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April 22nd will mark the 46th Earth Day - a movement that continues to give voice to an emerging consciousness around significant environmental issues. 

The environment is an important issue, but we also know it’s an area where making a meaningful difference can feel overwhelming. Its important to remember that when we collectively contribute to the environment, even with small steps, those changes can help to make a big impact. By creating a tool that helps encourage you to change your online habits, Johnnie Walker wants to inspire people to take action and help environmental progress.

The Calculations

The plug-in assesses the carbon footprint of the user’s internet activity over the campaign period, extends this to a 1 year equivalent, then communicates this back to Diageo who have committed to offset this impact by planting trees in partnership with Earth Day Network and their Canopy Project. The number of trees Diageo commit to planting will be calculated by the amount of carbon that is required to offset against (this figure is based on the amount of energy people consume online), and up to a maximum of 75,000 trees in total for the measurement period April 19, 2016 – May 16, 2016.

To assess the energy and carbon footprint of an individual’s internet use, a model of internet activity was created with four components – selected based on the work of (Coroama) for their distinct use profiles.  Collectively, these components sum to the direct energy impact of a user’s internet activity.

These components are: 

  • User Device
  • CPE & Area Network
  • Metro & Core Network
  • Data Centers

For full information about the calculations please download our calculations White Paper here.

Earth Mode Disclaimer

There is significant variability in existing studies of internet energy intensity and there are no comprehensive, regulatory models to draw from.  In lieu of this, we assessed research in the space and used the best available estimates for each phase of the system. We then applied country level carbon intensity factors to the energy calculation to produce a localised carbon footprint.  There is much more one could do to increase the accuracy of this assessment, some of which are detailed in the White Paper. However, in partnership with Diageo and the Earth Mode team, we produced a tool that can be used for indicatively assessing and learning about the energy impact of internet activity anywhere in the world and hope that others will use and build on this in their carbon foot printing projects. Please note that any reference to or citation of studies by anyone other than Michael Thornton in no way implies endorsement of Johnnie Walker or its activities.

The resulting algorithm uses a combination of methods to best assess the nature of internet use specifically the combination of fixed and variable assets and energy expenditure based on user activity – method selected for each phase is based on the dominant variable (generally time or throughput).

This algorithm and factor set builds on the research of others in two key ways:

  1. Energy assessment combines best available estimates for each phase of use – the user data collection via the Earth Mode app enables a personalised estimate
  2. Carbon impacts are based on localised power estimates at the country level, better reflecting actual impact based on user 

Earth Mode Assumptions

 While we have made a thorough effort to have the Earth Mode plug-in accurately reflect each user’s carbon impact due to internet browsing and have as much as possible followed known reporting and assessment guidelines, the results are still only estimates for educational use and should not be used for reporting or otherwise relied upon without further investigation.

We have attempted to provide a meaningful advancement of current work on the carbon impact of internet activity by many others and make it available in an easy to use (automatic) package that could provide an indicative measurement from anywhere on the planet. 

There are many, many assumptions and limitations that we know of and likely more that we don’t, here are a few:

-    The variables and models used are broad, reflective of country or global averages and further information about any of these systems could improve the calculation significantly

-    This includes only the direct energy impact of browsing and does not include the very significant amount of energy required to manufacture and service the internet infrastructure.  Taken in aggregate, these indirect impacts are often 5-10x the direct impact of a system.

-    These calculations take into account only the broadest variation in use cases, there are myriad factors that an individual situation will contain that will render these calculations much less indicative

-                 Does not include mobile networks.  Mobile data networks use a significant amount of energy and were not reflected here since the plugin is meant for desktop and laptop use only.



Legal Notice


 Any use by you of the Google Chrome plug-in operated by Johnnie Walker at is conditional upon your acceptance of these Terms & Conditions of Use, including our Privacy and Cookie Notice (collectively, “Terms & Conditions”). We reserve the right to amend these Terms & Conditions from time to time without notice and at our discretion. It is your responsibility to review this page periodically for updates, which shall come into effect when posted. (See the box below for a summary of updates.) Your continued use of the Site constitutes acceptance of these Terms & Conditions. We reserve the right to change, modify, suspend, or discontinue any portion, features, or content of the plug-in at any time. We also may impose limits on certain features or restrict your access to parts of or the entire plug-in without notice or liability.


The plug-in is operated by a member of the Diageo group of companies, the ultimate holding company of which is Diageo plc (registered in England and Wales with company number 23307 and registered address at 8 Henrietta Place, London W1G 0NB, United Kingdom).


The plug-in is intended for your use only if you are of legal age to purchase alcohol in your country of residence and in the country from which you are accessing the plug-in. If you do not fall within this category, you may be in breach of laws or regulations applicable in your country of residence or access, and you should leave the plug-in immediately. 

You may restrict access to this site using content filtering software or by changing your computer settings (e.g. browser or operating system), as appropriate.

 All references to 'our', 'us', 'we', or ‘company’ within these Terms & Conditions are deemed to refer to Diageo plc, its subsidiaries, affiliates and associates.