California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)

Commercial Climate Calculator

The Commercial Climate Calculator, developed as part of the Cost Study on Commercial Recycling, was designed to help businesses assess the financial, climate change, and waste reduction/environmental benefits of reducing and recycling their discarded materials. It is currently unavailable. Please check back for an updated calculator later this year.

Take a look at other free online tools and resources available to businesses:

  • The California Air Resources Board (ARB) CoolCalifornia Carbon Footprint Calculator for California Small Businesses addresses a range of business operations--from energy efficiency to transportation to materials management. It is a Web-based application that allows users to calculate their current carbon footprint and select activities to save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It also displays climate actions that can qualify businesses to take part in the California Green Business Program below.

    CalRecycle collaborated with ARB on development of their calculator tool. ARB also worked with various partners to develop free tools available on the website, with the mission of empowering all Californians to protect the state’s environment and natural resources. Cool California’s Small Business Carbon Footprint Calculator incorporates portions of the CalRecycle calculator to address waste and recycling as part of a business’ complete footprint. The CalRecycle and Cool California tools complement each other by providing great flexibility and ease of use. Because they are based on the same waste and recycling data, the two calculators generate consistent outputs.

  • Businesses pursuing Green Business Certification through the Department of Toxic Substances Control's (DTSC) California Green Business Program measure progress toward reducing environmental impacts in the solid waste and recycling, energy consumption, water consumption, and pollution prevention. The same on-line California Green Business Program toolkit integrates applying for certification, tracking status, and monitoring progress. The toolkit offers an easy-to-use searchable database of California Green Businesses to promote participating businesses and generates a report card of environmental benefits over time (e.g., per year, since enrollment).
Comparison of Calculators/Tools
  CalRecycle's Commercial Climate Calculator CoolCalifornia's Small Business Carbon Footprint Calculator California Green Business Program Database
Designed for/to Commercial Recycling Planning Benchmarking & Tracking Carbon Footprint Certifying Local Green Businesses
Tool objectives Evaluate financial, climate, and diversion benefits of reducing and recycling discarded materials Estimate carbon footprint and identify cost saving and long term sustainability GHG reduction activities for a range of business operations from transportation, facility operations (including waste reduction & recycling) to procurement Measure progress to reduce environmental impacts in four major areas: solid waste/recycling; energy consumption; water consumption; and pollution prevention
Target audience For any business, institution, and multi-family complex (open to public) Any businesses (open to public) Businesses (in 17 industries), typically small to mid size businesses that are pursuing Green Business Certification (open to only businesses in the counties with the Green Business Program)
Possible suggestion for usage To evaluate options for waste management practice and to see how much Green House Gas (GHG) emission you'll reduce To take an initiative to reduce your carbon footprint and lower your costs To consider applying for a Green Business Certification
Default data Regional and business sector California specific data California specific and national data California specific data
Metric Avoided disposal cost ($/yr), GHG emission reduction (MTCO2E/yr) and waste reduction amount (tons/yr) GHG emission reduction (MTCO2e/yr), Cost saving ($/yr) GHG emission reduction (CO2 lbs/yr), Water saving (gal/yr), Energy saving (kWh/yr), Waste reduction (lbs/yr), Hazmat reduction (lbs/yr)
Application input is saved to Excel Downloadable Web-based Web-based
Store users' data for future data analysis No Yes Yes