The latest insight from finance experts, RIFT, has revealed that the carbon footprint of Father Christmas could be similar to the total carbon (CO2) emissions of the whole of Newport, Swansea, North West Leicestershire or the London Borough of Camden.
RIFT analysed the carbon footprint of Santa and his sleigh based on his estimated carbon emissions and the distance travelled on Christmas eve, before comparing it to the emissions of each local authority in the UK to see where it sits.
It’s estimated that Father Christmas travels a whopping 41 million miles to deliver presents to children around the world.
RIFT estimates that while he does, he generates 0.024 metric tons of carbon dioxide per mile.
That’s 984.5 kilotons (kt) of carbon dioxide generated in a single night of delivering gifts by Santa and his sleigh.
The UK produces approximately 329 times this much CO2 on an annual basis, equating to an estimated 887.4 kt / kilotons per day, putting Santa there or thereabouts with the UK’s daily CO2 emissions during his one night of work per year.
The 984.5 kt / kilotons generated on Christmas eve alone also sits just above the total annual emissions generated by the whole of the London Borough of Camden (978.1kt), North West Leicestershire (980.8kt) and Swansea (984.7kt).
It also sits just below Newport (989.7kt), Rhondda Cynon Taf (992.4kt) and Harrogate (1,000.2kt).
However, there is one small consideration to make. This initial calculation is based on the CO2 emitted per mile from the average commercial flight. Since Santa’s sleigh is allegedly powered by magical reindeer, then the likelihood is that his carbon footprint is potentially far smaller.
It’s estimated that one reindeer produces the equivalent of 5.8 grams of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) per kilometre, that’s an estimated 0.42 kt / kilotons of CO2e per reindeer on Christmas eve.
RIFT’s research shows that when multiplied by the nine reindeer pulling Santa sleigh, the carbon footprint of Father Christmas sits at just 3.8 kt / kilotons .
To put this into perspective, the Isles of Scilly produces the lowest carbon footprint of all UK areas on an annual basis at 5.3 kt / kilotons , other than Highland (-86.7kt) and Argyll and Bute (-293.5kt).
Bradley Post, MD of RIFT, said, “The carbon footprint of Father Christmas is a grey area up for debate. Is he really using reindeer to travel over 41 million miles in a single night? If so, then his carbon footprint is remarkably low for such a distance and we could certainly use such technology to help reduce our own carbon footprints generated via air travel.
However, if he is indeed utilising modern aviation technology, his carbon footprint in a single night could be on par with the likes of Swansea’s entire yearly CO2 emissions.
Given how elusive he is, I suppose we will never know.”