This Strategy and Operations Plan recommends the use of either the EcoPassenger or Climate Care carbon calculator tools, depending on the researcher’s destination.
The Ecopassenger tool is preferable as it has a more accurate methodology and provides a broader contextual understanding, however unfortunately it only covers journeys within Europe. Therefore, for any journeys outside of Europe, researchers are encouraged to use the Climate Care tool, which provides a fast and simple calculation of carbon emissions for any journey globally.
The EcoPassenger tool provides a way to make easy comparisons between the use of car, plane and train for any particular journey. The tool calculates the carbon emissions resulting from each mode of transport for the journey, but also the data for other negative environmental impacts, such as particulate matter and energy resource consumption.
The tool was developed by the International Railways Union (UIC), the Sustainable Development Foundation, the German Institute for Environment and Energy (IFEU), and Hacon software. Its methodology is more complex than most, and accounts not only for the fuel that powers a mode of transport, but also the energy used to produce the fuel – a ‘well to wheel’ perspective that incorporates the whole energy chain.
Climate Care is an easy-to-use dedicated flight emissions calculator, which calculates greenhouse gas emissions resulting from flights to any destination around the world.
EcoPassenger will also offer researchers a way to put their carbon emissions from travel within Europe into a wider transport context, with detailed comparisons between car, train and plane. We looked into other ways of putting researcher’s emissions into a more general context (such as, ‘equivalent to planting x trees’ etc), but this would involve directing researchers to another external website, adding further labour and complexity to the process. For students travelling outside of Europe, we hope to be able to develop an alternative way of contextualising their emissions in future drafts of this operations plan.