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 allows you to track, compare and improve your mobility and its associated climate footprint. This is against the backdrop of the global challenge of roughly halving CO2 emissions by 2030 and becoming largely climate neutral by 2050.

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

Mobility is responsible for roughly 50% of the personal CO2 emissions of people living in Switzerland (source: BAFU greenhouse gas inventory and BfS microcensus study). This includes air travel and travel abroad, which in turn account for around half of the emissions from mobility. This is where the Swiss Climate Challenge initiative comes in. It aims to create incentives and thereby motivate companies and private individuals to reduce the CO2 emissions caused by their mobility behaviour.

3. Who is behind the Swiss Climate Challenge?

The Swiss Climate Challenge is an initiative of Swisscom and SwissEnergy. The Swiss Climate Challenge is programmed by Swisscom. The Swiss Climate Challenge is also supported by MOTIONTAG, based in Potsdam, Germany. The technology company is a pioneer in the field of mobility tracking. Blick act as media partners, but companies, cities, communities, schools and events 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 active opt-in using location and movement data automatically registered by a mobile phone. This makes it possible to determine how the person is moving.

With the help of the app, the user learns about the impact of their behaviour on the climate in a playful way, and can compare themselves with others, improve and receive rewards for completing defined challenges (see the next section in the FAQ).  The Swiss Climate Challenge accompanies the app with communications and provides incentives for improving your personal climate footprint. The calculation of CO2 emissions and energy consumption is based on the factors recognised by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy at www.mobitool.ch.

The app is available to everyone and is not limited to Swisscom customers.

5. What rewards are available to Swiss Climate Challenge users?

The Swiss Climate Challenge sets tasks (called “challenges” in the app) as an incentive for climate-friendly behaviour, in which “green points” can be won by achieving certain targets relating to CO2 emissions and mobility behaviour. There are challenges that are activated automatically after a successful opt-in, and other challenges for which you have to register separately in the corresponding area for challenges.

Green points show how many tasks a user has already successfully completed as part of the Swiss Climate Challenge. They serve solely as an incentive to compare oneself with other users and have no personal material value for the user. Green points can be accumulated across all participants in public challenges and be used to make a charitable contribution to a non-profit project, for example an environmental protection project. This contribution is financed by one or more of the initiators of the Swiss Climate Challenge or by additional sponsors. In case of prizes available for specific challenges, the green points totals can be used to determine the winners among users. In this case the winners will be contacted per email and the prize will be sent by post.

6. With which other apps can the Swiss Climate Challenge be used?

In principle, the Swiss Climate Challenge can be integrated into any app. Integration can be explored with interested companies, cities, municipalities, events or schools in order to motivate their customers, employees, participants, members or pupils to engage with environmentally friendly mobility. Prerequisites include having an app with a high number of users into which the Swiss Climate Challenge can be integrated and the desire to enter into dialogue with app users and make a joint contribution to climate protection.

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

The Swiss Climate Challenge was launched to motivate as many people as possible to adopt climate-friendly mobility in a fun way. Multiplaying its reach through the apps of companies, events, schools, NGOS or other organisations is explicitly desired. The Swiss Climate Challenge tool is provided at a low cost.

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

The tool is based on the individual location and movement data collected on the mobile phone. Location data describes the position of the user. When the GPS data is compared with geodata (a process known as geo-matching), this makes it possible to determine the routes travelled. The movement data describes the movement profile (e.g. acceleration patterns) and is needed to determine the type of transport.

9. How is the mobility data collected?

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

10. How and where is my data stored and protected?

The following types of data and processing must be distinguished:

Registration data:

Users can register their email or mobile phone number optionally. This is used for re-identification of the user when using the app. The users must register with a valid email address to participate to the raffle and receive prizes. The email address will be used to contact the user in case the user is winner of a prize. Without a valid registered email the user will not be able to receive any prize.

To participate for his company the user must be registered with a valid email address and the code given for his company.

Location and movement data:

Only after registration and consent (opt-in) that the user’s location and movement data may be accessed is this mobility data collected and stored in a pseudonymised form for each individual user on the servers of the company MOTIONTAG. The location and movement data forms the basis for drawing conclusions regarding the mobility behaviour in the form of CO2 emissions by MOTIONTAG. Only MOTIONTAG and Swisscom have access to the pseudonymised data.

Climate-relevant data and contact details:

The CO2 emissions, the distances travelled per mode of transport and the impact on the planet’s temperature are calculated from the pseudonymised mobility data by MOTIONTAG and stored in the app on the respective user’s mobile phone. In addition, this climate-relevant data is temporarily stored and evaluated by Swisscom.

The climate-relevant data can be further shared by the user to enable comparison with other participants and thus provide an additional incentive for climate protection. For each contact in the contact list, the mobile phone number and an identification number are uploaded to the Swisscom app cloud and stored in pseudonymised form. This is necessary to enable comparison with other participants. Users can decide for themselves whether or not they want to share their climate-relevant data with other users in their contact list.

Aggregated data for further use:

On the basis of aggregated data (i.e. data records based on at least 20 people) from the Swiss Climate Challenge, Swisscom may have analyses prepared in collaboration with EPFL or ETH Zurich or MOTIONTAG which are used to develop solutions for mobility and more climate-friendly cities. Only aggregated results and no personal data are passed on to third parties (such as Swiss Energy Cities). The data is completely anonymised through aggregation. There is no possibility of tracing the data back to individual persons. This data also cannot be used for advertising purposes.
Other uses are excluded.

11. What is aggregated data?

Aggregated data is data records that are not traceable to a single person. This is done by combining several (in this case at least 20) persons so that only the group value remains recognisable. In contrast to pseudonymised location and movement data, this aggregated data no longer allows conclusions to be drawn about an individual person’s location. In the context of the Swiss Climate Challenge, aggregated data records are only used for solutions that are developed for efficient mobility and climate protection by municipalities and cities in collaboration with selected universities or MOTIONTAG.

12. How can I opt out of the use of my data after I have given my initial 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. In addition, it is possible to switch detection of the location, movement and fitness data on and off at anytime in the settings of the mobile phone.  

If you want all data already collected to be deleted immediately, you can contactinfo@swissclimatechallenge.ch.

13. For how long will my data be stored? 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 in 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 still want the data to be deleted immediately, you can contact the address Auskunft.Datenschutz@swisscom.com.

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

CO2 emissions are calculated based on the distances actually travelled with the respective means of transport. The CO2 emission factors from Mobitool and the Fraunhofer study on the current greenhouse gas emissions balance of electric vehicles in Germany from February 2019 are used for the calculations.

The CO2 mobility footprintis extrapolated based on the recorded mobility behaviour and the corresponding CO2 emissions. The temperature scale shows the average global warming that would result by the end of the century if all people on Earth behaved as the user does with regard to mobility.

The CO2 emissions in the Swiss Climate Challenge encompass not only the direct emissions of the means of transport, but also include grey energy: i.e. the production and disposal of the vehicle, generation of the energy required to operate the vehicle, the construction of roads and tracks and vehicle maintenance are included. 

15. Why does the thermometer show 1.5°C even when I’m not causing any CO2?

With the Paris Agreement,197 countries have agreed to aim for an average global warming of significantly less than 2°C, and ideally only 1.5°C. Greater warming would lead to dramatic extreme weather events and impacts on society and the economy.

The 1.5°C increase will be reached with the emissions already caused. This means that there can be no additional CO2 emissions if the 1.5°C limit is to be met. This is why the starting point on the thermometer is 1.5°C. We show 1.75°C as the target temperature, which is still well below 2°C and allows for some CO2 emissions from mobility.

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

Mobility classification is around 96% accurate for iOS devices and around 94% accurate for Android devices.

However, the app is much more accurate in urban areas than in rural areas. This is because in rural areas there is a less dense network of antennas. The denser networks in urban areas are used to determine the approximate location as a basis for a faster and more precise determination of the location via GPS. Furthermore, mobile phones are sometimes unable to receive the data from the satellites if the connection to the satellite is interrupted, for example by a mountain.

It is possible to manually correct information if the means of transport is not represented correctly. Tracking errors can occur despite continuous improvement and can be adjusted manually in the app. This enables the system to keep learning and improving.

Tracking may be asked to be interrupted by certain Android devices as the device wants to preserve battery power. The Swiss Climate Challenge is highly optimised in terms of energy consumption, so there is actually no reason to do so.

For the app to work properly and record journeys in the background, battery power optimisation for the app must be disabled in your smartphone’s settings. On some smartphone models, especially those made by Huawei, Samsung, OnePlus and Xiaomi, there are app-specific battery-saving modes customised by the manufacturers. These are automatically activated as soon as the device has not been used for a certain period of time. As a result, the device’s operating system doesn’t allow apps to run in the background and shuts them off when in sleep mode to extend battery life. To enable full functionality of the app, change the device’s settings. The following overview gives you tips on what this process might look like on your smartphone model. (For a complete overview of device settings that discourage background app activity and how to change these settings, you can also visit dontkillmyapp.com).


Phone settings > Battery> Power-saving mode > Battery optimisation > Select Climate Challenge app > Do not optimise > Save.


Switch the power settings to “Normal” and add the app to “Protected apps" (Settings > Advanced settings > Battery manager > Protected apps > Climate Challenge app ON).


if using Android 6 or later: Settings > Battery & power saving > Battery usage > Ignore optimisations > Turn on for Climate Challenge app.


if using Android 6 or later: Battery > Three-dot menu in the top right corner > Battery optimisation > Not optimised > All apps > Select Climate Challenge app > Do not optimise.


Via the OxygenOS settings: Battery > Battery optimisation > Switch to “All apps” > Select Climate Challenge app > Do not optimise.


Settings > Apps > Climate Challenge > Battery > Select "Unrestricted" to switch off restricting battery optimisation for the app.


if using Android 6 or later: Battery > Three-dot menu in the top right corner > Battery optimiser > Apps > Climate Challenge app > Off.


MIUI OS: if using Android 6 or later: Phone settings > Additional settings > Battery & power > Manage battery life > Apps > MOTIONTAG app OR Settings > Battery &power > App power-saving mode > Select apps > Climate Challenge app > No limits.

Location settings

Make sure your location settings are set to “high accuracy”. Settings > Additional settings >Privacy > Location > Set to high accuracy OR Settings > Connections> Location > Set to high accuracy.

A-GPS reset

Perform an A-GPS reset:install the “GPS Status & Toolbox” app, then go to Menu > Tools >Manage A-GPS status > Reset.

17. How does the tool know whether I am travelling on foot or by bike, train, plane, bus or car?

MOTIONTAG aims to carry out intelligent location analyses and to continuously improve. Using the location data, the means of transport can be determined by looking at the time in which the route was travelled. The empirical values show, for example, that at a speed of 100km/h, the users were travelling by car or train. The movement and fitness data also play a role, as these aid in the interpretation of the movement patterns. Buses and cars can be distinguished because buses keep stopping at bus stops, while cars generally travel at a constant rate. The public transport network is also recorded. If the vehicle moves away from the public transport route, this can help to distinguish a car from a train.

18. How much does tracking drain the battery?

Tracking is energy-optimised and causes only a light load on the battery of the mobilephone. The app uses a bit more battery power if you move a lot or often call up the evaluation function.

Tracking may be interrupted on certain Android devices as the device wants to preserve battery power. The Swiss Climate Challenge is highly optimised in terms of energy consumption, so there is actually no reason to do so.  Instructions on how to deactivate this protective feature on Android devices for the Swiss Climate Challenge can be found above under the question “How precise are the classifications of my mobility in the app?”.

19. What should I do if the app stalls?

It is normal for the tracking to show the trip with a slight time delay. So it may take a few hours for the data to be updated.

However, if the app is not working, these steps can be tried:

·      Close and then reopen the app

·      Stop the app in the background and then restart it

·      Switch the location and movement data off and then on again

·      Logout from the app and login again (prior to that you must have the phone number set and confirmed in the app)

·      Restart the mobile phone

·      Reinstall the app

·      Unsubscribe from the Swiss Climate Challenge and register again (you will loose your history data)

·      Get in touch with: info@swissclimatechallenge.ch

20. Why my trips do not appear instantly?

It is normal to have trips displayed with a delay. It may take a few hours for the data to be processed and updated in the app.

21. How can I change the vehicle type afterwards to correct it?

To subsequently edit the vehicle type in the Swiss Climate Challenge app, follow these steps:

1. Open the app and go to “Trips”.

2. Click the "Details" button.

3. Within the trip details you will find the record of the vehicles used.

4. Click on the three dots next to the vehicle type you want to edit.

5. Adjust the mode of transport (e.g. bicycle, car, bus) as well as other relevant information such as the size of the vehicle and the type of drive (e.g. electric) according to your wishes.  

6. Save the changes you made to complete the update.

By editing the vehicle type in this way, you ensure that your records in the app are more accurate and relevant to better reflect your transportation habits.

22. Why does the Swiss Climate Challenge app focus primarily on recording and improving mobility and not on the entire CO2 footprint?

The Swiss Climate Challenge app primarily focuses on tracking and improving mobility for several reasons:

1. Easy and accurate tracking: Mobility is relatively easy and accurate to track compared to other areas of life, such as energy consumption in buildings. This allows app users to closely monitor their transportation habits.

2. Easy to implement sustainable measures: Switzerland already has a well-developed infrastructure for sustainable mobility. The app can provide users with simple steps to make their transportation more sustainable.

3. High CO₂ emissions in the transport sector: Mobility contributes significantly to CO₂ emissions in Switzerland. The transport sector is responsible for a significant share of greenhouse gas emissions. It therefore makes sense to focus on mobility, as this is where the greatest potential for reducing CO₂ emissions lies.

By focusing on mobility, the Swiss Climate Challenge app can help users better understand their personal impact on the environment and take concrete steps to reduce their environmental footprint.

23. What are the important setting options of the Swiss Climate Challenge app that you should know?

The Swiss Climate Challenge app offers users some customization options to personalize their experience and make the most of its useful features. You can access the settings under the profile icon.

1. Tracking --> Manage Vehicle Settings (to set your used Transport Types): In this section you have the opportunity to provide specific information about your transport modes, including the type of vehicle (e.g. bike, car, bus) and its size, as well as whether it is electric. These settings can be made individually for each vehicle type.

2. General --> Language settings: Here you can change the app language to your liking by choosing between German, English, French and Italian.

4. Profile --> Display name / My Canton: In this section you can customize your display name and select the correct canton for more detailed information about your region.

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