A second-hand carbon calculator, developed by one of the people supported by Emmaus Hampshire, has won the best Technology and Digital Innovation category in the Winchester Business Excellence Awards.

On Thursday 30 May, developer John Jarrett, an Emmaus Hampshire companion, and support manager, Ben Parkin, received the award in a ceremony at Winchester University. The calculator is the first in the UK designed specifically for the second-hand goods market. Winchester Business Excellence Award judges recognised our team’s efforts to develop this calculator and save more than 350,000kg of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in less than a year.

Nigel Samuels, Chief Executive of Emmaus Hampshire, said: “We are extremely proud of John for developing this carbon calculator. He is the embodiment of all that is good about our community.”

The second-hand carbon calculator measures the amount of CO2e saved by recycling and upcycling furniture, clothing, white goods and homeware through our social enterprise. It provides tangible examples of what these C02e savings mean, in practical everyday terms that people will understand.

Nigel added: “As part of our own journey to net zero, we wanted a robust tool to measure what we offset through our social enterprise. This not only gives us a sense of the value we contribute to the community in Winchester, it also demonstrates to our donors and customers the positive environmental impact of their actions.”

Giving items a second life

The carbon calculator has already demonstrated that the items donated and sold from Emmaus Hampshire’s social enterprise prevented 358,136kg of CO2e being released into the atmosphere between July 2023 and March 2024. The savings shown on the carbon calculator are based on the avoidance of incineration and landfill.

“It’s about giving a second life to the product,” commented John Jarrett, who devoted over 1,000 hours to research and develop the calculator.

“When someone donates to us, 98% of the time we are the last place they come to before the tip. If you buy this product, you are saving it from destruction and repurposing all the embedded carbon in the product plus the environmental impact of incinerating or sending it to landfill. Your actions may give it an extra 5, 10, 50 years of life!”

Emmaus Hampshire believes this is the first of its kind. The tool has been presented for review by sustainability experts at Winchester University, Hampshire County Council and the Renewable Energy Scheme.

Sustainability is one of Emmaus Hampshire’s core values. Our Winchester HQ and residential community building is of low carbon construction with a grass roof and our entire social enterprise is based on reuse and upcycling. Now, we are able to calculate the carbon benefit of that activity and measure its progress every year.