Case Study

UST designs award-winning app "Adva" for Olam Group to help reduce individual carbon footprint

To help reduce individual carbon footprint and create a more sustainable world, Olam released the Adva app to encourage people to make greener choices in their daily lives. The app has helped reduce 170tCO2e in emissions in the first year.


Founded in Nigeria and headquartered in Singapore, Olam International is a leading food and agricultural supplier of coffee beans, coffee, cotton, and rice to more than 20,000 customers worldwide. Olam generates approximately $47 billion in revenue annually and employs 82,000 people.


Need to encourage individuals to adopt sustainable lifestyle choices

As a brand that has sustainability as one of its top focus areas, Olam wanted to use digital initiatives to nudge society towards a greener, healthier, and more carbon-neutral future. In line with this strategy, Olam decided to roll out a mobile app that could drive this intended behavioral change. The app design demanded a comprehensive understanding of human behavior and the capability for incremental digital nudges that could lead to long-term positive habit formations. Considering the limited awareness and varied understanding of carbon footprint amongst the users, this app needed to correctly profile and recommend appropriate nudges for different personas as required.


An intuitive, sustainable lifestyle application backed by solid user research

UST and Olam embarked on a collaborative journey to design, develop, and launch the “Adva” app. Using qualitative research, behavioral economics, design thinking principles, and an agile delivery approach, the team of experts meticulously crafted the app. It educated the users and addressed a wide range of concerns about sustainable consumption choices while transforming them into relatable concepts to be applied in their daily lives. The app's design and communication used a context of sustainability, and social drivers to encourage users to overcome resistance and break down perceived barriers through non-intrusive behavioral nudges.

Some of the key features offered:

Adva was designed to be vastly different from competitor apps and presents avenues for greater action toward environmental causes through select offset programs. Real-world global initiatives are available for participation with clear information and finite goals. The idea was to demonstrate transparency and tangible impact on real human lives within the context of the users' accumulated activity deficit, helping users overcome their perceived barriers.

By following an iterative product development approach of continuous discovery, design, and delivery, the goal of reaching a product-market fit was achieved through rapid end-to-end development. The use of the hybrid framework, Flutter, accelerated the GTM with its effective cross-platform development capabilities.


An award winning app that saved 170tCO2e in emissions in the first year

Adva has been a trailblazer in the sustainability movement as recognized by the prestigious iF Design Awards, which selected it as the app with the best user interface. The app has contributed to 170tCO2e carbon emissions reduction within the first year of its launch.