What you need to know about: Giki

Written by Lori Campbell on 1st Apr 2021

As the world faces up to the effects of climate change and other environmental issues, more people than ever are keen to make changes to their lifestyle to reduce their impact on the planet.

However, it can be easy to feel confused and overwhelmed by the sheer number of apps and tools on offer, all claiming to help you do this.

In response to demand for more guidance on how to choose between different products, Good With Money has introduced ‘need to know’ product and provider reviews.

Here we look at Giki – an app to help you find sustainable and healthy products in UK supermarkets, and an online step-by-step guide to a lighter carbon footprint.

The deal

According to Giki, three quarters of global greenhouse gas emissions come from people. It means that to really cut carbon, everyone needs to be involved.

Giki (short for ‘Get Involved, Know your Impact’) offers three products to help you achieve a more sustainable lifestyle:

Giki Badges is a shopping app that allows consumers to scan supermarket products to see how sustainable they are. You simply scan the barcode on the app, see which of 15 badges (covering sustainability, health and fairness) the product has, and check out the alternatives Giki offers. More than 280,000 supermarket products are covered by the app.

Giki Zero is an online eco-planner that calculates the impact your individual lifestyle has on the planet, finds ways for you to reduce it and celebrates your successes along the way. You can choose from around 130 positive changes that suit your lifestyle and budget.

Giki Zero Pro helps businesses support their employees to reduce their carbon impact. It’s a personalised programme for any organisation wanting to help its members, staff or students to understand, track and lighten their footprint on the planet. It has around 100 steps that are tailored to individual lifestyles and budgets.

As of April 2021, Giki badges has been downloaded 60,000 times. Giki Zero is used by 12,000 people and is growing fast with this number doubling every few months.

Both Badges and Zero are free to use, while Zero Pro is charged per person (see below)

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User-friendliness

User-friendliness is built into the foundations of Giki. Jo Hand, who founded Giki with her husband James, told Good With Money: “We always wanted Giki to be easy to access and understand. The idea is that it’s accessible to as broad a range of people as possible, whatever stage they are at.”

With Giki Badges, you simply download the app on your phone and use it on your usual grocery shop. A quick scan of the barcode on a product will show you how many (if any) of the 15 badges it has achieved. If it doesn’t score well, Giki will give you ideas for more sustainable options.

Giki Zero starts by asking you a few personal questions to calculate your individual carbon footprint and give you a ‘Giki score’. As well as carbon, it will tell you about your water and land use, and how much single-use plastic you are estimated to go through.

It then guides you through steps you can take today to reduce your impact, based on your lifestyle and what stage you are at in thinking about sustainability. You can keep track of your score on your ‘Progress’ page and every month you’ll be set a new challenge and shown which steps you’ll need to take.

Jo said: “Giki Zero covers people just starting out with simple steps like saving energy by putting a lid on a saucepan right through to those who have been thinking about sustainability for a long time and want to change their pension or bank account. It takes time to make lasting changes to your lifestyle and the idea is to start with the easier steps.”


See the Good With Money interview with Giki co-founder James Hand


Is it safe?

Giki is completely safe. Giki Badges stores no personal data and Giki Zero only collects the information it needs from you to give you the feedback you’re looking for. This does not include any bank (or other financial product) account details.

Unique selling points

Giki Badges:

  • Scan the barcodes on the grocery products you usually buy to easily see how they stack up on sustainability and health.
  • Giki gives you information about whether a product is responsibly sourced, is committed to animal welfare, and is packaged with recyclable materials. It then offers you ideas for more sustainable alternatives.

Giki Zero:

  • Calculate and easily understand your carbon emissions and the personal impact you have on the planet.
  • See your total footprint and how it breaks down by different areas of your life.
  • Compare your footprint to the UK and global average, and see how much you need to cut it to really make a difference.
  • Giki’s science-based carbon calculator lets you enter as much information about your lifestyle as you want to. The more you enter, the more detailed your feedback will be. It covers everything from home, food and travel, to pets, financial services and clothes.
  • A personalised Climate Clock lets you see how long there is left until the global carbon budget runs out.
  • You can team up with your family or housemates to cut carbon, water, land use and plastic together.

Giki Zero Pro:

  • Lets you bring individual action together through your company team or organisation, to see what you are achieving collectively and how you could do better.

The plus points

Giki Badges:

  • The app is a quick and easy way to make more sustainable choices when you shop.
  • Making information on sustainability public in this way can also put pressure on companies and manufacturers to improve their practices.

Giki Zero:

  • Helps you understand your individual impact on the planet and take targeted action to improve it.
  • Choose from over 130 steps to reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Pick steps that are relevant to your personal situation and achievable based on your lifestyle, needs and priorities. For example, if you live in the countryside and need a car to get to work, the choices available to you are very different to some who lives in the city and takes public transport.

Giki Zero Pro

  • According to Giki, carbon emissions from staff can be up to ten times higher than a company’s carbon footprint. Giki Zero Pro helps employees find the right steps for them and provides data to report on individual achievements.

Any drawbacks?

  • Giki Badges does not currently work on products in Aldi, Lidl or Marks and Spencers. This is because their data can’t be accessed digitally.
  • Giki Zero can be used by anyone in the world, but the default data that your carbon footprint is based on currently comes only from the UK. Giki is working on global and US versions so the data will be relevant to wherever you live.

Cost of use

Giki Badges and Giki Zero are completely free to use. Giki Zero Pro is charged at 30p to 80p per person, per month depending on the number of people in an organisation.

Other options

Other apps or websites that help you understand and cut your carbon impact include:

Sugi Earth

Joule Bug


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