Each year the UK government publishes an updated set of greenhouse gas emissions factors for calculating carbon emissions for a range of activities and processes. Compare Your Footprint uses this set of average carbon factors for UK-based organisations, and where relevant also for some international operations, in the GHG Protocol average data method. 

What's New for greenhouse gas calculations in 2020?

Highlights of new changes since 2019 are:

  • New cars real world emissions reductions: the uplift factor for new vehicle registrations is now sourced from Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) protocol, resulting in a significant decrease in the calculated emissions to reflect real world testing. The result should be a general continuation of the year-to-year trends in the improvements in the calculated fleet-wide real-world CO2 emission factors of cars.
  • Increase in biodiesel emissions calculations: The biodiesel factors have been aligned to National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI) methodologies which assume that the methanol reagent in the synthesis of biodiesel (Fatty acid methyl esters, FAME) is derived from fossil feedstock and so this is now accounted for within the biodiesel factors, resulting in a significant increase in the emissions from biodiesel.
  • SECR factors: To help companies comply with Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting, BEIS has added SECR factors for converting distances travelled in passenger vehicles into kWh as required for annual directors' carbon reporting for quoted and large unquoted companies.
  • Composting use increase: In 2020 Carbon Emissions factors it is increased the accuracy in the methodology for calculating emissions factors from composting has led to a significant increase in the impacts of using compost on CO2 levels.
  • Books factor removed: The conversion factors for ‘Books’ have been removed in this publication to avoid duplication as these factors are identical to the ‘Paper and board: paper’ factors.

Download the UK Government 2020 Carbon Emissions Factor HERE. Need help interpreting these conversion factors for 2020? Please contact Emma on [email protected] or reach Green Element and we will put you through. 

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