University of Helsinki: CarbonLink to offer a real-time carbon footprint calculator

While impactful climate action starts with surveying the carbon footprint, it has so far been difficult to determine how much climate emissions regular businesses generate through their operations. Previously, these calculations were complex and required prolonged reviews.

CarbonLink originated in the idea of making the calculation of carbon footprints increasingly automated. Thanks to innovation, financial administration data can be used to calculate, in real time, the carbon dioxide emissions of organisational activity.

– The idea was to design a system that can be integrated, as well as developed and redesigned further down the line, says Merli Juustila, one of the founders of the company.

A numberof CarbonLink’s shareholders are specialists of atmospheric science, whom can be contracted to provide the latest research findings for the calculators. The company is a spinout from the University of Helsinki and shareholders also include the university’s funds.

Collaboration with Visma, the software company, is resulting in a cloud-based service that measures the carbon footprint of businesses throughout their production lifecycle. The service determines the relevant figures in real time, thus providing businesses with tools to shape their operations into an increasingly sustainable form.

– We have created models using available open data, such as that pertaining to emissions in Finnish cities, Juustila says.

Methods of atmospheric science and business founded on emission reductions
CarbonLink wishes to make a genuine contribution to the mitigation of climate change and the building of a sustainable future.

– Major societal change requires modern tools, which organisations can utilise to actually take part in curbing climate change. Together, research and business constitute an immense force, which we want to harness to build a better future, says Markku Kulmala, professor of atmospheric science and another CarbonLink founder.

Many organisations have adopted carbon dioxide emissions as a central operational indicator. The demand for large climate measures are urgent, so emissions trading will probably soon apply to companies of all sizes.

– The international nature of climate measures can also generate growth potential for the company’s calculation methods abroad, since Finnish models can be applied to the circumstances of other countries as well, Juustila notes.