Google unveils UK Carbon Footprint project

Google unveils UK Carbon Footprint project

Who is the greenest of them all?

Google is continuing its green crusade with the launch of a UK Carbon Footprint Project.

The programme allows users to calculate their carbon footprint, choose personalised carbon-reducing initiatives and compare their footprint and actions to others around the country through the Google UK Carbon Footprint Map.

"We want to help people find the information they are looking for as quickly as possible and that's why we have launched this project," said Ed Parsons, geospatial technologist at Google.

"Whether people around the UK choose to start with small steps or giant leaps it will now be easier to see how collective efforts can make a real difference in reducing our carbon footprint."

Google has built the carbon calculator in partnership with several environmental agencies, including the Energy Saving Trust, The RSA, Act on CO2 and British Gas.

The project also uses data from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

"We have decided to share our calculator data with organisations ranging from local authorities and charities to big businesses, to ensure that even more people have the chance to calculate their carbon footprint using the most up-to-date data and calculations," said Environment Secretary Hilary Benn.

"I am delighted that Google is using our data and calculations for its carbon calculator which forms part of its new web project. The project is interactive and will encourage people to find ways to reduce their personal carbon footprint."

The site lets visitors calculate their carbon footprint, and offers various options and methods of reducing their environmental impact via a collection of personalised carbon-reducing actions.

Users can then add this as a widget to their iGoogle homepage, allowing them to compare their footprint and actions to those of others around the country on the Google UK Carbon Footprint Map.

The widget also allows people to tick off their carbon-reducing actions as they take them to automatically update their carbon footprint on the map.

There is also a discussion group where users can give and receive practical advice on reducing their carbon footprint.