Why is it important to measure climate data and where do we get it from?
All global emissions can be traced back to us as individuals, through our demand for products and services every day. By using our choices to influence the demand for what is produced and offered, individuals have the opportunity to reduce all global emissions.
There are three areas where we as individuals make a difference, areas that both reduce our footprints and help others reduce their footprints as well. Together we can reach a point where sustainability becomes a social standard.
Ducky calculates footprints from the consumption perspective. This means all global emissions are allocated to us as consumers. Including how things are made, transported, used and recycled. The alternative way of calculating carbon footprint is from the geographical perspective and only includes emissions emitted within a specific area, such as within a country. This way of calculating climate data though useful for governance makes the individuals impact hard to see. This is why we calculate from a consumption perspective!
The consumption perspective shows the individuals global impact in service-based economies such as Norway. This is because service-based economies don’t have emissions in their area due to manufacturing, but cause emissions in other areas due to buying goods manufactured there.
From the consumption perspective we get a good estimation of our environmental footprint. This allows us to make better choices to drive sustainable development and work together with industry to reach local and international climate goals.
Luckily there are great models over all products and services that are produced in any country, and the average emissions from each sector within each country.
In addition there are good tables for how much money producers of products and services spend to make these, and what they get for selling them, meaning that environmental impact for all products and services can be calculated based on national monetary spendings.
When this information is combined with consumer expenditure surveys, the environmental footprint of individuals can be estimated from our spendings and we call this a top-down perspective.
In addition we calculate most emissions from a bottom up perspective. The emission from a consumption action is then calculated based on a lifecycle analysis, and multiplied with the quantity of the action.
When we want to calculate the emissions from your diet we know how much money you spend on different food categories (based on your income and the assumption that you are average in your country) and the emissions from money spending of these food categories. This means that we can estimate your footprint form a top-down perspective.
We also have average data, that you can adjust in our calculator, on how many calories you eat of each food category and the climate emissions from each calorie of the different food categories. We can thereby calculate your footprint also from a bottom up perspective.
We use both approaches to calibrate the climate data in our calculations.