A Sydney startup has developed a simple, no-cost way for consumers to make a difference each time they shop.

The Greener app reviews a person’s spend and rewards them for shopping with companies recognised by independent sustainability accreditations. Users can build their ‘Greener Halo’ as they spend with brands and track their journey in becoming greener shoppers and their contribution towards reducing climate change.

Participating retailers and business groups pay a small commission for the new customers Greener brings them, which is reinvested in initiatives to remove emissions associated with the purchases.

Australians are more afraid of climate change than catching Covid-19, according to the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer, which found that climate change ranked as the second biggest issue of concern, only behind job security after the pandemic.

Greener co-founder, Tom Ferrier said the company’s purpose is to ensure every dollar spent repairs the planet.

“People want to be greener but don’t know where to start. So Greener makes it easy to understand their impact on the planet and then make sure it is a positive one,” he said.

“We guide people to genuine green businesses for everything they buy and remove the emissions of their purchase – at no cost.”

Ferrier engaged some of the world’s leading climate and behavioural scientists, including experts from Harvard, to help build the Greener solution. They identified more than 50 third-party accreditations to verify a brand’s green claims, spanning four initiatives: reducing emissions, reducing waste, using better materials and being a responsible business.

“We’re bringing together Australia’s leading brands in sustainability to launch a Greener economy. These values-aligned brands are all bound by an innovative and unified customer value proposition: To repair the planet with every dollar people spend,” Ferrier said.

“Data from our pilot has demonstrated that this world first, is arguably, dollar for dollar, the most effective way to attract and retain the sustainable shopper.”

Retailers participating in the initial launch include Grill’d, LUSH, Koala, MJ Bale, Flora & Fauna, Endota and Toddles, marking the first of at least 50 retail partners to come on board during the next two months.

LUSH brand communications manager, Jay Jennings said it is exciting to be partnering with Greener to help people rise to the challenges posed by the climate emergency.

“Through this partnership, we are empowering Australians to make informed decisions in their daily lives. We encourage all retailers who are committed to environmental protections to do the same,” he said.

Flora & Fauna founder, Julie Mathers said as a customer, she would be questioning where her dollars are going and if they are supporting the planet and people now and for future generations.

“It’s crucial that the money we generate and spend goes into likeminded organisations that are giving back. As a business, we work with partners to create a green economy and spend time vetting our partners. It’s not always easy for customers, and Greener helps people understand if a business has a purpose and is doing good,” she said.

Toddles founder, Lucy Salmon said as a purpose-driven brand, she is excited to be partnering with Greener.

“Incentivising customers to shop according to their values is a key passage to scaling impact. We all love a game, and when the goal is to be more sustainable, we should be thriving for the win,” she said.