What is my Carbon Footprint?

The phrase carbon footprint gets used a lot, but what does it actually mean? Read below to find out more! 

My carbon footprint – what is it?  

According to Mike Berners-Lee, leading research fellow at Lancaster University and author of The Carbon Footprint of Everything, it is “the sum total of all the greenhouse gas emissions that had to take place in order for a product to be produced or for an activity to take place”.  

The average global citizen has a carbon footprint that is equivalent to the emission of 6.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. However, that figure is approximately 9.3 tonnes for the average Briton. 

Our carbon footprint allows us to measure the total carbon emissions our lifestyle is creating each year. Calculating our carbon footprint allows us to see where our emissions are coming from and in turn, what actions we can take to reduce them.

How do I calculate my footprint?  

By entering information about your household energy use, food consumption, and travel habits, for example, carbon footprint calculators aim to provide you with an approximation of the amount of greenhouse gases being emitted to support your way of life. 

Calculating your carbon footprint is easy. We recommend the WWF calculator, however there are many online calculators available.  

Now you have calculated your carbon footprint, why not try using some of the resources on the Climate Action hub and see how some small changes can impact your emissions. It is good to repeat this exercise on an annual basis so you can keep track of your progress.