Carbon Footprint Travel Calculator

Calculate your business’ carbon emissions with this travel carbon calculator

Published July 2022

Climate Change and Tourism

Tourism and climate change are more closely connected than many might believe. Tourism currently accounts for roughly 8% of the world’s carbon emissions and this figure is growing as travel becomes more affordable and accessible to everyone worldwide. To stop this trend, tourism industry professionals and tourism marketers need to make changes now.

A carbon footprint travel calculator allows individuals and tourism businesses to work out their exact travel footprint and offset the emissions for transportation and accommodation. Diverting the money raised through offsets into projects creating positive change is a win-win result for everyone.

The Future of The Tourism Industry

Through experience, many companies have learned that climate-affected bleached coral reefs and snowless mountain peaks can very quickly impact the tourism industry. Moving into the future, irresponsible mass tourism needs to become a problem of the past. Tourism operators can lead the way by setting examples of a better future for the travel industry. By carbon-offsetting your company’s travel and environmental impact, whether by boat, bus or air, you are mitigating the impacts by minimising the effect on the natural world, supporting local community projects, and setting sustainable travel trends.

Lavender fields in Tasmania, Australia

How Do You Release Carbon Dioxide When You Travel?

Whenever you, someone in your business and your guests travel, carbon dioxide (CO²) and other greenhouse gas emissions that enter the atmosphere are created. The good news is that all the CO² produced can be offset in different parts of the world through projects that responsibly reduce carbon.

The exact same CO² generation process happens when tourism businesses or properties dispose of waste, import food and drinks for restaurants, and operate pool pumps and multiple air-conditioners and refrigerators. When travellers use your products and services, emissions produced by your business or property increase.

How Does Carbon Offsetting Work?

Even though carbon offsetting sounds new and complex, it is actually simple and everyone—yes, everyone—can do it by following a few steps.

  1. Calculate your company’s carbon travel footprint (use a calculator to make the process easier)
  2. Buy carbon offsets from a responsible provider and support carbon-reducing projects through your carbon offset purchase
  3. Analyse sustainable travel trends, and decide what you can implement to reduce the carbon travel footprint of your tourism business
  4. Set up an annual review to check progress by recalculating your footprint, offsetting the carbon emissions and developing strategies to reduce emissions further
  5. Engage a specialist such as Sustainable Travel International to explore the changes your tourism business can make for a more sustainable future

The First Step in Becoming a Carbon-Free Tourism Business

To understand your carbon footprint, you will need to gather some information about your business activities. Depending on the types of emissions you want to measure, you can determine which data you might need and where to find it.

Once you have collected data such as your fuel or electricity consumption, waste disposal, flight itineraries and the kilometres driven in your company vehicles, you are ready to start calculating your travel footprint.

An online carbon footprint travel calculator is a great tool to get you started. If you need help with the calculations, you can also speak with a company like Sustainable Travel International, who specialise in carbon footprint measurements.

How to Calculate Your Company’s Carbon Footprint

To determine how much carbon is generated during a trip or activity, add up all components of your travels that could cause emissions, including accommodation and transport.

As a tour operator, you can choose to offset all of the flights, on-ground transportation such as bus and car travel, and accommodation that form part of the itinerary.

If you are a hotel owner, the calculation can become more complex as you generate emissions by heating and lighting your guest rooms. Perhaps concentrate first on the emissions you can control, such as employee travel, laundry, and rubbish disposal.

As it is practically impossible to calculate your carbon travel footprint for every activity in your program, the best way to start is to take the first step and keep it simple. If the most significant proportion of your travel is by plane, consider offsetting your flights. Using a carbon footprint travel calculator will make this easier.

Why Use a Travel Carbon Calculator for Your Tourism Business?

Be part of the solution that will guarantee the sustainability of our world, the tourism industry and your business. Taking the first step is the most important action you can take. By calculating your business emissions and offsetting them, you are helping to solve the problem.

Where Do Your Carbon Offsets Go?

All CO² produced by your company can be offset. Every time someone in your business travels or you dispose of waste, a certain amount of metric tons of carbon dioxide is generated, forming your carbon footprint. By using a carbon calculator, you can choose to offset the calculated amount of CO² by supporting carbon offset projects.

Sustainable Travel International Carbon Offset Projects

Once chosen, money from your offsets will support a project somewhere around the world to reduce carbon. Many of the carbon offset projects engaged by Sustainable Travel International support local communities and wildlife protection initiatives. There are three main types of projects:


  • Forestry projects—these focus on the protection of trees that store CO² sustainably, and might include engaging locals to plant more, or save them from felling.
  • Energy projects help reduce fossil fuel use and generate green, renewable energy. These projects often work with local community initiatives, such as building wind farms.
  • Blue carbon projects explore the protection of coastal environments, such as mangroves and wetlands which store a substantial amount of carbon.


It is entirely up to you how you choose to offset your carbon travel footprint, but no matter what you purchase, you will be helping to create positive change.

Sustainable Travel Examples for your Tourism Business

Taking action now and re-calculating your carbon footprint annually should be the next step for your company because once you know where your business generates the most greenhouse gases, you can implement strategies to reduce them.

Consider installing LED light bulbs or automatic controls if lighting emissions are your primary source. If you offer large all-you-can-eat buffets, consider reducing the food waste and creation of extra methane in landfill by offering a smaller buffet menu and pre-order options.

It will take time to reduce your carbon travel footprint, but beginning now, reviewing your footprint and mitigation strategies annually will start to show results.  Each year the process will become easier until it becomes second nature.

Start making a difference with your tourism business today

If you would like to know more about how to become a sustainable travel business, consider speaking to the experts at Sustainable Travel International.

Here at Mankind Digital, we have made it our mission to promote regenerative and sustainable travel and tourism. We support businesses in the industry who share our values and who are incorporating more responsible practices into their business models. Our team is focused on delivering the latest responsible tourism marketing news, along with handy tools and tips to keep you informed and on top of your game as an industry professional.

Because we follow sustainable travel trends closely and work hand in hand with travel businesses and tourism industry leaders around Australia and abroad, we can help shape the future of tourism and whilst we create a better world for responsible travellers.

Speak with our team of tourism marketing experts today to learn more about promoting sustainable travel to your potential customers.

Published July 2022

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