Carbon footprint calculators for citizens

Recommendations and implications in the Nordic Context

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In this report, we look into Nordic carbon footprint calculators and selected benchmarks from other countries. We present data on 10 carbon footprint calculators for public use. The focus is on the features, recorded number of users, and experiences on using the calculators in campaigns and research projects. The purpose is to highlight good practices in the design and use of calculators for ordinary citizens which can be used to introduce the role of consumption choices in climate change mitigation. The report provides suggestions for the future development of existing or new calculator initiatives. The study was carried out by the Finnish Environment Institute, financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers, administrated by the Sustainable Consumption and Production Working Group and guided by a steering group consisting of representatives from Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.




Consumption patterns and choices are important, but often neglected in terms of climate change mitigation. However, Hertwich and Peters (2009) state that 72% of global GHG emissions are related to household consumption, and the rest to government consumption and investments. The potential of mitigating climate change by changing consumption patterns is modelled by Girod and colleagues (2014), who propose that low GHG-intensive choices in housing, passenger transport, food, and other goods and services would make it possible to reach the 2 °C climate target by 2050.


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