Privacy Policy

Thank you for visiting our website and for your interest in our services. 

In principle, we act in accordance with the regulations for the protection of personal data in accordance with the Basic Data Protection Ordinance (DSGVO), the Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG) in the new version and other legal provisions.

§ 1. Names and contact details

Responsible is the foundation Wilderness International available at the following contact details:

Stiftung Wilderness International
Tolkewitzer Straße 32
01277 Dresden

Tel.: + 49 (0) 351 - 314 02 220


Who is Wilderness International and what exactly does the organization do?

Wilderness International is a non-profit organization that protects ecologically highly valuable and acutely endangered wilderness areas. At the moment, we are working specifically to preserve ancient temperate rainforests on the West Coast of Canada as well as tropical rainforests in eastern Peru. We purchase the areas and legally secure them with an entry in the land registry. These purchases are refinanced with donations for so-called wilderness sponsorships. Wilderness sponsors receive a personalized certificate with the exact geo-coordinates of the area of forest they protected.

Added to that, we actively promote environmental education by working together with thousands of students every year, whom we also implement local environmental projects with, such as planting trees or making school yards greener.

Why should any person, company or school calculate and compensate their carbon footprint?

All of us use natural resources every day. Thereby we leave our traces on Earth: we need energy, we buy technological devices, we travel around and heat our apartments. Whenever we do this, emissions are released into the atmosphere. Over the past few years, we have caused so many emissions and destroyed so much intact nature that our climate is starting to change. It is changing in such a strong way that entire ecosystems are on the brink of collapse, and life on Earth as we know it is in danger. We already see and feel the effects: increasingly extreme weather conditions, floods and droughts as well as the rapid extinction of species.
Luckily, we have the best ally on our side: nature. Every day, we all receive food, space to live, clear water and clean air from her. It is time to say “thank you”! Let us give her room to exist undisturbed and to recover. That way, we assume responsibility, halt climate change and save life on Earth.

The carbon footprint gives us numbers that make our impact on the atmosphere more tangible. Once we know our share, we can assume responsibility for it. We can balance out our emissions by protecting the corresponding area of intact nature. This prevents the release of large amounts of CO2 and at the same time preserves important functions that forests have for our climate. And most importantly, it protects crucial habitats for biodiversity.

Consciousness and the dire need for action have long become a priority on the global agenda. The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) #13 determines that measures against climate change and its consequences must be taken immediately. SDG #15 also states that life on land needs urgent protection to preserve their positive effects. Our carbon footprint calculator and compensation project therefore allow you to fulfill two of the SDGs at once.
Added to that, you will receive our “carbon footprint compensated”sticker to show that you are going ahead as a role model that is assuming responsibility and taking sustainable actions.

What options do I have for the compensation of my carbon footprint after the calculation?

After the calculation, you have the option to compensate your emissions by protecting the corresponding area of temperate rainforest in Canada or tropical rainforest in Peru because they have large amounts of carbon stored in their biomass. By permanently protecting them, we prevent the release of stored CO2 and at the same time preserve unique habitats and precious biodiversity.

For more information, see: How does rainforest protection balance out my CO2 emissions? Wilderness International purchases the areas and legally secures them with an entry in the land registry and the foundation concept. For your donation, you will receive a personalized certificate with the exact geo-coordinates of the area of forest that you protected so that it is directly traceable, which piece of forest is being protected forever thanks to your compensation donation.

If you decide to compensate with us, you will receive a detailed evaluation document as well as our CO2 certificate for communication purposes.

What exactly is being calculated?

We calculate greenhouse gas emissions that are released during the activity of a certain unit, such as a person (individual, family, and class calculator) or an institution (school and company calculator), or during an activity (travel calculator).

We do not only calculate carbon dioxide emissions, but also other gases that have an impact on the climate, such as methane and nitrous oxide. All emissions are converted into carbon dioxide equivalents. The impact of 1kg of methane, for example, is 28 times stronger than that of 1kg CO2. That is why for 1kg of methane, we calculate 28kg CO2 equivalents.

Added to that, whenever possible, we include the entire life cycle of product. That means we do not only calculate emissions that result from its use, but also those from its production and disposal.

How does WI calculate the carbon footprint?

We calculate the carbon footprint with so-called emission factors. In the best case, we find scientific data for every product or activity in our calculator, which tells us how many kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents are emitted from the use of this product or during this activity.

As an example: According to a source of the IFEU-Institute, a middle-sized car causes 0.25 kg CO2 per kilometer. Once we know how many kilometers you have travelled on your way to work or to school, for example, this factor allows us to calculate the emissions that result from this trip.

For more information see: Where does the data come from that forms the basis for the calculator? What sources do you use?

How exact is the calculation of my carbon footprint?

If data availability allows, the entire life cycle of a product or an activity is included in the calculation of your carbon footprint (meaning not only emissions from burning fuel, for example, but also emissions from sourcing raw materials, production and disposal of a vehicle).

In our calculator, we use relatively few averages and generalizations. When developing this calculator and gathering data for our calculations, our main goal was always to give everyone the possibility to calculate their carbon footprint as precisely as possible. That is why we sometimes ask for very detailed information. However, we usually give you the option to make more general statements or use averages.

However sophisticated our aspirations might be, there is not always sufficient data available to provide a specific emission value for a certain product or activity. And in some cases, the questionnaire would simply become too complicated and long, causing you to be frustrated and quit the calculator before finishing it. It is very complex to include all aspects and details of a product or an action in CO2 factors. And for many products and activities, data on carbon emissions is still very limited. In these cases, we use averages and informed estimates.

Our company or organization has a very individual profile. How is this taken into account in the calculator?

It is quite complex to include every individual aspect of different companies and organizations. That is why we focussed on the things that most companies and organizations have in common. Therefore, this calculator focuses on office work.

However, we constantly develop and optimize our carbon calculators. Our goal is to be able to provide detailed calculators for most sectors and business activities in the future. We appreciate your input and feedback!

Do the calculations work in the same way for all sectors?

Yes, the calculations work in the same way for all sectors. We use the same values and the same methods. Only the questions are adjusted to the specific area, such as questions about meeting rooms in the company calculator and questions about school trips in the school calculator.

Where does the data come from that forms the basis for the calculator? What sources do you use?

The emission factors that form the base of our calculations come from the data base that we have put together. The emission factors were taken from different publicly available and usable publications. Due to differences in quality, we rate sources such as scientific papers and books differently than journalist reports or online sources such as blogs.

The majority of the more than 3000 emission factors comes from scientific sources and publications of renown scientific institutions such as the German Federal Office for the Environment (Umweltbundesamt). Values that received a high rating according to certain quality criteria are then used in the calculator.

We determine the quality of a factor according to the following criteria:

  • Were all greenhouse gas emissions considered or only carbon dioxide? Were all life cycle steps included?
  • What source does the factor come from?
  • How recent is the factor?

This publication of the Umweltbundesamt is an example for a good source: “Influence of the service life of products in terms of their environmental impact: Establishing an information base and developing strategies against ‘obsolescence’”; Siddharth Prakash, Günther Dehoust, Martin Gsell, Tobias Schleicher; 2020. We were able to use several emission factors published in this paper, such as a value a 42 Inch LCD TV. Over the course of life of this TV, which is assumed to last 10 years, 2465 kg CO2 equivalents are emitted [S.239].

It is a quality source because it uses CO2 equivalents and lists emissions separately for every step of the product’s life cycle.

Upon request, we gladly provide you with the sources that we used in our carbon footprint calculator.

What is your understanding of “compensation”?

Not all emissions can be completely eliminated. But they can be balanced out by preserving intact nature, for example. These areas have stored large quantities of CO2 in living biomass. It is possible to determine the carbon storage capacity of different ecosystems. This allows us to calculate the area of nature needed to compensate a certain amount of emissions.The rainforests of the world, for example, are world champions when it comes to the sequestration of carbon dioxide. Wilderness International investigated how much carbon is stored in the ancient trees of our conservation areas in Western Canada: On an area of 128 m², the primary forest in our conservation areas has sequestered 13 tons of CO2₂. This corresponds to the average amount of emissions caused by a European in a year! And the tropical rainforests we protect in Peru sequester 64.8 kg of CO2 per square meter.

The word “compensation” implies that the emissions are reabsorbed again somewhere else. This is the case with our forests, however, more research is needed to determine the specific amount. That is why we can only express in numbers the amount of carbon that has already been sequestered and that remains stored thanks to the protection of the forests.

The same is true for many other projects as well: Solar cookers do not sequester CO2 either. They only reduce the emissions that would be released when burning wood for cooking. In comparison, the advantage of our conservation project is that the growth of forests does not cause neither production costs nor emissions.

Most of all, however, the goal of any compensation should not be to balance out emissions and halt global warming. Our goal should be to save our climate as a whole and protect life on Earth. We can only do this with the help of the many important functions that forests have for a stable climate, the habitat for biodiversity it provides and the base of life it forms for us. We can only secure all of this by protecting existing intact forests.

How recent is the data?

The currency of a value is not always the most important quality criteria. That is why we do not always place a priority on recent factors, but more often on the scientific justification of the data. However, we do aim at using mostly recent values and regularly update our database.

What about data protection? Is my information secure with Wilderness International?

Without your consent to the use of cookies, we cannot trace who used the calculator. In this case, the use and the result of the calculator remain anonymous. If you would like to compensate, we need certain information which will be requested in the concerning form. We use your data confidentially and do not pass it on to third parties. It is being stored on european servers only. For more information, please see our data protection regulations.

How long is the calculation valid for?

The carbon footprint that is calculated expresses emissions of one year. In the case of our travel and school trip calculators, the calculations refer to emissions from a specific trip. If you would like to always know your current carbon footprint, we recommend using the calculator and compensation project every year. That way, you can also evaluate the progress that you made regarding the reduction of your carbon footprint.

Why is the calculation only valid for one year? Do I have to come back to calculate my carbon footprint and pay for compensation again every year?

Yes, since your activities will continue to cause emissions. Added to that, emissions can vary (greatly) from year to year depending on your activities and the products you purchase and use during that specific year. The area of forest that you last protected to compensate your emissions remains. However, since you continue to cause new emissions, they can only be balanced out by protecting more forests in order to prevent the release of more CO2 and the loss of habitats and biodiversity due to deforestation.

With our calculators, you can optimize processes in your company, school or family in order to continuously reduce your carbon footprint, so that in the end, only very little, unavoidable emissions remain.

How does rainforest protection balance out my CO2 emissions?

In order to stop global warming, we need to drastically reduce our emissions and the CO2 in the atmosphere. However, this is not enough if we really want to save the climate and preserve life on Earth as we know it. Even if we completely stopped burning fossil fuels, we could not halt climate change and stop the loss of biodiversity, if we continue to destroy high-carbon ecosystems and important habitats. If we want to maintain life on Earth at the quality that we love, we need to stabilize the climate, create resilience against the consequences of global warming and preserve biodiversity. To achieve this, we need a true rescuer. The good thing about this? We already have it: forests.

Forests store large amounts of CO2 in their biomass, soils and forest moors. When high-carbon ecosystems such as forests and moors are destroyed, they release more carbon dioxide than we could ever store again on a time scale relevant for humans. 1/8 to 1/6 of our yearly emissions result from the destruction of forests and the draining of moors, meaning that the loss of forests has a stronger effect on the climate than global transport. And what’s even worse about is: For every tree that we cut down, we do not only emit more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but most of all, we lose our most important ally in the fight against climate change.

Standing forests have many important functions for their environment and the climate. They store large amounts of water and prevent the erosion of fertile soil. Trees produce a majority of the oxygen that we need to survive, so they secure our very basis of life. Added to that, they filter out particulate matter from the air, such as nitrogen oxide, heavy metals and soot particles released by industrial activity and cars. They are home to a huge biodiversity. Thanks to the constant evaporation of their vegetation, they guarantee stable rainfalls and a humid, cool micro-climate.

That is why primary forests are our most important buffer against extreme weather events and climate change. That is why we have chosen the protection of primary forests as our compensation project.

Why should we protect forests on the American continents and not here locally?

The temperate and tropical rainforests are world champions when it comes to storing carbon dioxide. Their trees and moores, up to 2000 years old, play a crucial role in the fight against climate change. Nowhere else on Earth do trees store that much CO2 - 104.79 kg are sequestered per square meter in the Land of the Grizzlies, and 64.8 kg CO2 in Peru's tropical rainforests.

Greenhouse gases spread out evenly in the atmosphere, meaning that it is irrelevant where CO2 is released or stored. It is much more important that we reduce the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere on a global scale in general. Therefore, the protection of Canadian and Peruvian rainforests represents a tangible contribution for saving our climate.

Can I also protect a flower meadow and insects with WI?

By protecting forests, you also protect a crucial habitat for many insects. Or you can get active yourself around your home and create meadows for butterflies and bees.

I want to make an even bigger difference! Can I also start a long-term partnership with Wilderness International?

Definitely! We will gladly discuss a possible collaboration. Thanks to our partners, we can protect more and more wilderness areas for the future and directly involve young people in our work. Our conservation partners, for example, protect a piece of wilderness with every product they sell, give away a piece of wilderness as a christmas gift or as a souvenir of an experience, or compensate their customers’ travel emissions. Others support our research projects or sponsor initiatives and events such as the Walk for the Wild and tree plantings. Together, we assume responsibility for the future! We are looking forward to hearing from you at

How much do the carbon footprint calculator and the compensation cost?

The use of our carbon footprint calculator is completely for free. Everyone can enter their information and see their result in the end. After calculating your carbon footprint, we offer you the option to voluntarily compensate the emissions by donating for the tangible protection of the corresponding area of primary rainforest.

How much does the compensation cost?

The amount of the compensation donation depends on the size of your carbon footprint.

In our conservation areas in Peru, one square meter has stored 64.8 kg of CO2. In Western Canada, one square meter has sequestered 104.79 tons of CO2. We can permanently protect 1m2 with a one-time donation of 0.79 €.

This donation includes the implementation of the following measures:

  • the direct refinancing of land purchases and therefore the tangible protection of a specific wilderness areas together with our partner organizations in Peru and Canada
  • coverage of the yearly land tax of the conservation area in the project country
  • research of biodiversity and carbon flows together with local partners environmental education

For more information, please see: How can the compensation donation with Wilderness International be so low?

How can I promote the compensation of my carbon footprint on my website or in ads? How can I include the carbon calculator on my website?

You will receive our CO2 certificate which can be used on your website and on social media, for example.

You are welcome to also link our carbon footprint calculator on your website to motivate other people and institutions to assume responsibility for our impact on nature, halt climate change and save life on Earth.

Feel free to use the text snippets, links and other resources that we have put together for you on our website. Should you need more information, please do not hesitate to contact us at

What are human-induced greenhouse gas emissions?

Greenhouse gases are gases that cause the temperature on the Earth’s surface to rise if they accumulate in the atmosphere. These gases are released into the atmosphere due to different human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels, which causes CO2 emissions, but also wet rice cultivation and factory cattle farming, which cause methane emissions. These lead to an anthropogenically caused climate change.

What is the carbon footprint?

We need electricity, travel around and heat out apartments - Whenever we do this, emissions are released into the atmosphere. Over the past few years, we have caused so many emissions and destroyed so much intact nature that our climate is starting to change. These emissions can be put into numbers. All emissions of a certain unit, such as a person, an institution or a product taken together are expressed as the unit’s carbon footprint. But not only when we really fly on a plane or buy a new cell phone do we cause emissions. That is why we include the emissions of the entire life cycle of a product or activity in the carbon footprint. This also includes emissions caused when building infrastructure, sourcing and processing raw materials as well as during transport and disposal.

How does cutting down forests influence the climate?

Every tree that we take out of the forest will sooner or later decompose or be burnt, even if it was turned into a sheet of paper and recycled many times or if it was turned into a piece of furniture and inherited over decades. In next to no time, a carbon storage that had built up over millennia in the biomass of the forest will then be released into the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide, where it speeds global warming.

1/8 to 1/6 of our yearly emissions result from the destruction of forests and the draining of moors, meaning that the loss of forests has a stronger effect on the climate than the flight sector. And what’s even worse about is: For every tree that we cut down, we do not only emit more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but most of all, we lose our most important ally in the fight against climate change.

Standing forests have many important functions for their environment and the climate. To read more about this, please see “How does rainforest protection balance out my CO2 emissions?”

Added to that, the heat and dryness that follow a clear-cut have in turn negative effects on the remaining forests: Due to the lack of evaporation from vegetation and the loss of the forests water storage function, there are fewer rainfalls and water springs would run dry. The local climate becomes hotter and drier. When a heavy rainfall comes, it will wash out all nutrients of the soil. Biodiversity will vanish irreparably. That is why even reforestation can never recreate the original biodiverse forest.

Therefore, the protection of existing intact forests needs to be our highest priority, even before planting new trees.

What are CO2 equivalents?

CO2 is not the only gas that is emitted in large quantities from our activities and that impacts the climate, others are methane and nitrous oxide, for example. All greenhouse gas emissions are converted into carbon dioxide equivalents. For example, the impact of 1 kg of methane on the atmosphere is 28 times stronger than that of 1 kg CO2. That is why for 1kg of methane, we calculate 28 kg CO2 equivalents. We use CO2 equivalents to express the impact of all human activity on the atmosphere and to make them more tangible by putting them into numbers.

How can the compensation donation with Wilderness International be so low?

The low cost of our compensation project has several reasons. For one, the wilderness areas that we protect for compensation already exist and do not need maintenance like many other compensation projects. Secondly, we keep our own administrative costs low. And thirdly, we are one of the few providers that assumes full responsibility for the data basis, the compensation projects and the research altogether. Thanks to this, we do not need to charge third party fees. Wilderness International acts in no way as an intermediary or profit-oriented.

Does the carbon footprint summarize my entire impact on the planet?

Unfortunately not. Our carbon footprint only expresses a small part of our impact on the planet. Our activities do not only cause greenhouse gas emissions, but also the pollution, degradation and destruction of precious ecosystems worldwide. Consequently, the base of life for a great biodiversity, and ultimately for ourselves, disappears. This so-called ecological footprint is still hard to make tangible in its full extent. At the moment, we can express only a small part in easily comprehensible numbers, the carbon footprint. That is why it is all the more important to find holistic solutions that do not focus only on the reduction or reabsorption of CO2, but instead save biodiversity and the climate as a whole.