New updates to our Impact Community Carbon Calculator

CSE’s Impact Community Carbon Calculator is a free, online tool providing small communities with easy-to-understand data about where most carbon emissions come from in their local area.

We’ve improved the reach of our Impact Community Carbon Calculator to cover England, Scotland and Wales along with carbon footprint data at ward level, in addition to parish and town council level. There’s also a new automatic report generation function and changes to layout make data easier to understand and interpret.

We developed “Impact” in collaboration with the University of Exeter, and it draws on more than 30 datasets to estimate the total greenhouse gases produced directly and indirectly from everyday human activities in a local area. This includes heating homes, using electricity, transport, producing and distributing food, disposing of waste and more.

People and communities can then use this information to work together and agree the best activities to cut emissions in their area. So far, the Impact Community Carbon Calculator has supported thousands of people and around 300 local councils.

Check out our video with Megan below to hear how others have used the tool to benefit their communities.

Speaking about the new developments to Impact, Annette Lamley of CSE saidL “Impact supports local climate emergency plans, through identifying the best climate actions at community level. To reach our net-zero targets, we all need to adjust our priorities, make different choices in what we buy, change our habits and practices, and organise and work with others in new ways.

Impact helps drive this change through supporting people and groups in local communities to understand their local emissions. This means that local climate actions focus on the big-emissions sectors rather than spending time on well-meaning but low-impact activities.”

Impact uses two different but complementary approaches to carbon footprinting: territorial-based reporting and consumption-based reporting*. Both approaches can provide useful information to help target local action.

Michael Gallagher, Head of Midlands Energy Hub said: “The Midlands Energy Hub knows, as a result of the number of communities using the first Iteration of Impact, that it provides a valuable resource to help users understand local carbon footprints. It has been fantastic for the Midlands Energy Hub to support the second phase of development, which will enable even more communities to decide how they can tackle their own net-zero challenges, enabling a place-based, community-led approach in supporting the local transition to net zero.”

The updates to the Impact tool have been supported through BEIS, Midlands Energy Hub, Kenneth Miller Trust, Newby Trust and Gower Street foundation.

Alongside Impact, CSE also supports community groups to implement actions through our Climate Emergency programme. We connect groups with local organisations that are well placed to support their specific initiatives.

Read a selection of stories from local councils and community groups that have used the Impact Community Carbon Calculator, here.

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