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Measure Your Carbon Footprint With RPG API Express and Google

It's not easy being green

The truck I drive leaves a relatively Big-Footish 13 mile per gallon carbon footprint along my typical drive to Minneapolis or Mankato. The local garbage service only picks up one dumpster at the end of my driveway (which unfortunately does not contain a recycling canister). And there are regularly way too many lights left on in my house.

This week a new prospect approached me with the challenge of needing to identify his company’s overall carbon footprint. Apparently he is a part of an internal corporate initiative to identify the existing company footprint in an effort to implement measures to reduce it. Seemed like a large overall undertaking to me initially.

After chatting further, the key piece of data he really wanted to know seemed really quite simple:

“What is the distance in miles traveled for every shipment my company produces?”

For the record, his company is a book publisher. They ship thousands of books daily to all kinds of destinations. For all shipments, there is an origination address and destination address. RPG API Express, meet Google Distance Matrix APIs!

What's the solution?

Our software, RPG API Express, enables companies running on the IBM i platform to easily leverage web services like this one from Google and incorporate them into their existing business processes. After some minor customization, one of my developers illustrated to my prospect specifically how Google was returning the precise mileage data needed for his recent shipments. Now, the IT Director at the book publishing company can:

  • Determine exactly how many total road miles were driven over the course of a business day to deliver a specific quantity of books
  • Calculate how many road miles were driven in total last year
  • Forecast how many miles in total will be driven over the course of this year at the current pace
  • Calculate an approximate level of carbon dioxide emissions that are entering the atmosphere from miles driven
  • Implement processes improvements that will result in the overall desired company carbon footprint reduction

That’s intentional change for a greener planet.

Now where have I heard that before? As an IBM business partner, we get to join in and contribute to this very small piece of a much greater goal within IBM.

But can I keep my truck?

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