Your Carbon Meter

Let’s talk carbon footprints.

Few consumers today know the true impact of the products or services they buy. Few are aware of their own carbon footprint.

You know that slogan you keep seeing everywhere about how there’s no Planet B? Yep, that’s what we’re talking about when we talk about carbon footprints and the impact of your purchases. It’s all about understanding the impact our actions have on the planet. If we know what the impact is, we can do something about it, dig it?

That’s why the Åland Index was created in 2015 — to engage and educate people and to help them achieve a more sustainable lifestyle, encouraging people to make a difference through the way we spend our money, to help ourselves to lead our lives in balance with nature, not to its detriment. The Index was developed by the Bank of Åland, in collaboration with Mastercard, RBK Communications, KPMG and other innovative partners. There are some pretty big hitters in that development team, right?!

ekko’s carbon meter

The ekko Carbon Meter you see in your app is informed by the Åland Index, which since 2018 has been further developed by Doconomy, with the goal to share impact calculations of financial transactions and to involve as many people as possible worldwide.

The Åland Index is a tool to combat climate change. It makes use of robust data when it comes to calculating the carbon footprint of your purchases. The mission of The Åland Index back in 2015 was to develop tools to help people measure and understand their impact on the planet, to reduce their negative impact through changed behaviours, and to incentivize them to maximize their positive impact on people and planet. This is exactly what we want to do at ekko with the carbon meter you can see in the ekko app; to empower you as a customer to understand as much as possible about your purchases and spending impact, so you can make better decisions and make them confidently – right on!

How does it work?

The Index powering the carbon meter in the ekko app is based on financial and environmental data from S&P Trucost, which is part of S&P Global. Trucost is a leading player in environmental data for financial analysis and evaluates risks related to climate change, depletion of natural resources as well as other social factors.

Trucost’s database, on which Åland Index is based, consists of reported revenues and emissions of greenhouse gases from a total of 15,000 companies, which corresponds to 99% of global market capital, where most of the world’s largest companies are represented. The Trucost dataset offers the most comprehensive and timely database of carbon and other environmental impacts of public companies globally.

The dataset is based on both validated company disclosed information (annual reports, sustainability reports), and best in class modelling techniques based on scientific research and public datasets (including life cycle assessment studies, research papers, and government databases). This hybrid approach enables Trucost to capture up to date information on the environmental impacts of companies and sectors, taking account of changes in performance over time, whilst addressing gaps in company disclosure with the best available scientific data.

Radical Transparency – it’s not perfect

The carbon meter in your ekko app isn’t perfect. Right now, the carbon meter in your ekko app can tell what type of merchant you made your transaction at (for example a clothing store or a grocery store) and the impact of your purchase is calculated using an average footprint in each industry represented in the Index. At the moment, it can’t identify exactly what’s in your basket; we’re working on that and expect to see big improvements over the next 6-9 months and beyond.

In future, your carbon footprint calculation will be much more accurate. We’re taking a longer-term approach, with data we can use and act on immediately, whilst we help build a global dataset to help understand and power change on a much bigger scale.

Why did we decide to go down this route? We’re so pleased you asked! The Åland Index is a global solution, and ekko are focused on having the biggest positive impact we possibly can. The Doconomy ambition is to establish a world standard for impact measurements, which we think is the right thing to do – we’re in agreement with Mastercard, KPMG and the other pioneers involved in producing the Index that a global crisis needs a global solution.

By using your ekko debit card to make purchases, you’re helping develop a global solution to a global problem. We understand that we (humankind) need data on a global scale to really maximise impact. As time goes on and more data becomes available, localisation accuracy will improve as the whole system is “tweaked”.

I want to know more, what else can you tell me?

Right on! We love that you want to know more because we want to share more with you!

We’re currently working on doing a breakdown that explains in greater detail exactly how our carbon calculator works; we’ll be linking to it here very soon and you’ll be able to find it in our radical transparency centre as well. Watch this space!