This year’s Defra release of new emission conversion factors for GHG reporting has come with only two major changes to vans/LGVs and natural gas. All other updates were revisions from the year before, based on new and improved data and using a similar methodological approach. The main changes have been summarised below:
The calculation for emissions from vans/LGVs has been improved to use a more recent, detailed (and annually updatable) dataset to calculate the relative differences in CO2 emission factors between different van size categories, as well as the average van payload capacity (in tonnes) for different van size categories. This has resulted in some significant changes in the emission factors per vehicle-km and per tonne-km as compared to 2018.
The emission factor for natural gas has been updated to account for the limited biogas content contained in natural gas received through the gas mains grid network in the UK. The "natural gas (100% mineral blend)" factor has now also been included in the list of gaseous fuels emission factors, which does not contain any biogas content. Additionally, improvements have been made to the assumptions of the composition of natural gas to utilise operator-provided data, where possible, which has led to a reduction in the corresponding factors (when expressed on a mass or volume basis).
What to do?
The 2019 emission conversion factors should be used when calculating your footprint for calendar year 2019. Organisations should ensure that any previously calculated 2019 data is recalculated using the new conversion factors as the rise and fall of emission factors can have a significant impact on your overall emissions.
All 2019 conversion factors are available on the DEFRA website.
Greenstone’s Environment module
Greenstone has implemented the Defra 2019 changes in the emission factor database within its software. Greenstone’s Environment module enables users to upload data from a wide range of sources including energy, transport, waste, water and fugitive gases. All data is then processed automatically to track consumption and calculate the associated carbon emissions using recognised international standards, including GHG Protocol, Defra, Bilan Carbone, NGA and CGGI.
To find out more about the Environment module, click here.
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