About the Repair Café Carbon Calculator

General Methodology Used

The approach developed in assessing whether there is the potential to mitigate GHG emissions was to estimate potential greenhouse gas (GHG) emission savings by considering the total sum of embodied greenhouse gases contained within the products successfully repaired by UK Repair Cafés. This was quantified by estimating the GHG emissions that would have been created had the successfully repaired products instead been replaced by newly manufactured like for like replacement products. To these product embodied GHG emissions have been added the landfill GHG emissions that were displaced by not having to dispose of the successfully repaired products.

Subtracted from the potential GHG emission savings is an estimation of the total GHG emissions from the transportation, spare parts used and additional goods consumed (as a result of the rebound effect), irrespective of whether products were successfully repaired or not, resulting from Repair Café activities. A deduction is also made for post completed repair failure and product owners who buy a new replacement even following a successful repair of the original product – this information being estimated directly from visitor questionnaire feedback received during the study.

The benefit of this approach is that the potential GHG emission savings estimate more precisely reflects the type of household products seen and repaired by Repair Cafés, as additional greenhouse gas emissions created by the attempted repair of all products seen and their transportation etc., is taken into account.

It is important to note that the results of the research are based on certain assumptions which have a large influence over whether repairing products negatively or positively contributes to overall GHG emissions. Potential GHG emission savings are very sensitive to factors such as the life extension period of the repaired product post repair and the level of additional consumer spending  that results from the ‘free’ or ‘near free’ repair service that Repair Cafés offer.  

Please note that this research has not been formally published or peer reviewed and may contain errors and omissions, it should therefore only be used for general information/interest purposes and not be used as the basis for making any decisions.    

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