Explained With Connect Earth: Merchant vs Category Level Emissions Data

Nov 22, 2022 | Blog

As environmental consciousness grows among consumers, the desire to trace our carbon footprint becomes increasingly prevalent. Today, this is made possible through various means, including banking apps that display not only the monetary cost of a purchase but also the associated carbon emissions. However, there’s a crucial aspect of this emerging field that both consumers and companies need to be aware of: the inaccuracy that consumers and companies can face when it comes to these calculations.

In this blog post, we delve into the nuances of category level versus merchant level emissions data, shedding light on the importance of this distinction and our solution to the challenges it presents.

Understanding Category Level Emissions Data

Most carbon tracking solutions available on the market rely on category level emissions data. This means that when individuals like Julia make a purchase in a sustainable clothing store and others like John opt for a fast-fashion brand, both transactions are categorised under the same label – in this case, “Men’s and Women’s Clothing Stores.” On the surface, this may seem like a fair comparison, but it falls short of capturing the differences in how these stores operate and their varying environmental impacts.

The inherent problem here is clear: Equating the emissions from these two distinct shopping experiences oversimplifies reality and can lead to highly inaccurate assessments of environmental impact.


The Power of Merchant Level Emissions Data

Imagine if the emissions associated with each purchase were calculated at the merchant level, drawing data directly from the specific brand where the transaction occurred. In this scenario, John would realise that buying from a fast-fashion store leaves a significantly larger carbon footprint compared to his alternative choice. This level of precision empowers consumers to make informed, conscientious purchasing decisions and embark on a path toward more sustainable living.


Unlock Informed Consumer Decisions with Connect Earth

This is precisely where our solutions at Connect Earth take center stage. Our mission is to empower consumers worldwide by providing them with genuine, informed choices when it comes to their purchasing decisions. We recognise that understanding the environmental impact of your choices is crucial, and we’re here to bridge the gap between category-level simplifications and the complex reality of merchant-level emissions data.


If you believe that Connect Earth can be a valuable partner for your financial institution, providing your SME and individual account holder customers with accurate merchant level emissions data, reach out to our team.




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 consumers and SMEs 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 spending.


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