Calculating carbon emissions from your home
- Emission factors for the various fuel types are based on factors published by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
- Electrical emission coefficients for Canada and Europe are based on data published by the International Energy Agency (IEA). US electrical emission coefficients are based on data published by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
- There are very large variations in electrical emission coefficients from region to region due to the various sources of power generation.
- In Canada, Quebec which draws almost all of its electrical energy from Hydroelectric power, has the lowest coefficients. Ontario also has a relatively low electrical emission coefficient due to some reliance on nuclear energy. Alberta, with a very heavy reliance on fossil fuels, has the highest coefficient.
- In the US, the median coefficient is higher than in Canada due to a heavier reliance on fossil fuels and particularly due to the use of coal. Amongst the states with the lowest coefficients are Vermont, Oregon and Idaho with the highest coefficients occurring in North Dakota, Indiana and Wyoming.
- In Europe, countries that rely on hydroelectric and nuclear power such as Norway and France have low electrical emission coefficients. Germany, Italy, Spain and Greece are amongst the highest.
Calculating carbon emissions from your cars
- Car emissions are directly related to the quantity of fuel burned which is in turn related to the fuel efficiency of your car.
- Fuel efficiencies vary from model to model but also depend on driving conditions (eg. highway versus city driving). Be sure to use a fuel efficiency factor that reasonably reflects your driving patterns.
- Your carbon footprint is calculated using an assumption of 19.6 lbs/gal of gasoline and 22.4 lbs/gal of diesel
- Although the combustion of 1 lb of diesel results in the release of more emissions that 1 lb of gasoline, a pound of diesel typically translates into a larger travel distance . Overall emissions effectiveness thus depends on fuel efficiency.
Calculating carbon emissions from air travel
- Air travel definitions and factors are from the GHG Protocol Mobile Combustion Tool. The emissions factors for short and long haul flights are originally from the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
- Aircrafts consume more fuel during takeoffs and landings and thus short haul flights have a higher per unit distance consumptions that longer flights.
- A higher portion of the overall consumption is assigned to business class flyers since these seats occupy mores space (a factor of 1.3 is used versus economy class).
- Charter flights are typically operated at higher occupancy rates and this results in lower per person contributions than regular flights (a factor of 0.8 is used versus regular economy flights).
Calculating the carbon footprint of business or corporations is significantly more complex and involves a thorough evaluation of all operations. Please contact ZeroGHG for help with calculating your corporate footprint.
ZeroGHG can also provide you with assistance in calculating the carbon footprint of your for conferences and events.