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FAQ it till you make it

Here you can find answers to frequently asked questions about donations, calculating emissions and our carbon offset projects. Select a topic to get started.

What data is taken as a basis for calculating emissions?
  • Consumption values: You can enter these precisely in our calculator, estimate them or measure them using various intermediate steps. 

  • Emission factors: Each consumption value is multiplied by an emission factor, which in turn depends on emission source-specific factors such as the energy source. As far as possible, we only use factors from independent and internationally recognized databases and, if necessary, supplement these with our own conservatively calculated factors.

Why can different results be obtained when using different emission calculators?
  • In order to measure the emitted CO₂ equivalents, we first define the system limits. This means deciding which emission sources are taken into account for the calculations and which are not. These limits can vary between the individual calculators, which leads to different results. In the case of mobility, for example, some calculators only consider emissions caused by the combustion of fuels. In order to present as complete a picture of mobility as possible, however, we have decided to also take into account the emissions produced by the provision of transport infrastructure.   

  • Additional differences arise because different providers use different data sources for estimated consumption values and emission factors. 

How accurate are the emission calculations on the ClimatePartner website?

In principle, emission measurements can never be 100% accurate. However, we use emission factors from independent, recognised databases and can therefore ensure that the calculations are as accurate as possible. Unfortunately, these databases do not contain factors for all emission sources. We therefore make assumptions and derive emission factors for these emission sources. Although there may be inaccuracies, our many years of experience in calculating CO₂ balances ensure the best possible accuracy. Further uncertainties result from the options to enter estimated or exact values in the calculation. While the calculation with exact data provides very accurate results (depending on the quality of the data entered), an estimate uses average values which may differ from the actual data.

Besides CO₂, are any other greenhouse gases included in your calculation?

Yes, we take all greenhouse gases relevant for global warming into account: the so-called CO₂ equivalents. CO₂ equivalents form a summary of all greenhouse gases into one index. The greenhouse gases behave differently and therefore contribute to the greenhouse effect to different degrees. In addition, the gases remain in the atmosphere for different lengths of time. To compare theses different greenhouse gases and their impact on the atmosphere, they are expressed in CO₂ equivalents. The greenhouse gases are converted according to the "Global Warming Potential" defined in 2013 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations panel of experts.