Carbon footprint of IHME 2021

IHME carbon footprint featured by Katie Paterson's "To Burn, Forest, Fire"Kuva/Photo: Veikko Somerpuro

In 2021, the carbon footprint of IHME was 12 tonnes CO2e. That is a bit bigger than an average Finn’s annual carbon footprint. Most of IHME’s emissions are from travel, especially flying. In 2021, emissions were also generated by the purchase of computers.

IHME emissions are divided between running its operations and commissioned works. In 2021, emissions from IHME’s basic activities were 3 tonnes CO2e and emissions from commissioned works totalled 9 tonnes CO2e.

Emissions from IHME’s basic activities 3 tonnes

Emissions from IHME’s basic activities were about 3 tonnes of CO2e. Basic activities cover running IHME’s office, acquisitions, catering for meetings, and travel by the Board, advisory board and staff. In 2021, there were very few such staff journeys, and no flights at all.

Compared with 2020, emissions from IHME’s basic activities fell by about 25%. This was mainly a result of there being so little air travel. Of the emissions 55% came from the office’s energy consumption, 20% from computer purchases, and 20% from services. IHME’s office uses wind power, but not renewable district heating, since this is only available to entire buildings. Emissions from services are calculated on the basis of telephone and cleaning bills.

Emissions from computer purchases

IHME bought two laptop computers in 2021. These replaced devices that had been in use for more than seven years, and which had begun to develop problems. The carbon footprint for the manufacture and transport of a Lenovo computer was 285 kg CO2e. This figure is based on the manufacturer’s own estimate, and contains also the emissions from disposal of the device, but not the emissions during its use. These are accounted for in the carbon-footprint calculation as paid-for internet services and as emissions from electricity consumption.

Emissions from the purchase of computers (570 kg CO2e) constituted about 5% of IHME’s total emissions and about 20% of basic-activity emissions. The intention is to use the computers for at least five years, so that, over the longer term, annual emissions will be moderate, especially when we take into account that the computer is an essential part of the working process.

IHME carbon neutral in 2021, too

IHME was carbon neutral again in 2021. IHME’s climate emissions were offset via Hiilipörssi. Hiilipörssi brings together many issues that are important to IHME: combating climate change, preventing eutrophication of waterways, and protecting biodiversity.

How was the carbon footprint calculated?

The carbon footprints were calculated by IHME’s eco-coordinator Saara Korpela using the calculator made by the Hiilifiksu järjestö project. Hiilifiksu was chosen particularly because it is easy for anyone to start using this free, Excel-based calculator.
The calculator’s sub-divisions are: energy, travel, acquisitions, waste, and services. The calculator has also been input with the latest data on the climate impact of flying and food.

Next, the digital carbon footprint

In 2022, IHME will be investigating the digital carbon footprint of the Amar Kanwar’s online course Learning from Doubt.


Further information:

Eco-coordinator Saara Korpela, saara.korpela(at)
Ecoblog archive, with information about calculating carbon footprints