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Explained: Merchant vs category level emissions data

More and more consumers are interested in tracing their carbon footprint in order to be aware of their environmental impact. It is possible for example though a banking app - after each transaction, you can see both the amount of money spent on a purchase as well as the amount of carbon emissions associated with it.

However, it is crucial to be aware of the inaccuracy that consumers and companies face when it comes to these calculations.

In this blog post we will explain the difference between category level and merchant level emissions data, and provide a solution to this issue.

Most carbon tracking solutions available on the market are based on a category level emissions data. It means that when Julia makes a purchase in a sustainable clothing store, and John makes a purchase at a cheap fast-fashion brand, the impact of both purchases will be shown as equal (both fall under the same category— Men’s and Women’s Clothing Stores).

As you can imagine - this can be highly inaccurate as both stores produce clothes in a completely different manner and have a very different impact on the environment.

If the emissions were calculated on the merchant level, using data obtained from the specific brand where the transaction was made, John would see that buying in a fast-fashion store leaves a significantly bigger carbon footprint than buying in the other store. This would allow each consumer to make their purchasing decisions in an informed and conscious manner, empowering them to live more sustainably.

And this is where Connect Earth steps in.

We want to provide consumers all over the world with a real and informed choice when it comes to their purchasing decisions. To learn more, check our website.


About Connect Earth:

Founded in 2021, Connect Earth is a London-based environmental data company that democratises easy access to sustainability data. With its carbon tracking API technology, Connect Earth is on a mission to empower people to make sustainable choices and bridge the gap between intent, knowledge and action. Connect Earth supports financial institutions in offering their customers transparent insight into the climate impact of their daily spending and drives sustainable finance.