Database Summary

All the databases Sumday pulls from

What are emission factors?

Think of emission factors as the magic number that allows you to calculate your carbon emissions using the data you already have. They help quantify the impact of a given activity on the environment by providing a rate of GHG emissions. 🌍📈

Example:

You take $20M on Repairs and Maintenance x emissions factor (🪄) = 100t of C02-e You take 1000 kWh of electricity x emissions factor (🪄) = 170 kg C02-e

They are also often referred to as conversion factors, emission intensity, or carbon intensity.

Sumday has a database full of emissions factors to help you perform these calculations in the absence of primary data from suppliers.

Where do the emission factors come from?

Emissions factors are published by a variety of sources. For the most part, Sumday uses publicly available emissions factor data published by reputable sources like governments, international organisations, universities, peer reviewed journal articles and primary emissions data disclosed by companies. We do this so we can transparently share every one of these numbers and their source with you in the Carbon General Ledger report.

Companies and their accountants are not limited to the use of data within the Sumday database. Where organisations have licensed other data sources or have their own organisational specific emissions factors, these can be uploaded as custom emissions factors in Sumday and will only be available to your organisation.

Ok…but where do those databases get the information?

This is a great question. For the most part, emission factors come from studies or economic analysis to produce a very high level average for the carbon associated with your relevant activity or the goods and services you’re purchasing. This may seem extremely uncertain (it is) and yet every company in the world measuring their scope 3 emissions relies on methods that adopt these industry averages because they don’t have actual data from suppliers (Sumday is on a mission to change that).

Emission Factors do not tell you the actual emissions of your chosen supplier or investments. You want to engage with these companies to improve the quality of your accounting over time and be rewarded for the emission reduction these companies achieve in your own scope 3 emissions.

 
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What data sources are available in Sumday?

A summary of key sources included in Sumday’s database are outlined below. Further information about each of the sources and associated datasets can be found by clicking on each of the sources.

 
Your emissions factor questions still unanswered? Send us an email at support@sumday.io and we would be happy to discuss further.
Your emissions factor questions still unanswered? Send us an email at support@sumday.io and we would be happy to discuss further.
 

Summary of Related Data Sources

Data Source Name
Data Source Description
The Australian Government’s Department of Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water publish a comprehensive list of emission factors on an annual basis. The annually released dataset is titled “The National Greenhouse Accounts Factors” and is used by organisations voluntarily reporting their climate impact and is expected to be a required EF source in the upcoming Australian Sustainability Reporting Standards. In addition for Australian Large Emitters covered under the NGER Act these factors will also be used in their mandatory Scope 1 and 2 filings.
The UK Department of Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) releases a comprehensive list of emission factors on an annual basis as well as well as publishing supplementary emissions research and modelling. The annually released dataset is titled the “Greenhouse gas reporting: conversion factors” and is used by UK based organisations to quantify their emissions either for voluntary reporting or for entities required to report under the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) framework.
The US Environmental Protection Agency publishes a variety of emissions factors across Scope 1, 2 and 3 with the majority of materials summarised under the EPA’s GHG Emission Factors Hub. The Hub draws from published material by the EPA and other governmental departments. The Emissions Factor Hub is used widely by US based organisations voluntarily reporting on their emissions and is a key source in the proposed mandatory reporting frameworks.
EXIOBASE is a global, detailed Multi-Regional Environmentally Extended Supply-Use Table (MR-SUT) and Input-Output Table (MR-IOT). It was developed by harmonising and detailing supply-use tables for a large number of countries, estimating emissions and resource extractions by industry. It was developed by a consortium of several research institutes in projects financed by the European research framework programs. The EXIOBASE dataset is comprised of spend based emissions factors with global coverage across 44 countries, 5 Rest of World regions and includes 200 defined product catergories. EXIOBASE is generally considered one of the most widely used emission factor datasets globally for carbon accounting purposes.
The New Zealand Government’s Ministry of the Environment publish a comprehensive list of emission factors on an annual basis. The suite of documents released annually is titled “Te ine tukunga: He tohutohu pakihi Measuring emissions: A guide for organisations” and is used by organisations voluntarily reporting their climate impact. In addition, New Zealand based organisations covered under the country’s mandatory climate reporting legislation also use these emission factors as part of their GHG inventories.
More articles coming soon!
 
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Last updated on October 29, 2023