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Free carbon footprint calculators: which is best?

Summary

This article examines the availability and effectiveness of free carbon footprinting software for individuals and businesses. Although these tools offer awareness and advice on how to reduce environmental impact, they have major limitations. For companies wishing to comply with current standards, it is advisable to invest in more accurate software. The text presents several free software packages, such as the Goodplanet, Ecotree, MyClimate.org and Hellocarbo calculators, but points out that they do not cover all the aspects needed to produce a reliable carbon footprint. The limitations of free software include lack of functionality, data history, granularity of information and conformity of results. In comparison, paid solutions such as D-Carbonize offer exhaustive data collection, greater accuracy and reliability, as well as expert support in implementing strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
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Introduction

Some carbon footprint calculators are available free of charge to individuals and organisations. These solutions help users to become more aware of their impact on the climate and provide guidelines for making more environmentally-friendly choices.

However, these free solutions have major limitations, since many features are restricted. For example, some emission items are excluded from free softwares. Yet completeness is an essential criterion for producing a reliable carbon footprint.

Companies therefore need to invest in more accurate calculators if they are to meet the new standards.

a laptop with free carbon footprint calculator

List of free carbon footprint calculators

The GoodPlanet Foundation provides individuals and companies with free online tools to help them measure and reduce their impact on the environment. GoodPlanet calculators can track energy consumption, gas emissions, water use and other environmental factors. In just a few simple steps, you can calculate your carbon footprint and start taking steps to reduce it.

This free software enables users to instantly calculate their carbon footprint. It offers personalised advice on how to reduce emissions and suggests measures to reduce energy consumption. It’s a free software that makes it easy to calculate your carbon footprint. It is aimed at both individuals and small businesses.

MyClimate is a free online platform that measures greenhouse gas emissions generated by aircrafts, car traffic, housing, work and leisure activities. The tool allows users to compare their current consumption with a hypothetical ‘green’ consumption, enabling them to identify areas where they can make changes to reduce their impact on the environment.

Hellocarbo is a free carbon footprint calculator that enables companies to estimate their carbon emissions based on the URL of their website. Its calculations are based on the sector of activity, the size of the company, the turnover it generates, etc. Its method of calculation remains approximate and does not allow for a precise carbon footprint assessment.

What are the limitations of free carbon footprint calculators?

There is a whole range of free carbon footprint tools on the market, each offering different functions.

What’s more, while these tools are effective for measuring and reducing a carbon footprint on an individual scale, they remain limited for companies that have to cover an extremely wide range of data. The involvement of a carbon consultant remains essential for implementing effective strategies within a company.

Functionality

These free programmes are designed to analyse the environmental impact of different activities, but they generally only provide an overview. They are not as comprehensive or detailed as paid softwares. It can therefore be difficult to obtain an accurate assessment of a company’s overall carbon footprint.

History

Without historical data, free carbon calculators do not allow companies to track changes in their emissions. Paid solutions, on the other hand, offer the possibility of keeping historical carbon footprints, making it easier to identify areas for improvement year after year.

Granularity

The granularity of the information provided by free software is often limited, as it only calculates a tiny proportion of the company’s carbon emissions. The simplified carbon footprint assessments generated by free softwares only take certain activities into account. Paid softwares, on the other hand, can cover all scopes (1, 2 and 3).

Compliance of results

Non-financial reporting, particularly environmental reporting, is playing an increasingly important role in decision-making, differentiation and employer branding.

Free carbon footprint calculators do not offer tools that present compliant results. However, the accuracy and conformity of the reports generated by a complete carbon footprint calculator enable companies to prove that they meet the criteria of certain standards (GHG-P, Ademe and ISO).

Free carbon footprint calculators do not offer tools that present compliant results. However, the accuracy and conformity of the reports generated by a complete carbon footprint calculator enable companies to prove that they meet the criteria of certain standards (GHG-P, Ademe and ISO).

The D-Carbonize tool

Unlike free carbon footprint calculators, D-Carbonize simplifies the collection of all the data relating to scopes 1, 2 and 3 and to all the emission sources within a company. The result is accurate, reliable and comprehensive. It enables companies to make strategic choices sustainably and responsibly.

The D-Carbonize tool is suitable for all corporate structures, as it allows greenhouse gas emissions to be broken down by site, entity or country. It can also be used to track greenhouse gas emissions by product or service. This flexibility is not possible with free solutions.

When using D-Carbonize within your company, you can be supported by carbon experts. Their role is to help your company in the collection and analysis of data. This is done to put in place an appropriate strategy aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Explore the concept of a carbon footprint in-depth by clicking here, or read our comprehensive overview on carbon footprint calculators here.

Reduce your company’s carbon footprint by booking a demo with our experts at D-Carbonize.

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