Sweden's Klarna offers carbon footprint tracker for shoppers

FILE PHOTO: A smartphone displays a Klarna logo in this illustration taken January 6, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish payments firm Klarna has added a carbon footprint tracker to its shopping app, offering each of its 90 million users the option of monitoring the environmental impact of their consumption.

From production to delivery at a shopper's front door, the feature will display an estimated carbon emission for each purchase and allow users to track their cumulative carbon footprint over months.

"With fat, sugar and salt levels labelled on food we buy, why shouldn't our CO2 emissions be just as visible?" Klarna Chief Executive Sebastian Siemiatkowski said, comparing the feature to the nutritional information commonly required on food packaging.

"That's why we're upgrading our app to give all our consumers globally transparent access to their shopping carbon footprint," he added.

The firm, which counts retail giants H&M, ASOS and Nike among its quarter of a million clients, said users will currently only see the emissions after a purchase, but that it hopes to update the app so it is shown in advance.

This could result in shoppers comparing the carbon emissions of rival products before selecting which item to buy.

Shoppers will not be charged money to use the app's CO2 tracker, Klarna said.

The firm, which is backed by rapper Snoop Dogg, said emissions will be shown in kilograms of CO2, but will also be compared to energy burning activities such as a car journey of a certain distance, so the cost can be better understood.

Klarna's buy-now, pay-later credit system has been criticised in Britain for encouraging debt among young people, a problem which was exacerbated during pandemic lockdowns.

In February, the British government said it would introduce regulation forcing firms like Klarna to make affordability checks before lending to a customer.

(Reporting by Colm Fulton; Editing by Niklas Pollard and Jan Harvey)

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