Home / Venture  / Climate-friendly commuter app, Hitch wins big at The Impact Awards

Climate-friendly commuter app, Hitch wins big at The Impact Awards

Winners of the Enterprise category at The Impact Awards, Claudia Grave and Todd Foster founded Hitch on an opportunity to make an impact on climate change through the workplace.

Hitch started off as a public carpooling platform that matched people together for carpooling.

After realising some complications in terms of trust and getting people involved, Hitch had to put themselves back on the drawing board.

“We are always listening to customers, and we identified that there was trust as a barrier with getting people involved in carpooling,” says Grave.

“In a lot of ways, in the start up world failure is often a success.”

During their pilot with the carpooling network, Grave and Foster says one workplace reached out to Hitch to see if it was possible to use their technology to help influence their workplace way of commuting.

Seeing the potential in this new format and the opportunity to have a greater impact on the environment through the new model, Grave and Foster flipped Hitch around.

Hitch now helps organisations to measure, report and reduce commuting related carbon emissions.  

Grave says that the new business model was the best way to achieve “Hitch’s overall mission”. Their pilot was key in helping them to understand “the best way to achieve their vision and mission”.

“There currently is a lot of enthusiasm and focus from organisations around carbon emissions and engaging their employees on a sustainability journey,” she adds.

With the new Hitch model, a lot of businesses have expressed “a lot of value” in what Grave and Foster have created as they begin looking carbon reduction initiatives.

“Every business has different commuting determinants and patterns so reduction initiatives should start with good understanding of the data,” says Foster.

Read more: Zero Carbon Bill: Five businesses on the road to a greener future.

In the industry, Hitch is the first of its kind.

“We also learned that a lot of organisations found obtaining commuting related data a time consuming, painful process and it often produced inaccurate results” says Foster.

Through Hitch, businesses can understand their workplaces commuting-related carbon emissions and can identify where they can put their focus on in terms of carbon reduction.

Todd Foster and Claudia Grave.

“We help organisations to measure, report and reduce their commuting-related carbon emissions,” she says.

Businesses that use Hitch will be able to receive reports and use an interactive dashboard on data regarding commuting habits, behaviour, attitudes and readiness to change.

Hitch’s Grave and Foster say everyone has a role to play in addressing our climate crisis.

“Workplaces have a massive part to play in influencing positive commuting choices, a great spot to start is understanding the data around how their people are moving and where the opportunities are for improvement” says Foster.

“The next step is acting on that data to encourage and enable your employees to move towards more sustainable modes of transport. The workplace can play a super powerful role in that.”

With climate change becoming more and more important in the business world as organisations attempt to implement it in their work, Hitch has since seen demand grow.

“It’s a growing sector,” says Grave.

“With climate change, everyday counts at this point so it is great to see energy and focus from big organisations.”

Hitch has worked alongside companies such as Sharesies, Lincoln University, PwC and The Cooperative Bank.  

But growth is still on the plates for Hitch.

“We’re pretty ambitious founders, whilst our growth is in New Zealand at the moment, we’re already eyeing up and validating some overseas market,” she adds.

Grave says that the faster the business can scale up the “bigger the impact we can have” on the climate change issue.

“We’ve got a pretty bold and big ambitions for the future.”

Bernadette is a content writer across SCG Business titles. To get in touch with her, email [email protected]

Review overview