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Carbon Footprint - GreenAware

What is GreenAware and how does it relate to a carbon footprint?

Experian’s GreenAware is the UK’s first comprehensive carbon footprint measure calculator for every household and postcode in the UK. Developed in collaboration with the Stockholm Environment Institute, it breaks down individual consumption and environmental impact, including gas and carbon emissions, by UK household and postcode.

GreenAware is combined with Green Segments to define the UK population by eco-attitudes. Green Segments identifies the drivers and barriers of behaviours, including consumers’ understanding of green initiatives and the terminology used to describe their carbon footprint, their sense of risk, accountability and brand awareness.

What can GreenAware do for me and how does obtaining my carbon footprint measure help my oganisation?

The carbon emissions classification helps organisations across all sectors to identify a set of effective policies to reduce carbon footprint at a local level, such as carbon credits, carbon trading, and carbon offsetting. Key to this carbon reduction is targeting specific measures and incentives at different groups, supported by insight from GreenAware.

GreenAware can also be used to identify priority areas and households and to map regional variations in behaviour and attitudes toward carbon reduction, ensuring that resources are allocated effectively and that communications regarding reducing carbon footprints are well targeted.

  • Green Segments is made up of 10 distinct groups, each mapped at individual, household and postcode level. The groups include Eco-Evangelists, Doing their Best, Too Busy to Change and Wasteful & Unconvinced.
  • GreenAware can be used with or without Green Segments.
  • All GreenAware measures are linked to Experian’s Mosaic Public Sector classification of UK citizens, allowing Mosaic Public Sector users to identify the carbon footprint and environmental attitudes of Mosaic Public Sector groups and types.

The impact of our every-day actions and ramifications for the environment and climate change has entered the consciousness of consumers and organizations throughout the world. Understanding the attitudes and behaviour of an individual and how it influences their carbon footprint is an important step towards developing strategies that can change behaviour.

As public consciousness of global warming and greenhouse gas emissions has increased, so has the complexity of the issues surrounding the key drivers that influence people’s behaviour. For instance an energy-efficient household that has a high mileage driver, and an energy inefficient household that has no cars may have the same carbon footprint, but they will require very different measures to lower their carbon emissions.

Delivering a measure of a household’s carbon footprint means that regional differences in attitudes and behaviour can be identified. Policy can then be developed and targeted at local level to influence and deliver environmental improvement, approaching carbon neutral.

GreenAware enables you to answer this type of problem by providing you with a portfolio of actionable consumer segmentation that gives you a complete picture of every UK household’s carbon footprint, behaviour and attitudes.

It enables organisations to:

  • Understand the key drivers of consumer behaviour that influence our attitudes and actions towards the environment
  • Quantify the environmental pressures associated with household consumption
  • Map regional variations in behaviour and attitudes to assist with the optimisation of resource
  • Allocation and communication
  • Identify a set of effective policies to reduce carbon footprint at a local level



How is GreenAware built?

Working with the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), Experian has created the first UK-wide

segmentation to provide household level estimates of Greenhouse Gas and carbon dioxide emissions.

This is created using a combination of SEI’s REAP and Experian’s wealth of known household characteristics.

SEI’s REAP is a sophisticated econometric model that helps policy makers to understand and measure the environmental pressures associated with human activity. It is used at local, regional and national levels to measure CO2 and Greenhouse Gas emissions.

Experian has matched this information to its comprehensive database of known household characteristics including, consumer demographics, affluence, economic status, property characteristics, car ownership, lifestyle, ownership of consumer durables and other geographical characteristics such as risk of subsidence or flood.

By combining these two data sources Experian can quantify each UK household’s carbon footprint and their associated demographic, lifestyle and behavioural attributes.

Understanding the importance of consumer attitudes?

Understanding the behaviour of households and their associated carbon footprint is only half of the story: understanding attitudes to the environment completes the picture. Using specially commissioned research from it’s leading consumer think-tank the Future Foundation, Experian has created a new attitudinal classification: Green Segments.

Green Segments identifies the drivers and barriers of current behaviours including, consumers’ understanding of green initiatives, sense of risk, accountability, awareness of brands and their understanding of terminology used to describe their carbon footprint.

Available for use on its own or as an overlay to the other GreenAware variables, Green Segments enables you to identify and target households in relation to their attitudes towards environmental issues and carbon emissions. For example identifying households that are keen to reduce their carbon footprint as opposed to those with more trenchant views on environmental issues.

The GreenAware Portfolio

The GreenAware Portfolio includes the following data variables:


  • Direct & indirect greenhouse gas
  • Total greenhouse gas
  • Direct & indirect carbon CO2
  • Total CO2

Geographic characteristics

  • Risk of flood
  • Risk of windstorm
  • Risk of freezing
  • Risk of subsidence

Property characteristics

  • Age
  • Type (detached, fl at, bungalow etc)
  • Size
  • Sale price & Council Tax band
  • Energy & water consumption

Household demographics

  • Number of occupants
  • Economic status
  • Income, levels of benefit & debt
  • Tenure
  • Lifestage
  • Small or home office


  • Electricity, gas & water consumption
  • Number & type of vehicles owned
  • Type & number of holidays
  • Vehicle usage
  • White & brown goods ownership
  • Lifestyle

Attitude to the environment

  • Green Segments
  • Green Propensities

Mosaic Public Sector

All GreenAware variables for calculating carboon footprints are available for use in association with Experian’s Mosaic Public Sector classification of UK citizens. This means that existing users of Mosaic Public Sector can identify the carbon footprint and environmental attitudes of Mosaic Public Sector groups and types as part of their existing strategy for segmenting customer behaviour.

“GreenAware provides the evidence necessary for more effective action on climate control and for promotion of low carbon living. It enables us to identify actual levels of emissions at household level as well as providing insight into different people’s attitudes to the environment. This means we are able to understand individual motivations for environmental change and people’s likely responsiveness to a range of measures and incentives. “By combining SEI’s information with Experian’s expertise in consumer segmentation, GreenAware offers a powerful dataset to turn discussion about climate change into targeted and effective action.”

Dr John Barnett
Stockholm Environment Institute

UK’s top polluters are also the most affluent

Camberley in Surrey produces the most carbon emissions per head of the population in the UK, followed by Maidenhead, High Wycombe and Farnham. Households in Camberley produce almost 28% more carbon emissions than the UK average. The least polluting UK households are located in South Shields, East Ham, Cheapside and Merthyr Tydfil.

Looking at local authorities, those situated in the Home Counties produce the most CO2 emissions per household in the UK. Chiltern is at the top followed by South Bucks, Surrey Heath and South Oxfordshire. Despite their heavy industrial heritage, the least polluting local authority areas are Blaenau Gwent, Wear Valley, South Tyneside and Glasgow.

These findings are from GreenAware, the UK’s first comprehensive carbon footprint measure for every household and postcode in the UK. Launched today, GreenAware has been developed by Experian in collaboration with the Stockholm Environment Institute and provides a comprehensive view of individual consumption and environmental impact by UK household and postcode. Using Experian’s unique data assets1, GreenAware has been designed to help organisations in the public, commercial and not-for-profit sectors target specific energy saving and carbon dioxide emissions reduction initiatives.

Classifying eco-attitudes

GreenAware uses Green Segments, Experian’s new attitudinal classification. Green Segments defines the UK population into 10 distinct groups according to attitudes to the environment and carbon emissions. Each group can be mapped at individual, household and postcode level. Among the 10 Green Segments are Eco- Evangelists, Doing their Best, Too Busy to Change, Wasteful & Unconvinced.

Attitudes to the environment

Looking at attitudes to the environment, Richmond-on-Thames contains the largest number of Eco-Evangelists, people most likely to support Green causes and who believe in the power of consumer action to make a difference to climate change. Eco-evangelists are predominant in London’s most affluent and middle class areas, including Wandsworth, Putney, Chiswick and

Kensington. These areas also include some of the highest polluters.

On the other hand, those least likely to be interested in green issues are located in Cheapside, Birmingham, East Ham and Stratford. Of course these areas will also have their Eco-Evangelists, but they will be outweighed by a larger proportion of Wasteful & Unconvinced, people who have no interest in reducing their carbon footprint and changing lifestyles, making them more wasteful and polluting as a result.

GreenAware offers a range of practical applications for organizations including person, household, postcode, geographic area-level targeting, area profiling and reporting, area ranking, benchmarking, catchment definition and mapping. This personalised approach is essential to reduce CO2 emissions and provides the means for organisations – from all sectors - to target different groups with specific measures and incentives.

For example, GreenAware shows us that people with the most affluent lifestyles are also the highest generators of CO2 emissions, yet they are also the greatest advocates for environmental change. Communications to these people will be different than to other groups less receptive to environmental change. GreenAware will allow organisations to set realistic CO2 reduction targets according to different lifestyle segments as well benchmark improvements and changes over time.

1 GreenAware draws on Experian’s vast data resources to provide a comprehensive view of individual consumption and environmental impact. Data used includes:

  • Householder characteristics – such as number of occupants, economic status, income, tenure and lifestage and Mosaic Public Sector profile
  • Household consumption – including gas, electricity & water consumption, vehicle ownership, driving patterns, ownership and use of white & brown goods
  • Property characteristics – including property type, size, age, value, council tax band
  • Geography – region, urban/rural, risk of windstorm and freezing

The GreenAware service also measures change in consumer behaviour over time (e.g. change in carbon emissions or output, change in attitude) as well as forecasting predicted emissions in future years. All GreenAware measures are profile-linked to Mosaic Public Sector – the most widely-adopted classification of citizen behaviour. The data can be supplied as databases and as mapping software for geographical targeting. Experian also offers full bureau project and consultancy services for all possible end user applications.

Table 1: Most polluting Local Authorities


Table 2: Least polluting Local Authorities


Table 3: Most polluting towns


Table 4: Least polluting towns


Table 5: Eco-Evangelists - Top town


Table 6: Most Wasteful and Unconvinced - Top towns


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