Lifestyle Test Success: Germany Embraces Sustainable Living with Innovative Carbon Footprint Tool

Nine months after the launch of the Lifestyle Test in Germany, over three thousand German residents have been reached. Additionally, extensive data on key lifestyle hotspots as well as barriers and opportunities for adopting more sustainable lifestyles have been gathered.

The Lifestyle Test is a carbon footprint calculator available as a free browser app. It allows individuals to assess their daily environmental impact through a brief test and then offers tailored tips and actions to help them reduce it. The app also supports users in tracking their progress, including the implementation of tips and the reduction of their carbon footprint. Beyond individual engagement, the results and data can inform decision-makers in business, policy, civil society organizations (CSOs), academia, and other sectors how to advance and mainstream sustainable lifestyles.

What have we learned about sustainable lifestyles in Germany so far?

Results from the Lifestyle Test reveal that the average German carbon footprint is 8,300 kgCO2e per person per year. The highest contributing factor is air travel, accounting for 2,300 kgCO2e per person annually, followed by heating and warming (1,032 kgCO2e) and food consumption (1,800 kgCO2e) per person per year. The most commonly adopted actions by Lifestyle Test users include caring for and repairing owned products, using reusable shopping bags, and drying laundry outdoors. These are great starting points, but there’s significant room for more ambitious actions, such as reducing air travel, opting for local holidays, cutting back on motorized transport, and adopting a (mostly) vegan or vegetarian diet.

These data points provide valuable insights for designing solutions that make it easier for residents to adopt more sustainable patterns. As a first step, we will host a series of workshops with decision-makers from policy, business, CSOs, and academia between mid-September and November 2024. The exact dates will be announced soon – check the CSCP and project websites for updates and contact the project team if you want to get engaged.

Developing & expanding the Lifestyle Test

The Lifestyle Test is currently available in nine European countries: Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Turkey, and Poland. Given its potential, the project team is considering expanding the test to additional countries.

The Lifestyle Test can also be customised to meet the needs of companies, municipalities, or organisations, helping specific groups and audiences – such as city residents, company customers, or university students – adopt more sustainable lifestyles. Our project team is open to collaboration ideas to further expand and develop the Lifestyle Test.

For further information and collaboration opportunities, please reach out to Arlind Xhelili.