The study, carried out by consultancy firm WSP, considers number of downloads, stickability (whether an app is used often or deleted) and positive environmental impact. (Scroll down for full list).

Ebay scored highly in all three categories due to its popularity and promotion of circular thinking through re-using items and reducing waste

The Kindle app came second as it is also one of the most downloaded apps and eliminates the need to print and distribute paper books.

Andy Porter, head of digital at WSP, said: “What we learnt from this study is that the most sustainable apps are not necessarily the greenest ones, but rather, the most popular programmes are part of our day to day living and enhance citizen’s lifestyle choices.

“Ebay and Kindle have led the way in showing other apps that accessibility and simplicity can have a huge impact on the sustainability of consumer behaviour. Three in four people in the UK use smartphones, so there’s huge potential for the technology to be a catalyst for action and promote the circular sharing economy.”

Sharing is caring

Airbnb was the highest ranked sharing economy app at number eight, just days after new Energy Minister Matthew Hancock pledged to make Britain the global centre of the sharing economy. 

Skype ranked fourth, reportedly because it enables businesses, friends and families to communicate without the need for long journeys, while Spotify came in at 17 because it reduces the need to manufacture and distribute CD’s.

Google Maps ranked sixth thanks to the potential savings on time and fuel, as a recent NAVTEQ study found people driving with GPS used 12% less fuel. Google recently partnered with Sainsbury’s to deliver a food-waste reduction app.

Top 20 sustainable apps

1) eBay 
2) Kindle
3) GoodGuide
4) Skype
5) Seafood Watch
6) Google Maps
7) Freecycle + Trash Nothing
8) AirBnB
9) Moovit
10) CityMapper
11) Gumtree
12) Wallapop 
13) Good Fish Guide
14) Love Food Hate Waste
15) LeftoverSwap
16) Fuel Monitor
17) Spotify
18) MyHome
19) Making of Making
20) Seasons

Brad Allen

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