will be reached by the emissions already being produced. This means there may not be any additional CO₂ emissions, if we are to comply with the 1.5 °C limit. This is why the starting point on the thermometer is 1.5 °C. The target temperature is 1.75 °C, which is still well below 2 degrees and which allows for a certain level of emissions from mobility.

15. How precise are the classifications of my mobility in the app?

The accuracy of the classification of mobility is now over 90%.  

However, the app is much more accurate in urban areas than in rural areas. This is due to the fact that in rural areas there is a less dense network of antennas. This network is used in urban areas to determine one's approximate location in order to then determine the precise position more quickly using GPS. Furthermore, mobile phones are sometimes unable to receive satellite data if the connection to the satellite is interrupted, by a mountain for example.

It is also possible to correct data manually if a means of transport is not mapped correctly. Errors in tracking can occur despite continuous improvements, and they can be adjusted manually in the app. Because of this, the system continues to learn new things and can improve constantly.

16. How does the tool know if I am on foot, riding a bike, or travelling by train, plane or car?

The company MOTIONTAG has set itself the goal of carrying out intelligent location analyses and constantly improving itself. The location data can be used to determine the method of transport by using the time taken to travel from A to B. Experience shows, for example, that at a speed of 100 km/h, the users were travelling by car or train. The movement and fitness data also play a role, as the movement patterns are interpreted. Bus and car travel can also be distinguished, as buses stop and start again regularly, while cars usually drive constantly with fewer stops. The public transport network is also covered. If the car is moving away from the public transport route, this can also help to distinguish a car from a train.

17. Does tracking utilise a lot of battery power?

Tracking is energy-optimised, so that the battery of the mobile phone is used as little as possible. It may however happen that the app needs a bit more battery power if, for example, you are moving a lot or if you check the evaluation often.

18. What do I have to do if the app stops?

It is normal for tracking to display the journey with a slight delay. It may therefore take a few hours for the data to be updated.

If the app does not work, you can try these steps:

  • Close the app and reopen it
  • Also close the app in the background and open it again  
  • Log out and then back in to the Swiss Climate Challenge  
  • Switch the location and movement data off and then back on again
  • Restart the mobile phone
  • Reinstall the app
  • Send a message to: info@swissclimatechallenge.ch

Contact: info@swissclimatechallenge.ch

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