For the second time, the GreenDependent Institute calculated the annual carbon footprint of the members of a community in Hungary: in cooperation with the Pécsimami Association, 21 households around Pécs were included in the survey. According to the project supported by Daikin Hungary, the value of residential CO2 emissions measured during the pandemic was significantly lower than before the COVID-period.
The main goal of the initiative is for the participating households to learn about the size of the carbon footprint associated with their daily lifestyles, which is the largest and most growing part of humanity’s ecological footprint. The GreenDependent Institute and Daikin Hungary assessed the daily carbon emissions of a Hungarian community for the second time. The two organizations measured and calculated the annual household carbon footprint of 21-21 families in Piliscsaba for 2019 and in Pécs for 2020.
The components of the carbon footprint cover 6 consumption areas, the most significant of which are household energy consumption, transport (mobility) and meals, which account for an average of 2/3 of a household’s footprint. The survey focused on four of the 6 areas for which data were collected through a self-report using an online questionnaire.
The average carbon footprint per capita of the families included in the assessment, calculated on the basis of research factors, is 2.74 t CO2 for 2020, which is a very encouraging result and supports the possibility to live on a smaller carbon footprint than an average footprint of 6.2 t CO2e / person / year. In light of this, the target of 2-2.5 t CO2e / capita / year agreed in the context of the Paris Climate Agreement does not seem achievable either.
Most of the average carbon footprint of participating households is accounted for by the energy consumption of their home. This is followed by meals, which are responsible for about a third of families ’footprints, while daily transportation is a little over a sixth of it.
However, it is important to take into account that in the epidemic year 2020, the majority of families completely paused or minimized the number of regular or leisure-related trips and vacations. These two areas accounted for only 2–2 percent of the footprint of participating families; which was much lower than in the case of the Piliscsaba community included in the calculation in the previous year, and also at the value calculated in international studies, which is at least 20% of the average carbon footprint.
In 2020, our lifestyle changed in many ways as a result of the epidemic, which resulted, among other things, in the Earth Overshoot Day being postponed 3 weeks later than in 2019. This was largely due to a decrease in the carbon footprint component, which is also supported by the results of this year’s research, particularly in relation to the travel-related carbon footprint.
Let’s not forget though, that this extraordinary year is over, and in 2021, Earth Overshoot Day was again on July 29, as it was before the pandemic, in 2019. This is why it is important that once one is familiar with the lifestyle emissions, action is being taken in order to reduce them permanently. In connection with GreenDependent’s more than a decade of experience, 10-30% energy savings, thus carbon footprint reduction, can be achieved only by changing consumer behavior without an investment involving technological modernization.
The results of the survey, as well as carbon footprint reduction opportunities through behavior change, retrofits & technology change will be discussed at a dissemination event at 3 p.m. October 14, 2021 in a hybrid form. The physical location is the new office space of Daikin Hungary (1117 Budapest, Alíz u. 3.). We also enable for you to participate virtually. Participation is free, but registration is required. To register, please fill out the form at the link: https://bit.ly/3Cdl6BA