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Cogo helps you understand and reduce your carbon footprint

The messaging around the climate crisis is complicated and can be overwhelming.

Cogo is here to help you understand your carbon footprint and give helpful information about what actions you can take. Reducing your impact can save you money too!

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Understanding your carbon footprint

Lots of people feel increasing pressure to take action – to live more sustainably and reduce their impact on the environment. But that’s tricky when most people don’t know what their carbon footprint is, let alone what a kg of CO2e means (1kg of carbon would fill an average-sized beach ball!).

Your carbon footprint is the sum of all the harmful emissions created by your consumption and lifestyle choices. It’s measured in kgs of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), taking into account all the gases – not just carbon dioxide – that affect the climate. Carbon is complicated, and a relatively new topic for most of us. Cogo are the carbon footprinting experts, bringing you easy-to-understand information about your carbon emissions – so you can make better choices for the planet (and your pocket) every time you spend.

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How we all have an impact

To know how to reduce our impact, we need to know what everyday actions and purchases contribute the most to our carbon footprint, and then what we can do about them. Sometimes people take action on things that only make a small difference, without realising that they could change other things that have a bigger impact on their carbon footprint. For example, buying local may not be as impactful as cutting out red meat.

By helping people understand how their spending contributes to their carbon footprint, we can help them lower emissions through their spending choices. Actions such as choosing to cut down your meat consumption or buying second-hand goods all make a big difference. When we all track our carbon, and make small sustainable changes, we can have a big impact.

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How is a carbon footprint calculated?

To calculate your footprint for a given transaction, we assign an emissions factor to all the industries you might buy from and activities you could pay for (fashion, travel, energy, grocery, insurance, etc). Then, each transaction is multiplied by the emissions factor to calculate its impact. For example, £1 spent at a UK fashion retailer creates on average 0.9kg of CO2e.

Most of these calculations don’t take into account the difference between the same products bought from different companies. But for transactions with some types of business, like energy suppliers or second-hand fashion retailers, the estimate can be more precise to the company.


How can I reduce my Carbon Footprint?

This will depend a lot on how you’re currently spending your money and what positive actions you’re already taking. For most people, their biggest impacts come from:


The food we eat and the food we waste

Red meat and dairy consumption are huge contributors to carbon and greenhouse gas emissions globally. Over the next five years, it’s been reported that 25% of people in the UK will be vegetarian and about 50% will be ‘flexitarians’.

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Eat meat in moderation

Even if it’s just cutting back one day a week e.g. ‘meat-free Mondays’ – it can make a big difference to your carbon footprint.

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Switch out the milk

There are lots of tasty milk alternatives now, try which one works best for you coconut milk in coffee?  Oat milk on your cereal?

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Reduce food waste

A third of all UK food ends up in the bin. This is a waste in terms of the energy and water used to produce the food and its packaging – not to mention the money you’ve spent. Plus, if it ends up in landfill, food waste creates highly polluting methane.


Transport & Travel

Rail makes up just over 1% of the UK’s emissions, while the aviation industry accounts for around 8% of UK CO2 emissions. In most cases, a full (e.g. four people) car is also a much more efficient way to travel than flying. That said, trains are still more efficient per passenger than driving by car.

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Take public transport

It’s a great way to reduce emissions and other environmental damage associated with transport and travel. It can also save you money on parking and the costs of car ownership. Try using an online journey planner or app to work out the fastest route by public transport.



Extending the life of half of the UK’s current clothing by an extra nine months could reduce, per tonne of clothing, 8% of carbon, 10% of waste, and 4% of water.

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Buy second hand

Buy second hand to reduce your fashion footprint by up to 75% and save money.



How much gas and electricity you use in your home, and who you buy it from, have a big impact on your footprint. Once the energy crisis subsides, consider switching to a 100% renewable and low-carbon energy provider. This can reduce your energy footprint by 10% for gas and electric homes.

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Turn down the thermostat

Turning down your thermostat by a degree can save up to 10% of your heating footprint – and the cost, too.


Save energy

Having shorter showers, air drying your washing instead of using the tumble drier and switching to LED bulbs – all money saving too.

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