A small Green Genie snuck off to the city

Written on the 7 October 2009

A BROADBEACH-based IT company has won contracts in 14 international markets with its carbon emission measuring software.

The revolutionary concept, Little Green Genie (LGG) measures the amount of energy being used by a computer before offsetting this by buying a proportionate amount of carbon credits.

Company founder James Skinner says the idea originally came to him in his sleep.

“I was having a dream where every time I hit a letter on my keyboard I was releasing carbon into the atmosphere and I guess it just stuck in my head,” he says.

With no known market competitors, Skinner believes the business may have established a worldwide niche market.

He says while the IT industry is usually not the first major culprit people think of, the carbon emissions from computers worldwide is comparable to that of the aviation industry.

“Making a single computer is roughly equivalent with manufacturing a small car in terms of the raw materials used and companies won’t be getting as much credibility offsetting their cars,” he says.

“Worldwide the IT industry is pumping around one billion tonnes of carbon emissions into the atmosphere.”

Putting his idea into action, Little Green Genie cost $250,000 to develop and refine over a 12-month period.

Skinner is expecting to turn a profit in the business’ first financial year with contracts already secured in the US, China, India, Israel and the UK.

Audi is the first large automobile manufacturer to sign up for the technology and the company is also in talks with BMW and Lexus. Further negotiations are underway with both local and multi-national undisclosed retailers.

As director of corporate advisory firm Stepping Stone Equity, Skinner does not want to be seen as another businessman trying to profit from the modern ecological focus.

“The software we have developed is free. Our customers are only paying for the carbon credits they gain and we are awarded a very small margin of that,” he says.

In the near future LGG will work with the Queensland Government on initiatives to further awareness on carbon emissions.

Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Kate Jones, says Queensland could lead the way in offsetting computer carbon.

“This is a great Queensland business developing a world first in regards to computer carbon offset software, so it’s so exciting to see a Queensland business do this. I think Queensland should be leading the way when it comes to the national carbon offset challenge with our computers,” she says.

“We want Queensland to lead the way so that we actually offset more computers here in Queensland than the other states – it only comes to about $10 per person.

“I’m throwing the challenge out there — all Queensland business, all Queensland households, start up, use this amazing world-first software here in Queensland the Little Green Genie, get behind the challenge (and) let’s show the rest of Australia just how well we can do not only in football, but also when it comes to the green challenge.”


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