Klarna to show consumers the carbon footprint of their shopping

Carbon footprint calculator tool provider Doconony also works with the likes of Mastercard

Developed as part of a partnership with carbon footprint calculator tool provider Doconony, the tool uses global average CO2e data to estimate how many kilograms of emissions are generated by each purchase. It is being added to the Klarna app this week and is free for customers.

Klarna has more than 90 million customers, of which around 18 million use the app at least once a month. Its services are built in to more than 250,000 retailers including the likes of ASOS, Miissguided, JD Sports, Gymshark and Schuh.

“The new feature aims to democratise access to unbiased climate impact information for consumers at no cost or judgment as a first step to help drive awareness around climate change,” Klarna said in a statement. The statement adds that shoppers should be supported to “become informed decision-makers” on the “true impact” of their purchases, in the same way that they can compare the nutritional impact of groceries.

Of course, the app itself will not inherently make Klarna’s business, or the businesses of its partner retailers, lower-carbon.

To the former, the firm has committed to halve its absolute emissions by 2030. It has also established an internal carbon price to help fund carbon reduction and offsetting projects, with the price set at $100 per tonne for Scope 1 (direct), Scope 2 (power-related) and travel-related emissions. A lower price of $10 has been set for all other kinds of Scope 3 (indirect) emissions. A CDP survey of 6,000 large firms found that one-third now have internal carbon prices.  

To the latter, Klarna claims that many partner retailers are “already working hard” on their climate impact. Nonetheless, public awareness of the contribution that sectors like fast fashion and retail make to annual global emissions as a whole.

Carbon labelling

A global survey of 10,000 consumers by The Carbon Trust found that more than two-thirds (68%) support carbon labels. More recently, a survey of more than 2,000 UK adults by 3 Sided Cube found that 68% want to reduce the carbon footprint of their lifestyles, with more than half wanting tech solutions that ‘nudge’ them towards more sustainable options.

Taking note of this trend, several companies have launched or expanded efforts to better communicate the environmental impact of products with shoppers in recent months. 

Tech giant Logitech and food firm Upfield, which owns brands including Flora, both introduced carbon labelling to products for the first time in 2020. Similarly, L’Oreal-owned Garnier launched a digital service communicating the carbon, biodiversity and water impact of products.  Quorn also scaled up its carbon labelling efforts.

Another brand that has long advocated for carbon labelling is shoe brand Allbirds. After labelling products with a ‘carbon output’, in what it claimed was a first for a fashion brand, Allbirds this week open-sourced a version of its footprint calculator. The move intends to help other businesses follow suit.

In a statement, Allbirds said it had spent “hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars” on the third-party verified life cycle assessment (LCA) tool and recognises that other brands may not have these resources to allocate in this way. The tool can be accessed here.

Sarah George

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