Introducing Klima’s 2022 carbon calculator

Our updated and expanded carbon calculator adds higher resolution to your footprint measurement.

Calculating your carbon footprint is at the start of every Klima journey and a routine to come back to every time you change your lifestyle (ideally for the better). That’s why we’re proud to unveil our new and expanded calculator today. This update allows you to dive in deeper and really understand the little habits you can adjust easily for maximum effect: to reduce your emissions and green up your life. 

This release has been long in the making and was a truly collaborative effort between researchers, developers, and designers inside and outside of Klima. It marks a big milestone toward our ultimate goal: making individual climate action simple, effective, and accessible to everyone.  

Building on a strong foundation

We got a lot of positive feedback for our first carbon calculator that launched about a year ago. And most importantly: Out of every 100 people who started to calculate their footprint with Klima, 95 completed the process. To us that was the crucial metric, as it proves we’re removing entry barriers to climate action. To that end, we created a simple, fun, and fast way to assess your emissions. One that doesn’t require any technical knowledge and only takes two minutes to complete.

The result was an accurate footprint estimate, as we caught all the big emission drivers and filled in the gaps with national averages. It also produced actionable results because we focused on those lifestyle areas that you can actually do something about. And importantly, many of you used it to reveal your carbon footprints for the first time — a necessary step towards taking action. 

Digging in deeper

When we began to plan our next iteration, we knew we wanted to keep that simplicity, while adding value for those members who were looking to dive in deeper. Many of you shared that you would love to add granularity on specific topics you care about — whether that’s gaming or gardening. And we couldn’t agree more. For those of us who are beyond their first step of getting acquainted with their carbon footprints, it’s rewarding to dive in deeper and see the impact from all the little, or more specific things, we can improve as well.

That’s why with our 2022 calculator version, we’re adding a whopping 38 optional questions as part of our “advanced calculator” mode. If at any point after your initial footprint setup you want to dig in deeper, you can now input anything from how many pets you own to how much you spend on furniture, and customize your footprint down to the most detailed level.

What’s under the hood? The new calculator runs on the latest data models from our partners at ESU-services in Switzerland. ESU is a team of environmental engineers led by Dr. Niels Jungbluth. They have been pioneering carbon assessment science since the 90s, and recently developed a carbon calculator for the World Wildlife Fund. Together, we created a detailed lifestyle questionnaire based on the latest carbon assessment datasets, and updated the logic behind existing questions when necessary.

Another big update is the switch from a territorial — or “production-based” approach for national averages — to a “consumption-based” calculation. This means that instead of measuring your country’s footprint by the goods it produces, we now consider the emissions from what its people consume, adjusting for imports and exports of emissions across borders. This approach is simply better at attributing impact at the consumer level.



Was my carbon footprint not accurate before?

Yes it was — but you can always improve! The first 10 questions we ask already capture the biggest drivers of your carbon footprint. But of course, every calculation is based on some assumptions. If, for example, you put down your diet as vegetarian, it could mean that you eat dairy three times a day or hardly at all. Without further input, we’ll assume the dairy consumption of an average veggie diet. The new calculator now gives you almost 40 more questions to specify this and other aspects if you want to, creating a “higher-resolution” result. 

Is my carbon footprint now 100% accurate?

It’s important to remember that every carbon footprint is an estimate. If you’re human, there will always be natural variation in what you eat, your daily activities, or your sporadic needs. And similarly, the climate impact of the same product may vary significantly based on its manufacturer and other factors. The truth is that there’s no such thing as 100% precision in carbon accounting. Our updated calculator, like the first one, contains inbuilt ‘padding’ to cover this variability, and make sure your results are always a bit on the conservative side. 

Should I update my carbon footprint in the app?

We generally recommend recalculating your footprint every once in a while. You may want to input new lifestyle changes, and we’ll continue to update the calculator from time to time, to include the latest scientific data. But don’t worry if you miss an update here or there — you’re still doing your part. Just know that there’s a lot more to discover and engage with when you’re ready. 

From us, to you

A big thanks to all Klima members who have taken the time to send in heaps of encouraging feedback, ideas, and requests that have helped shape this new calculator version. We made sure to include your wishes wherever possible. Klima is and always will be a community, where every insight voiced helps shape the direction, and every input shared can make a difference. The 2022 carbon calculator is only the latest example of that. We can’t wait for the next milestone we achieve together! 

Markus Gilles
by Markus Gilles
CEO & Co-Founder
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