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Puts people’s footprint on the map

A climate tool uses public data to calculate the emissions from each individual inhabitant and visualizes the inhabitants' emissions in an interactive map of Norway.

20 October 2021

Norwegians' average consumption must be reduced from 13.5 to 3 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions to achieve the UN's climate goals. More than half of Norwegians are willing to make changes in private consumption to reduce their climate footprint, and one of the most important motivating factors for a more sustainable lifestyle is better knowledge. Municipalities in Norway now have the tools providing insight in the citizen's climate footprint based on private consumption, providing an aid in guiding citizens to reducing it.

"Private individuals' emissions are hardly considered in municipal climate strategies due to lack of sufficient data. This tool provides the municipalities with a better overview of the emissions and inspires the inhabitants to get involved in the climate initiative", says Mads Simonsen, founder and concept developer in the climate tech company Ducky.

Together with the IT-company TietoEVRY and the advising consultancy Asplan Viak, Ducky has developed a climate tool that uses public data to calculate the emissions from each individual inhabitant and visualizes the inhabitants' emissions in an interactive map of Norway. The map, which is called Zero Emission Citizen, provides the municipalities with an overview of greenhouse gas emissions at regional, county, municipal and neighborhood level.

Indirect emissions must be included

Most greenhouse gas emissions in municipalities in Norway come from goods and services that the municipality's residents consume. However, the actual emissions occur where the goods are produced. In a typical municipality, these so-called indirect emissions are 15 times higher than the direct emissions from the municipality's activities. Reducing indirect emissions is therefore necessary to achieve the UN's sustainability goals by 2030.

So far, there has been far less knowledge about the extent and sources of these indirect emissions than from the municipalities direct emissions, but with this climate tool, municipalities will now have insight into how climate policy affects private consumption.

The UN estimates that 10,000 cities must adjust their way of living to achieve the UN's sustainability goals by 2030. For cities to prioritize correctly, they need data to evaluate. Zero Emission Citizen is a practical example of how this can be solved, says Kristian Mjøen, head of the UN office Bærekraftssenteret in Trondheim.

Norwegians willing to change consumption habits

Climate is by Norwegians ranked the largest threat to the world, according to a survey conducted by Kantar, a data analyst agency, last autumn. In a recent survey performed by YouGov for TietoEVRY, as many as 52 percent of the respondents also said they are willing to make changes in their own private consumption to reduce their climate footprint. Together with personal gain, better knowledge of how private consumption affects one's own climate footprint is what motivates Norwegians most to a sustainable living.

Among the municipalities that have participated in pilot projects is Asker Municipality. The mayor of Asker (H), Lene Conradi, is clear that measurability is necessary to meet target goals:

"Our private consumption leads to large greenhouse gas emissions. In Asker municipality's new climate plan, these indirect emissions from consumption plays a central role. Zero Emission Citizen will be an important tool when the municipality is calculating the consumption-based emissions. Figures and an overview make it easier for us to understand the connection, and what measures are needed. Therefore, this climate tool will also be useful in communicating with our citizens in helping and motivating them in making green choices in everyday life. All the measures we take, small or large, contribute towards a more sustainable local community", she says.

Involves enterprises

Zero Emission Citizen is a collaborative platform that also involves the business community. Electric power companies and banks update the map with data on how much electricity the average citizen uses and how much they shop for. In the future, more business partners will be connected, which will give the municipalities even more precise and detailed emission figures. Together, the public and private sector will "climate-nudge" Norwegians to change their consumption habits towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

"There is no doubt that technology can help us achieve the UN's sustainability goals, and the business community must be involved. The more players collaborating in sharing data, the better the basis for decision-making. We need that if we want climate policies that work", says Christian Pedersen, Country Managing Partner in TietoEVRY Norway.

Facts about the People's Footprint:

  • Zero Emission Citizen is a climate tool developed by Ducky, TietoEVRY and Asplan Viak. The project is supported with funds from the Research Council of Norway.
  • The beta version is available for all Norwegian municipalities from June 23, 2021.
  • The tool calculates average greenhouse gas emissions per capita, broken down into various categories such as food, transport, other consumption, electricity, and public activities.
  • Municipal employees can check residents' emissions with an interactive map. Here they can check emissions at regional, county, municipal and in the long run, all the way down to the neighborhood level.
  • Zero Emission Citizen bases the results on existing data sources from the municipalities themselves, climate figures from life cycle analyzes and Statistics Norway. In the future, data from banks and electricity companies will also be added.
  • Pioneering partners in the public sector are the municipalities; Asker, Trondheim, Stjørdal, Oslo, Bodø, Molde, Stavanger, Gloppen, Kinn, Sunnfjord and Ørland. Also involved, the county councils of Vestland, Viken and Innlandet respectively.
  • Pioneering partners in the private sector are SpareBank 1 SMN, Fjordkraft and Wattn.

Findings from the survey:

  • 52 percent of the respondents are willing to change their spending habits to reduce their personal climate footprint.
  • The consumption habits we are most willing to change are:
  • Sort more waste (76 percent)
  • Buy used goods instead of new (57 percent)
  • Eat less meat (53 percent)
  • 31 percent answer that personal gain will motivate the most to reduce their own climate footprint.
  • 27 percent answer that what will motivate them the most is better knowledge of how private consumption affects their own climate footprints.

The survey was conducted by YouGov June 16-21, 2021, among a representative sample of Norway's population over the age of 18.

For more information, please contact:

TietoEVRY Newsdesk, news@tietoevry.com, +358 40 5704072

Contact me for more information

Kim Remvik-Larsen

Head of Business Concepts

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