Anyone has a practical guide for calculating carbon emissions?


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!



No comments.