Featured Startup Pitch: Through its mobile app, Sustainability Compass wants to help consumers live ‘greener’ lives

By Editor February 9, 2015

Matthias Muller, SustainabilityCompassBy Matthias Müller, Sustainability Compass founder


Think smarter, act smarter. The Sustainability Compass helps you take the right steps towards the future, and is set to create a global conversation on how we live our lives, and how we implement our sustainable ideas.


Designed to meet all situations, the Sustainability Compass app helps its users make more sustainable decisions—ecologically, socially, and economically. Sustainability Compass promotes its model by inviting users to plan out their sustainable ‘Projects,’ whether they be individual or in a group context, through a user-friendly interface on their smartphones. By then applying four key drivers to the project from a range of categories—including Chemicals, Connectedness, Fairness, Fossil Fuels, and Health—users are then given information and criteria based on those specific drivers to meet their project goals.

Additionally, the app has been upgraded to support two key features. The first of these allows the addition of written notes to existing project profiles, while the second gives users the option to share their projects with friends and contacts via Facebook, Twitter, and email.

Users can also create a deck of informative and fun ‘Sustainability Cards,’ which are customized to their specific projects and can be downloaded for free after purchasing the app.



I am a design and sustainability consultant, and have a long history as a journalist and online media producer. I used both of these skill sets to create one product, which is the mobile app Sustainability Compass.

I am also the president of the Swiss office of the globally operating company The Natural Step, and am therefore able to bring together different people and organizations to create a global network that is dedicated to the promotion of the Sustainability Compass.


We use the following formats as storytelling mediums:

One-on-one talks, workshops at conferences, websites, Twitter, guest blogs, reaching out to journalists, bloggers, as well as connecting with people and institutions who are working to promote sustainability across different continents.

Our main strategy is to find partners all over the world to use and promote our different language versions of the app. To achieve this, the app is designed beautifully but simply, without the need for difficult programming. We have a ready-to-go-pack for smartphones that is available in many languages. Additionally, the implementation of a new language takes ten days.



Most of the sustainability apps like GoodGuide focus on specific topics, whereas the Sustainability Compass is a tool which helps to provide a sustainable perspective for every decision that one has to make.

The Sustainability Compass is based on a clear scientific background, and can therefore be used in educational contexts, particularly as an encyclopedia for sustainable thinking.

There is also a card deck included in the app, which can be downloaded for free once the app is installed. This card deck allows for teachers, facilitators and different groups to talk about sustainability in a playful and accessible manner. The cards are more than just a deck of informative cards or a game, they are a conversation starter that people can use to come together, analyze issues, and implement real life changes, whether it be at the office, school, or personal space. When used in a team setting, the app and cards trigger an intensive and educational dialogue.

Our vision is to create a platform for sustainable thinkers based on the use of one tool, and one language. This platform will be financed by specific advertising formats.


We are less a company, and more of a global network of partners who operate quite freely in their specific economical and cultural contexts. The brand consists of a logo, a claim and the product itself. There are no other restrictions

Compared to other apps, our app focuses on creating and using a unifying language about sustainability. Many apps focus on action and advice, but somehow they remain unconnected because they lack a holistic understanding of sustainability. The Sustainability Compass speaks the language that is fundamental for all sustainability apps. Since the app can be translated into any language, the cultural context is not in the app, it is established by its user.


Direct sales of the app. We plan to generate a profit by providing consultation services for other organizations.


We are looking for new language partners, especially for Russian, Japanese, Chinese, and Hindi.

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HEADQUARTERS: Winterthur, Switzerland

WEBSITE: www.compass-for-sustainability.net

FOUNDER: Matthias Müller

INVESTORS: Bootstrapped


TWITTER: @SustainCompass

CRUNCHBASE: crunchbase.com/product/sustainability-compass