How to Build a Carbon Tracking Calculator: Features, Development Time, and Costs

Igor Izraylevych

4 min read

How to Build a Carbon Tracking  Calculator: Features, Development Time, and Costs

Excessive carbon dioxide emissions accelerate global warming and increase water acidity. This is hazardous for sea life and can have drastic effects on the whole of humanity in the long run.

According to reports by NASA, our planet’s average surface temperature has risen by 0.9 degrees Celsius over the past century.

  • Over the past decade, there has been an increase in the number of natural disasters, with more than 800 occuring every year, a nearly fourfold increase compared to previous decades. 
  • Precipitation has dropped in some areas and risen in others. 
  • Natural anomalies occur as the air heats up, and widespread forest fires break out as a result. 

One of the long-term solutions to all of the above lies in renewable energy sources: solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, and wind power are the pillars of our clean future. But we need to act now and minimize carbon emissions any way we can. How exactly can you do that in terms of your business operations?

Thankfully, modern technology helps, and you can start managing carbon dioxide emissions your company produces with the help of a custom-built carbon tracking calculator.

Significance of calculating carbon emissions

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change claims that methane is 86 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over 20 years. The EPA forecasts that the oil and gas industry will increase air pollution by 25% during the next decade. All this gradually yet steadily lowers the quality of life on our planet, shortens our lifespans, and generates new health threats for us and our children.

The carbon footprint of an individual, organization, or product is comprised of the greenhouse gas emissions they produce both directly and indirectly. In particular, greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere when producing or consuming food, industrial products, fuels, etc. 

These emissions affect heating of the lower layers of the atmosphere and the surface of the planet. As a result, the air becomes polluted, glaciers melt, and the climate changes. According to The Guardian, the temperature of the world’s oceans is rising gradually – last year was the hottest in recorded history.

By equipping your company or project team with a tool for calculating your product’s carbon emissions, you can find out exactly how much you contribute to global warming and regulate your operations accordingly. Building a carbon trace calculator is the starting point in a chain of environmentally conscious actions that will help us all keep our futures clean and the planet a safe place to live.

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Main features of a carbon tracking calculator

A carbon footprint calculator is a combination of hardware sensors and specialized software that gathers, stores, and visualizes data about carbon emissions. In order to serve its purpose, such a calculator must provide a set of underlying features and capabilities.

Emissions calculation

Specialized algorithms in the core of the calculator software can determine a product’s carbon footprint from the initial stages of development to release. A convenient calculator should be able to save the history of all calculations and allow for their editing.

Data tracking

Algorithms should also enable you to determine the carbon footprint left by the production of raw materials, transportation, processing, filling, distribution, as well as product disposal.

Intuitive interface

Carbon footprint software must have an intuitive interface with easy navigation. At the same time, it should allow users to calculate CO2 emissions with the highest possible accuracy, packing complex functionality inside a simple outer layer.

Advanced integrations

For maximum accuracy, the calculator can use AI and machine learning to take into account rapidly changing environmental conditions and process huge chunks of real-time data. When designing a carbon footprint tracker, developers combine the best publicly available data and scientifically based assumptions to create the foundation for calculations based on algorithms set in motion by the integrated AI.

A targeted strategy

During development of a carbon consequences calculator, you should include a function to limit greenhouse gas emissions per week, month, or year. Such functionality will help users create a schedule of quotas and make every decision with an understanding of its influence on the surroundings.

Mobile responsiveness

When designing a calculator, you should ensure compatibility with mobile and other devices that can capture real-time geolocation data. This way, you enable users to analyze carbon emissions on the go.

Development technologies

To develop a carbon footprint calculator, industry experts and engineers analyze a range of energy data. The integrated algorithm has to take into account consumption of water, natural gas, petrol, electricity, and other energy sources during business operations.

The software’s overriding aim should be to help people control their company’s or their own personal greenhouse gas emissions and provide users with personalized recommendations to reduce their negative impact on the atmosphere.

That’s why when elaborating a carbon consequences calculator, you should select an area of ​​activity on which to focus. After all, your solution will function based on what historical data can be used in calculations and what real-time data needs to be analyzed.

For turn-key development of calculating software, the main inputs you will need include:

  • product, company name, location, and category
  • production data
  • energy consumption data

Note that if you want to develop a narrowly focused calculator, you may also require the following:

  • personal data
  • history of carbon consequences 
  • your goals in terms of future carbon emissions
  • emissions summary

How the main calculator algorithm works

Calculating carbon consequences involves tallying emissions at each stage of a product’s or service’s life cycle. Note that greenhouse gasses other than carbon dioxide are also released during the product/service life cycle. To estimate their emissions, it’s necessary to apply a unique formula for each.

Determining the level of carbon emissions is centered around evaluating everyday activities and their impact on nature. For instance, when you walk instead of riding a car, you create fewer emissions. 

However, evaluating carbon consequences offhand will only take away your thirst for environmental care. A calculator provides a convenient and efficient way to determine emissions, helping users make informed decisions and reduce the carbon footprint of their activities.

Development time frame and costs

It’s difficult to determine the exact cost of a carbon footprint calculator, as it’s formed by a myriad of factors, such as the number of specialists involved in development, the scope of functionality, deadlines, and milestones. You also need to decide whether it will be your own project or you will work with a specialized team to create a carbon footprint calculator.

As for the development time frame, creating a calculator with a minimum feature set (a minimum viable product, or MVP) takes an average of three to six months. After that, you’ll need to conduct a test launch, collect user feedback, and create a final version of the UI along with a full-scale implementation.

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Conclusion

The modern pace of life plays a decisive role in our planet’s wellbeing. Unfortunately, human activities lead to greenhouse gas emissions, which directly stimulate global warming and changes in our ecosystem. This brings us closer to catastrophic consequences, some of which we can already witness.

To help people and companies reduce their carbon footprints, we can create a carbon consequence calculator to determine a user’s level of emissions. This is an easy way to determine a product’s or company’s environmental impact and make the right business decisions!

The energy industry does not stand still, and every year enterprises are trying to reduce emissions, looking for ways to switch to renewable energy sources. As a trusted partner for energy companies, S-PRO accelerates the transition to these sources through a personal approach to renewable energy software development