[ Question ]

Anyone has a practical guide for calculating carbon emissions?

by ianps 1y6th Feb 2019No comments



I'm responsible for calculating the carbon emissions of the company I work for, and to offset these emissions I have a good amount of influence to recommend to which organization we should donate.

In my personal donations, I do not donate to climate change-related organizations, for the reasons usually advocated by EAs that my marginal impact is larger in other areas. In the longer term I would like to get my organization into this line of thought, however, getting funds to offset our carbon emission is currently a low-hanging fruit since a lot of employees are on board.

Last year I recommended CoolEarth (this was shortly before the Founders Pledge cause area report was released), but it seems this would not longer be the top-ranked organization (besides the Founders Pledge report, see this post by Sanjayand this document). Therefore, for this year my current inclination is to recommend the Coalition for Rainforest Nations (CfRN).

However, while additional insights are always welcomed into the recommendation of which organization to donate to, the basic question still remains of how do I get a good estimation of our carbon emissions? Has anyone performed a carbon emission calculation for their organization, or can point me to a good source of information on how to do so?

I have found a couple of calculators online, CoolClimate and CarbonFund being the most useful (or easiest) to use, but the results (e.g. for carbon emissions for flights or driving) vary a lot between them, and they are mainly focused in the US (whereas I'm based in the Netherlands).

Any guidance and/or suggestions are welcomed!



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