Consumers are increasingly keeping tabs on brands’ ethical practices and behaviors—or lack thereof (see Ethical scoreboard, trend #35 in “The Future 100: 2021“). “Media whistleblowers have always been calling out brands, so I don’t think that this is a novel endeavor,” Pooj Morjaria, founder of independent watchdog site Did They Help?, tells Wunderman Thompson Intelligence. “But now what I think is different, as opposed to before [the pandemic], is that everyone is starting to care collectively about the bad practices of these companies and public figures. The whole world is going through this pandemic and we’re all suffering together; it’s imbued us with a sense of justice.”

In response to this heightened vigilance, a slew of new tools is being released that help consumers track and measure their own ethical behavior and the behavior of brands. Below, we round up the top five recent ethical calculators.

WEB Mastercard Carbon Calculator
Mastercard carbon calculator
  • Mastercard is helping consumers calculate the carbon footprint of their purchases. In April, the banking company released a carbon calculator that provides a snapshot of the carbon emissions generated by purchases.
  • A new tool from Watershed measures the climate impact of remote and hybrid work, calculating how work from home policies are reducing (or increasing) a company’s carbon emissions.
  • In April, Klarna added a carbon footprint calculator to its app to help shoppers track the environmental impact of their purchases. The calculator takes into account everything from production to delivery to estimate the carbon emission associated with each purchase and over time.
  • Dubai’s Department of Tourism announced in May that it will require all hotels to track and report their monthly carbon emissions using a new carbon calculator starting in July. The initiative is part of Dubai’s Carbon Abatement Strategy 2021, which aims to reduce carbon emissions by 16% by the end of this year.
  • AdGreen wants to help advertising agencies track the carbon emissions of ad production. Set to launch in September 2021, “the calculator will show how much carbon is attributed to what type of activity, which supplier has generated the most carbon in terms of the footprint for that campaign, and it will give brands and holding companies visibility of carbon footprints,” explained Jo Coombes, AdGreen’s project director. The tool is part of the Ad Net Zero initiative, which has been backed by industry leaders like Havas, Unilever and WPP.

Why it’s interesting:

Consumers are looking for more sophisticated metrics and tools for measuring, tracking and contextualizing ethical actions. These tools point to a new era where ethical evaluations are integrated into products and services.

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