#ConsciousCreative: Tracking and reducing carbon emissions

03 Mar 2021 | Culture

#ConsciousCreative: Tracking and reducing carbon emissions

By Danni VanDenBossche

Every month we take a look into the world of conscious creative and how design can promote positive change.

Throughout 2020, travel bans and various government policies across the world caused carbon emissions to drop by around 7%, or roughly 2.4billion tonnes — the biggest annual fall in emissions since World War 2.

However, as industries begin to re-open and adapt after the global pandemic, consumers are keen to get back to their pre-covid ways. With visiting family, eating in restaurants and travelling abroad at the top of the list for many, it’s likely that emissions will bounce back even higher than previous years, as people make up for the time spent inside.

Despite the negative effects of the last year, many companies haven’t let that stop them in their effort to fight the climate emergency facing the world.

Foodprint Calculator

The Foodprint Calculator has been released by the BBC in partnership with Verve Search and researchers at the University of Oxford, to allow consumers to calculate the environmental footprint of their food. Packaged up in a clean design with fun illustrations, the calculator is really quick and easy to use, allowing users to choose from a selection of staple foods and input how often they eat them each week.

I love that when you have filled in your choices, the calculator shows an infographic break-down of your emissions throughout the supply chain, from land use to packaging. The click of a button also allows the user to view their emissions in annual CO2 kg, or the equivalent ‘miles travelled by car’, making it much easier for people to digest.

At the end of the questionnaire, the calculator lets you choose alternate foods to see what changes you can make to lower your own carbon emissions.

Treepoints

If you want to be rewarded for offsetting your carbon, Treepoints is a new social enterprise service that does just that. The platform is simple, you calculate your average monthly emissions and offset them with a subscription plan and earn reward points. Treepoints then use your monthly donation to fund Gold Standard projects across the world fighting against climate change.

The points you earn allow you to receive rewards and discounts, buying eco-friendly products via their chosen partners. You can earn more points by referring friends, which I think is a great way of getting others involved who might not be aware of their environmental impact. And let’s face it, the more people who care about the world, the more people fighting to protect it – and that can only be a good thing.

Much Better Adventures

And for those who can’t wait to book a holiday, UK-based group adventure company, Much Better Adventures have added carbon labels to all of their trips, making it really clear and easy for the customer to see their real-world impact before booking a trip. The emissions figure shown on any of their trips shows an estimate of local transport, accommodation, guides, staff, office operations and even food. Due to the type of adventures they offer, the trips are generally already low in emissions as they feature camping, hiking and staying in huts. They also always work with local hosts to reduce emissions even more.

Even though the company plant enough trees to counteract at least 2 times the carbon produced for each customer, I think it’s a great step that consumers are able to see their own impact on the world and make informed decisions before they travel as we should all be aware of our own impact on the world.

Knowing that the problem is much bigger than they are as a company, MBA have set out their Carbon Action Plans and also released their measurements and methodology for calculating their figures, welcoming others to use what they have created.

We love working with companies and people who are shaping the world for good. Get in touch with us to see how we can help you get your change-making messaging out into the world!