Questions and Answers
Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about ClimateHero, our service, and why we do this
The ClimateHero Carbon Calculator estimates your carbon footprint in units of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e). This is the unit that climate researchers commonly use to deal with the fact that all greenhouse gases do not have the same strength in the greenhouse effect. As an example, 1 ton of methane gas has the same climate impact as 28 tons of carbon dioxide (over a 100-year period). This means that 1 ton of methane equals 28 tons carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e).
ClimateHero uses about 30 public sources to calculate your carbon footprint. Based on these sources and your answers in the climate calculator, we can estimate the emissions from your private consumption, which amounts to about 10 tons of CO2e per person per year for many of us. The world average, including those living in abject poverty, is around 5 tons CO2e per person per year.
ClimateHero uses the Exponential Roadmap which tells us that climate emissions must be halved by 2030 at the latest. That leads us to a personal climate budget for the average global citizen of about 2.5 tons per year. But since the world population continues to grow, we round off downwards to a climate budget of 2 tons CO2e per person per year.
That is where we have obtained the four archetypes that we use to categorize your climate footprint:
- Climate Hero (<2 tons) – Already today living within the 2030 global climate budget
- Climate Friend (2-5 tons) – Already helping to decrease the world average
- Climate Consumer (5-10 tons) – Increasing the global average
- Climate Villain (>10 tons) – Exceeding the average among wealthy individuals
Out of the estimate of 10 tons CO2e per capita, you can affect about 80% as a private individual. The remaining 2 tons is associated with public investments that you as an individual can’t change through your way of life. These 2 tons must be halved before 2030, which is why we single out 1 ton of these when we calculate your footprint. That means you can’t get a lower footprint than 1 ton CO2e in the climate calculator.
It is important that your carbon footprint is calculated as accurately as possible. But to us it is even more important that there is a quick and easy way for you to estimate your footprint and learn from the important lessons in the test. This is why the calculation contains some general assumptions, enabling us to limit the amount of questions and estimate your carbon footprint in five minutes. As a rule of thumb, we have chosen to exclude/simplify questions if the outcome is less than 0.1 tons CO2 per year.
Your carbon footprint should therefore not be interpreted as being precisely correct down to the decimal point. That being said, you will most likely end up in the correct category from the four archetypes we use to portray the carbon footprint (Climate Hero, Climate Friend, Climate Consumer, and Climate Villain).
As ClimateHero aims to help everyone on the planet to reduce their footprint, we use data sources that are internationally viable as far as possible, but supplement with country-specific data where necessary.
Click here to see a list of the data sources that the climate calculator relies upon.
Carbon offsetting means that you neutralize your own carbon footprint by reducing carbon emissions elsewhere on the planet. It is a smart way to take responsibility for the carbon dioxide emissions that you cause and have not been able to bring down through changes to your own lifestyle.
The money you pay goes to climate-positive projects that would not have happened without funding from the carbon offsetting. The climate projects are mostly in developing countries, where the main focus is on replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy, such as solar or wind power, or on capturing carbon dioxide by preserving or planting forests.
Today, the largest amount of carbon dioxide emissions globally come from the combustion of fossil fuels for electricity and heating. While developed countries have sufficient income (high GDP/capita) to make the shift to renewable energy, most developing countries lack the funding to do so.
Carbon offsetting in developing countries function as an effective development aid as it not only reduce carbon emissions, but also contributes to improved health and the reduction of poverty for the planet’s most vulnerable inhabitants.
We believe that carbon offsetting should never be used as a way to rationalize or perpetuate unsustainable practices. It should only be considered as an option after first calculating and starting to reduce your carbon footprint.
To account for potential calculation errors, the calculated carbon footprint is offset by a factor of 200%.
The carbon offsetting occurs in a portfolio of climate projects that have been chosen to maximize the climate benefit for the lowest possible cost and risk. Furthermore, we make sure that our projects contribute in tangible ways to a region’s social improvement.
Offsetting in a portfolio of projects means the risk will be spread out. That is much more secure than if you as an individual were to select a single project. That is the same logic as, for example, taking on less risk by investing in a mutual fund instead of buying a single stock.
The climate projects are certified by the UN and bear the Gold Standard quality label (supported by WWF and similar organizations). This means that the projects been subject to the toughest audit requirements regarding verifiable climate benefit and social improvement.
Your money will support a portfolio of climate projects that ClimateHero has selected to provide the largest climate effect per money spent. Click here to read about the climate projects we have funded so far. We are continuously adding new projects to the list as we grow.
Carbon offsetting varies greatly in price between projects, depending on the type of certification, the volume, and the supply and demand. ClimateHero offsets large volumes for all of our Climate Heroes and constantly optimizes a portfolio of different climate projects that all Climate Heroes share. Therefore, we can offer a stable price over time even though new climate projects will be added and others closed.
The monthly fee is based on your calculated carbon footprint and is divided into four categories:
- Climate Hero (<2 tons CO2) – 6 USD / month
- Climate Friend (2-5 tons CO2) – 9 USD / month
- Climate Consumer (5-10 tons CO2) – 12 USD / month
- Climate Villain (10-15 tons CO2) – 15 USD / month
ClimateHero does not offer carbon offsetting for footprints larger than 15 ton.
We use 20% of your contribution to run and develop the company. This includes all costs for our servers, software licenses, credit card fees, technology development and costs for employees. As we grow, we will be able to reduce that proportion.
The remaining 80% of your contribution enable immediate climate benefits. We buy carbon offset certificates in Gold Standard certified projects that cover 200% of your carbon footprint. The price per tonne varies over time and between different projects. If there is money left over when we have covered 200% of your footprint, we will use it to spread ClimateHero to more people who calculate and start reducing their carbon footprint. On average, each person who uses ClimateHero pledge to reduce their footprint by 30%, which provides an additional climate benefit from your contribution.
These are the main points of the agreement that apply to the use of the ClimateHero Carbon Calculator and carbon offsetting:
- With the ClimateHero Carbon Calculator you can quickly and easily calculate your carbon footprint and get help to decrease it, both through lifestyle changes and climate compensation.
- If you choose to offset with ClimateHero, then a fixed fee according to the price list is drawn from your credit card every month, which offsets 200% of your estimated carbon footprint.
- You may at any time update or terminate your offset subscription with a 1 month notice.
- ClimateHero strives to maintain stable low prices for carbon offsetting. Price adjustments occur at most once per calendar year and only if the market situation for climate projects changes significantly.
- Once in a while you may receive emails from ClimateHero with news and climate-smart tips. In each email there’s a link enabling you to unsubscribe from future emails.
- ClimateHero respects your personal information and does not share it with third parties, except for specific cases where it is required to deliver ClimateHero’s own services or to comply with laws and regulations.
You can see the whole user agreement here: https://climatehero.me/en/user-agreement/
ClimateHero is run by environmentally conscious entrepreneurs trying to do what they can to help tackle the defining issue of our generation. The first service that has been launched to heed that call is ClimateHero’s Climate Calculator, whose purpose is to help the planet’s inhabitants easily understand their climate impact and take smart steps to reduce it.
The service is run through the Swedish company Climate Hero AB, which was founded in 2018 for the Swedish market and is now expanding internationally to reach as many of the planet’s inhabitants as possible.
The company was founded by spouses Anna and Robert Sabelstrom, who has 15+ years of experience in digital innovation and sustainability issues. The idea for ClimateHero came to Robert when he was calculating his own footprint and realized how large it was.
You can reach us at our email email@example.com or through our Facebook page.
We will get back to you within 24 hours (most of the time).
Your payment is secure. It is handled in encrypted form by Stripe, the world’s third largest payment provider. Established in 120 countries, Stripe processes several million transactions every day. Your credit card details are never visible to ClimateHero or third parties.
You may at any time change or cancel your subscription by informing us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The cancellation period is one month, from the day you contact us. Other changes to your subscription (e.g. adding more people) are carried out immediately.
We have external auditors that review our operations, with a special focus on compliance in carbon offsetting. You will find the audit reports at the bottom of this page.
The projects we support are certified by the UN and Gold Standard. You can read more about how the auditing of the projects are conducted here.
Many people contact us asking how carbon offsetting can cost so little. There are three main reasons for this:
- Green technology is becoming more cost-effective every year. That means that the subsidy part for each project (which is where you come in!) does not have to be so large for the project to be initiated.
- Today, only 0.4% of the world’s total carbon emissions are compensated for, but to meet the 1.5 degrees C goal, this percentage needs to increase fiftyfold. Thus, there are still too few people and companies that take responsibility for their climate impact. This in turn means that the supply of climate positive projects exceeds demand, which keeps the price down.
- ClimateHero analyses and selects projects that provide the most climate benefits per dollar spent. We buy large volumes at the best available prices, which you and all other subscribers then share. Read more about our climate projects here.
ClimateHero’s mission is to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. We do this by helping the planet’s inhabitants to reduce their carbon footprints.
We do not expect to reach all the inhabitants of the world, but instead we focus on the 10% of the population who (according to Oxfam), cause 50% of our global emissions. This 10% includes most of the inhabitants of the Western world. Our overall goal is to influence 100 million of these by 2030.
ClimateHero’s mission is to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by helping the planet’s inhabitants to decrease their carbon footprints. We believe that this mission is performed better in the format of a fast-growing digital start-up than through yet another non-profit environmental organization.
ClimateHero is completely without political or ideological affiliation and is thus not dependent on any contributions or anyone else’s agenda to develop the service. Instead, ClimateHero has taken a corporate form and has as its sub-goal the aim to generate its own revenue. Revenues are reinvested in the business to develop the service and fund marketing activities in order to help more people to understand and decrease their climate impact.
The Gold Standard was founded by WWF and several other NGOs, to ensure that carbon offsetting takes place with the highest possible quality and has no negative impact on the local environment. The projects are subject to the highest auditing requirements and are required to involve all relevant interested parties, including the local population.
In addition to ensuring actual climate benefits, the Gold Standard requires that projects contribute to additional sustainable development goals rather than just climate action. This means that the climate projects also contribute to improved health and reduced poverty for our planet’s most vulnerable inhabitants.