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About NatWest's Carbon Footprint Tracker

What is a carbon footprint?

A carbon footprint is the impact on the climate as we go about our daily lives. It is the impact of the greenhouse gases emitted from each decision we make throughout the day – either directly or indirectly. It's a way of representing your personal contribution to the polluting gases that cause climate change.

From the type of car you drive, to the construction materials of your new wardrobe – it all leaves a footprint. You can find out more in our article explaining exactly what a carbon footprint is (opens in a new window).

What can I do in the Carbon Footprint Tracker?

You can view your monthly estimated carbon footprint, helping you to understand the environmental impact of your everyday spending. You can view planet positive actions that you can take that could reduce your carbon footprint, and commit to these actions in our app. You can also see how your carbon footprint changes over time, and see the impact of individual transactions and how your footprint is affected by taking planet positive actions.

Why has my carbon footprint changed?

We occasionally carry out work to improve the accuracy of categorisation within the Spending and my footprint feature. As part of this, it could result in some users' CO2 estimations and savings being slightly different. It could also see some of the categories change slightly. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Is the Carbon Footprint Tracker free to use?

Yep – it’s 100% free to use.

How is my carbon footprint calculated?

A carbon footprint is measured in kilograms (kgs) of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Our Carbon Footprint Tracker does this by analysing your anonymised outgoing transactions and matching them to industries (fashion, grocery, etc.). Then each transaction is multiplied by an emissions factor per industry to calculate the carbon footprint of that purchase.

The emissions factors are lower for certain companies in an industry (e.g. renewable energy providers and second-hand clothing businesses) or due to dietary choices based on average grocery basket data from the Office of National Statistics (e.g. not eating red meat).

How accurate is the carbon footprint I see?

We need three bits of data to calculate your carbon footprint: transactions, business names and emissions factors (EFs).

Once we have sorted your spend into categories based on business names, the Carbon Footprint Tracker compares those categories against a comprehensive list of business types and their EFs.

An EF is the amount of CO2 produced by £1 of spend, for a particular type of business. For example, a trip to a supermarket will on average produce 1.01 KG of CO2e per £ spent (less if you're a vegetarian). Extensive research has been conducted to calculate EFs that are as accurate as possible.

Despite considerable effort, the EFs still only represent the average emissions per transaction. We constantly work to improve their accuracy, for example by allowing companies to provide their own verified data.

What period does my carbon footprint come from?

Your carbon footprint is calculated for the last rolling month based on the date you’ve chosen in your Spending settings. If you want to change your start date, go to Settings in the Spending tab, choose Set a date, and change the day.

What does 1kg of CO2 look like?

To make it easier to visualise, 1kg of CO2 looks like:

  • A large beach ball with a diameter of slightly over 1m (3 feet)
  • Driving an average car 2.5 miles
  • Using half a litre of petrol
  • 128 smartphone charges

Is my footprint or data used for anything else?

Your data is used to generate your carbon footprint; these results, are strictly used for the tracker only.

Will my carbon footprint reduce when I use your recommended Actions?

When you commit to an Action in the app, we'll reduce the footprint applied to relevant transactions when we calculate your carbon output. It's important to remember that your footprint is an estimate. The impact of your Actions can vary based on different factors associated with that Action, such as how long your commute is, or the individual items in your shopping basket.

What if I can't see my Carbon Footprint Score?

The carbon footprint you see is for your last previous month, so if haven’t spent on your account in the last month your estimated footprint will be 0kgs of CO2. Transfers between accounts also won’t impact your carbon footprint at all.

Can I access the Carbon Footprint Tracker outside the NatWest app?

No, our Carbon Footprint Tracker will only be available in your NatWest app.

I don't want to track my footprint anymore; can I opt-out?

We're sorry you don't want to track this anymore – you can opt out in the NatWest app by going to Spending > Settings > Manage My footprint > and slide the toggle left to opt-out.

About carbon footprint

Why should I reduce my footprint?

Every change you make, no matter how small, adds up collectively and positively affects the environment. If all our customers made small climate positive change this could add up to make a big difference.

How can I reduce my carbon footprint?

For ideas, look at the Actions section to see examples of how you could reduce your carbon footprint.

What is an average carbon footprint?

It's difficult to quantify an average carbon footprint as your individual footprint will vary a lot depending on many different factors, including what you spend your money on. An average carbon footprint for UK consumers is around 1,000KG CO2 per month.

What are Actions?

Actions are a feature of the Carbon Footprint Tracker that shows you planet positive changes you can make to your lifestyle that could reduce your carbon footprint. These range from small changes like how you do the dishes, to bigger changes like car sharing whilst commuting. We show you what you can do, and how much CO2 this could reduce your carbon footprint by.

You can commit to an action in the app (you may already be doing some of them), and we'll reduce the footprint applied to relevant transactions when calculating your output.

About Cogo

Who are Cogo?

Cogo were founded with the aim of changing behaviours to better the world. NatWest has teamed up with them to help our customers understand the impact their spending has on the planet by calculating a carbon footprint for each transaction they make.

The aim is to show customers how to make positive changes to both their spending and lifestyle that could lower their carbon footprint and make a real and lasting impact for the biggest issue of our lifetime.

How is Cogo working with NatWest?

Our goal is to be a leading bank in addressing the climate crisis and lower our carbon footprint. We're working with Cogo, the experts in carbon footprint tracking, to do just that and help our customers easily reduce their footprints' too.

Is my data secure with Cogo?

Yes – Cogo uses best practice security technology to ensure your data is safe. That data is anonymised, stored for no longer than a year and will never be shared with anybody other than us at NatWest for the purpose of the Carbon Footprint Tracker.

What is NatWest doing to tackle climate change?

What is NatWest doing to tackle climate change?

In short: we’re working to make our operations climate positive by 2025 and to at least halve the climate impact of our financing activity by 2030.

You can find more information about exactly what we’re doing and what our targets are in our climate strategy (opens in a new window).

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