Online carbon footprinting tools are great for helping individuals, businesses and others identify where and how they add most carbon to the atmosphere and, therefore, where and how they can go about reducing their carbon footprint. Some are very complicated and you would benefit from help from an experienced footprinter. Others are simpler and you can have a go on your own.
All of the calculators on this page use figures calculated on actual CO2 emissions divided by the population as the base and then by putting in actual spend/usage/lifestyle choices the figure is raised or lowered to reflect more accurately your personal/household score. How these adjustments are made will mean that you are unlikely to have the same score by inputting the same figures into each calculator, but they should not be wildly different. The main thing is to choose which one appeals to you the most and stick to that one. By repeating your carbon calculations every 6 months you should be able to track your progress towards zero carbon.
For individuals and households
The Ecological Footprint calcuator calculates an ecological footprint, telling you how many Earths resources would be needed if everyone lived as you do. It measures your CO2 and the amount of land that would be required to produce the products you consume and to absorb the CO2 you have emitted. This is the organisation that run Earth overshoot day, in 2020 it was 22nd August. It is a USA based organisation but takes data from UN data sets and is a useful resource because all countries of the world can be compared. Lots of information on the site which has been recently updated. There is also a mobile app version that can be downloaded. The methodology and data sources used are explained.
The Carbon Independent website is run by a scientific researcher Ian Campbell, who is UK based. The calculator is very easy to use and can be filled in with bands or with actual figures from bills etc. There is a step plan to reduce personal footprints by 10% per annum over the next 10 years. There is also a lot of information, links and helpful ideas. The calculator builds in average embedded carbon based on your consumption. The methodology and data sources used are explained.
Giki Zero is a very easy to use calculator that is available as a mobile app as well as computer version. People are encouraged to enter actual figures wherever possible and answer questions to increase the accuracy of the scoring. There is also an app available that enables the bar codes on products to be scanned on a smart phone to get a breakdown of the carbon embedded in the product. You can plan your journey and look at all areas of your life with tips and help to reduce your footprint. Very easy to use and the methodology and data sources used are explained.
Carbon Savvy is a new calculator that will be fully available by the end of March. It looks to be comprehensive and has information and carbon saving tips that are emailed if you sign up.
For small businesses
The Carbon Footprint calculator is a UK based company that primarily advises businesses on how to be carbon neutral. Carbon that can’t be reduced is offset. On the site are free carbon calculators, one for individuals and one for businesses. The Individuals one is not so easy to use as consumption is measured in annual spending on items. This isn’t always easy to work out. It has a link to 52 weekly helpful tips on reducing carbon. It also has a plastic calculator and tips on reducing single-use plastic.