SA’s state-owned freight transport and logistics company, Transnet, has announced that it has developed an innovative new carbon calculator app in conjunction with the Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE), based at Wits University.

The app will allow users to calculate their carbon emissions savings and will be useful for corporate reporting on transport carbon emissions.

Transnet is promoting a modal shift from road to rail and will report annually on the associated carbon emission savings.

SA is set to introduce a carbon tax in 2016, in an attempt to account for the environmental cost of greenhouse gas emissions and incentivise the use of cleaner energy sources. The proposed carbon tax rate is currently R120 a metric tonne of CO2 equivalent, to be levied by government on the use of fossil fuels.

The carbon calculator app’s primary purpose is to enable Transnet customers to calculate the carbon emissions benefit of electing to move specific tonnages of cargo in SA by rail instead of road. The calculator applies the relevant rail tractive power (electric or diesel) of each route to calculate the carbon footprint of tonnage. Users can select a specific origin and destination, the commodity type and its weight to calculate the emission savings when transporting cargo by rail instead of road.

The app is available to download on Apple, Windows and Android devices and is available for free at the relevant online stores. See links to the stores on