Method
Estimated reading time 3 min

Equip with insight: Individual carbon footprint

There are as many kinds of carbon footprints as there are individuals. But how big is the average carbon footprint in your country?

Writer

Emma Hietaniemi

Specialist, Sustainable Everyday Life, Sitra

Published

It has never been this easy to understand the concept of a personal carbon footprint. Calculate the national average carbon footprint and break it down to an easily understandable form. The effects of man-made greenhouse gas emissions on the climate can be measured and compared in the form of carbon footprints. By quantifying the average carbon footprint of your country, you will find out where to focus your efforts on the common quest to reduce personal emissions.

The carbon footprint doughnuts are based on the national average consumption of the most common consumption options multiplied by their carbon intensity. The total sheds light on the lifestyles and daily habits that add up to several tonnes of carbon dioxide emitted.

Payoffs

  1. Breaking down the dense data on carbon emissions to an individual level makes the concept of consumption-based emissions easy to understand.
  2. Average carbon footprints vary vastly between countries – localising the calculations helps you focus on the main issues.
  3. The individual carbon footprint is the basis for many other modules we offer. Conducting these calculations at the beginning of your project will pay off later.

Results – Finland

What’s needed

First things first, always keep in mind the local context and culture to properly localise the individual carbon footprint. Team up with the national statistics centre and take advantage of ready-made statistics as much as possible. If there are no national statistics or data collected, try to find and compare relative data from other international databases.

Also find yourself reliable partners from among carbon-emission analysts. In case you do not have any carbon-emission analyst expert in your team, we recommend you outsource the calculations to a local statistics or research institute or a consultancy company who have experience in carbon footprint quantification.

 

Download the method as a pdf version: Equip with insight: Individual carbon footprint (pdf)

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