Introducing Financial Data and Groups in a Carbon Calculator: Issues with Trust and Opportunities for Social Interaction

Aksel Biørn-Hansen, Wolmet Barendregt, David Andersson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


A range of carbon footprint calculators have emerged over the years, aiming at promoting pro-environmental behaviour through providing information about what impact people have on the environment. Up until recently, most of these calculators have been focusing on providing feedback on an individual level. This paper presents an exploratory study of a new kind of carbon footprint calculator, which offers a social and collective dimension not found in many other existing calculators. This is done through the introduction of a group feature allowing people to engage with and compare themselves to each other. The calculator also makes use of real-time financial data in combination with user generated data in order to provide reliable and continuous estimates of a person's carbon footprint. Through an explorative study, in which we conducted two in-depth interviews with four participants, we have investigated the reactions to using the carbon calculator for the first time as well as after two to three weeks of unsupervised use. Our study indicates that the use of transaction data does not automatically lead to a higher trust in the calculated carbon footprint due to the numerous insecurities that are revealed. Registry data on the other hand seems to be appreciated because it eases the input that people have to provide anyway. While groups seem to be a promising feature, there is a need to investigate what information about people's carbon footprints should be shared as well as how the groups and the interaction with the carbon calculator can be kept lively and interesting over time.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICT4S2020: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on ICT for Sustainability
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-7595-5
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2020
Event7th International Conference on ICT for Sustainability, ICT4S 2020 - Virtual, Online, United Kingdom
Duration: 21 Jun 202027 Jun 2020

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Conference7th International Conference on ICT for Sustainability, ICT4S 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityVirtual, Online


  • behaviour change
  • carbon calculator
  • carbon footprint
  • financial data
  • mobile application
  • social dynamics


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