The UK-based Carbon Trust claims the calculator can businesses shrink their carbon footprints and shave £350m off their collective bills, "through cost free and low cost energy saving actions". The calculator could assist processors in mapping their carbon footprints and is the precursor to proposed carbon labelling that would determine whether one product is more environmentally friendly than the other. The launch of the calculator follows the filing in Parliament of a climate change bill that would legally bind the UK to lower its CO2 emissions by 60 per cent by 2050. The calculator is designed to allow business to imput data and then quantify their key carbon impacts and understand where action might be required to reduce emissions. It introduces common footprinting concepts in line with widely accepted reporting approaches such as the Green House Gas (GHG) Protocol, the government-funded Carbon Trust stated. The tool uses a series of screening questions to ascertain likely corporate emissions. Based on these questions the user can enter details of their energy usage and other potential emissions sources, including fuel usage, vehicle usage, electricity bill data and employee travel. Businesses can also apply online for a free survey of their carbon outputs. A consultant from the Carbon Trust will carry out an on-site visit and help manages measure the carbon footprint of their businesses and identify ways to reduce it. "The methodology is intended for use with organisations that are seeking a basic understanding of their carbon footprint," the organisation noted. Tom Delay, the Carbon Trust's chief executive, said the calculator is intended to show that CO2 makes business sense. "Businesses that act will quickly reap the multiple benefits of improving their bottom line while increasing their overall competitiveness," he claimed. UK environment minister Phil Woolas noted that pressure from consumers, the cost of energy, and corporate social responsibility issues mean that going green is no longer just an add on --- it's a core part of doing business. Small and medium businesses are also eligible to receive interest free loans to help them cut carbon emissions. The funds could be used to replace or upgrade existing equipment with a more energy efficient version. The Carbon Trust is a private company set up by government in response to the threat of climate change. The carbon footprint calculator is available atg www.carbontrust.co.uk/footprintcalculator.