Personal carbon footprint offsetting with Yayzy

Hey! Jumping on the world earth day theme, there’s a fantastic app called Yayzy which allows you to import transactions from your bank and it estimates your carbon footprint and provides options for offsetting it - I’m usually spending between £3 -£10 per month depending on what I’ve bought and the carbon projects I choose to support.
I think this could be a really popular integration with Monzo and possible discounts with plus and premium accounts.
It’s be great to hear any thoughts on this!

How does it know if I’ve bought food that’s been imported from the other side of the world or from a local supplier?

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Is it your company?

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I’m guessing here but there are a lot of assumptions and estimates used and I wouldn’t exactly say it’s 100% accurate but feels like it’s better than doing nothing

I wish! I think it’s a great idea but not my company

Always dubious as to those kind of apps. As above how do they know where my products been sourced, what energy source did the producer and seller use. Did it get delivered with a hybrid vehicle. The list goes on…

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Seems more gimmicky than useful. I can make a far better estimate at what my footprint is.

Until it can accurately do it I personally don’t see any value it in.

I don’t know enough about how Yayzy calculates the footprint to comment properly on the accuracy - the calculation is explained in the FAQs on their website. From what I can see from my transactions, most of my footprint is being generated from food shopping, cafes and deliveries which looks to be heading in the right direction considering I haven’t been commuting or leaving the house (much). My ‘green’ energy supplier doesn’t generate an offsetting charge in the app which also seems fair.
It’s interesting to hear the reservations about the calculation accuracy. My view is that I wouldn’t offset anything if I had to do the calculation myself

I don’t know how Yayzy calculates the carbon costs, but having researched similar apps predominately from Scandinavia (Svalna, Doconomy and Nordea), some of these combine transactions, information from governments databases and user-entered data to calculate carbon scores. Sure they won’t be 100% accurate for the reasons pointed out in the thread, but they could still help raise awareness. Research has shown a lack of carbon numeracy often means we underestimate the impact of our lifestyle choices and overestimate the impact of voluntary carbon offsetting (VCO).

Transparency of where your VCO investments go can sometimes make me dubious. I have wondered whether pooling carbon costs and investing in R&D projects collectively instead of individually planting trees every month may be a better way of supporting the challenge of reaching net-zero?

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Why don’t you just donate £10 a month to a carbon charity instead of using a for-profit app (mentioned on their FAQ)?

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That’s fair. For me, I’d like to understand what I’m doing that generates more carbon and can look at reducing this rather than donating a fixed amount that might not be enough.

I think there’s so much more awareness about how pressing the issue is. Yayzy may not be the answer for Monzo users, but is there another way that Monzo can facilitate knowledge about carbon footprint of transactions or to help with this. I don’t have solutions but someone might…

No app is going to be any good for a personal projection. It’s basically best guess which is pointless. It can’t factor in my life one bit.

Reckon it be a hard sell for any user to believe anything like this.

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I think the difficulty is Monzo know where you’ve bought, but not what.

So if I buy from WeAreHeavyCarbonUsers.com and they only sell spoons. And you can easily track that 1 spoon is 4 carbons and they always cost £10, well that’s easy. I spent £40 on spoons. So that’s 16 carbons I need to offset.

But if I spend £50 at Tesco, they haven’t got a clue what I’ve bought, and unless you go through your receipt line by line and someone has an index of each of those items, where they come from, the company behind them etc etc. Then it’s just finger in the air guesswork.

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Yeah I guess the whole calculation relies on industry averages for certain types of transactions and it’s built around that. There must be “known data” about a typical UK grocery shop, etc etc. I bet it’s those averages paired with perhaps the MCC codes / retailer name.

All well and good at an aggregate level - but if you go out and only buy products sourced in the UK, and I go out and buy only those sourced from Australia, and spend the same amount, we’d get the same footprint / £.

There was another app very similar that allowed you to grow a “virtual forest”, and I think they ended up with maybe 40% of the money you paid them went to actual reforestation efforts.

In the end, I decided to support The Woodland Trust with a set Direct Debit every month - who can also claim gift aid, and all of the donation supports reforestation in the UK.


As an aside - I work in food supply chains - it’s so interesting looking at Carbon data of a food supply. So much more is attributed to “last mile”, or at least the last leg of the journey than you’d expect. I wonder if I can share some data that doesn’t dox myself.

Aside 2: “Carbon neutrality” is also really interesting - it’s either done through genuine offsetting of carbon in your own supply chain - using super modern technology to capture and redirect heat/waste streams etc. Or, it’s done via companies buying “Carbon Credits”, used for carbon projects. (And there’s a good chance those credits are bought from a for profit corporation too). If you do see any food product claiming carbon neutral, ask them how they achieve it - but my guess is if they don’t make a fuss about the “how”, they’ve bought the credit back.