• The UK Government’s Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) launched its online greenhouse gas conversion factor repository website this week
  • This will be of use to companies based in the UK as well as international organizations fulfilling their requirement for environmental reporting of carbon emissions
  • Ricardo-AEA has been responsible for providing the emissions factors – a crucial element of the new mandatory reporting requirement – on which the new online system is based

In order to report the greenhouse gas emissions associated with a UK organization’s activities,
users must convert ‘activity data’ such as distance travelled or litres of fuel used into carbon emissions. The new online tool provides the values that should be used for such conversions, provides step by step guidance on how to use the factors and helps users to select the categories and types of greenhouse gas emission factors they use during their reporting process.

Ricardo-AEA has been responsible for compiling and developing the annually updated set of UK government greenhouse gas conversion factors since they were originally provided for company reporting in 2005. The new website will allow users to download the conversion factors relevant to their operations, and provides guidelines for environmental reporting, making it easier for companies
to calculate their greenhouse gas emissions for upcoming regulations which require mandatory carbon reporting.

“This update to the way UK greenhouse gas emission conversion factors are presented and calculated is much more user friendly,” commented Ricardo-AEA’s carbon management knowledge leader, Christine St John Cox. “Organizations will now be able to use a Q&A prompter to select emissions factors, or search an updated comprehensive spread sheet which still includes over 4,000 factors collated annually by Ricardo-AEA. The new website is designed to support users with a range of experiences of calculating carbon footprints.”

The launch of the website supports yesterday’s announcement of reforms to company reporting which include a requirement for UK quoted companies to report on their annual greenhouse gas emissions. It has been confirmed that from 30th September this year, organizations that are UK incorporated and listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange will be required to report on their
greenhouse gas emissions performance. Emissions to be disclosed will be those currently captured within Scope 1 and 2, including transport, gas and fuel usage, electricity and process emissions.

“We welcome the introduction of mandatory greenhouse gas emission reporting as it will help to ensure organizations publish consistent and transparent carbon reports,” continued St John Cox. “While many organizations will already be reporting in line with some of the requirements, they must now respond to the challenge of capturing the remaining emissions and expand them to cover
international sources.”

Updated guidance on environmental reporting, including a link to the greenhouse gas conversion factor website, is available at the following web address: https://www.gov.uk/measuring-and-reporting-environmental-impacts-guidance-for-businesses