Method and Data

Numerical basis

Method and Data

The Carbon Calculator is based on a number of formulas and constants. These constants – also known as emission factors – are derived from different sources as described below.


You can download a list of sources and constants for the Carbon Calculator under “Show calculation” in the Carbon Calculator. You can attach this document to your CO2 inventory or GHG emissions report as documentation.


You can compare your company’s present carbon footprint with previous footprints if you have access to information about previous energy consumption.


Emission factors exist for the following years in the context of energy: 1972, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. A year is added to the time series every year.


Emission factors for fossil fuels

In the Carbon Calculator, direct and indirect emissions are calculated by multiplying the amount of fuel by the CO2 equivalent conversion factors of the individual type of fuel (e.g. kg of CO2 per kWh or kg of CO2 per litre of fuel). The emission factors were prepared in concert with the Danish Energy Agency (on the basis of figures from the annual energy statistics). They are updated once a year.


Emission factors for electricity and heat

The electricity and district heat emission factors for scopes 2 and 3 were calculated on the basis of environmental product declarations issued by The calculations were based on the 125% allocation method. Emissions from biomass production and waste are not included in scope 3 as these energy sources are assumed to be waste products from related product systems. Vattenfall, DONG Energy and are preparing an environmental impact assessment of Danish electricity and district heat. The results of this study are scheduled for publication in 2010, after which the factors in the Climate Compass will be updated.


Emission factors for production of purchased materials and waste

The data applied are published by the Directorate General of the European Commission Joint Research Centre with the support of, among others, PE INTERNATIONAL, known as the ILCD database. The database is an internationally recognised, updated and publicly available database. In cases where the ILCD database is inadequate, data from PE INTERNATIONAL’s commercially available GaBi databases are used. Reusing materials and burning energy resources produces a credit (negative CO2 contribution). This negative contribution is not included in the scope in relation to the GHG Protocol. As the GHG Protocol does not include the credit as part of the three scopes, it does not count in the overall result. However, the credit will appear as a part result to give companies an idea of the real climate impact of their activities. Energy from incineration of waste with energy utilisation is assumed to displace average Danish electricity generation (30% efficiency). Secondary materials from reuse are assumed to displace the production of the same virgin materials. Scope 3 emissions related to extraction and supply of fuel for transport are not included. To ensure as much flexibility as possible, the emission factors for materials and waste disposal can be manually adjusted in the event the user has more accurate information from specific suppliers, etc. The same is the case with the distribution between waste fractions for deposits, incineration and reuse. The percentages applied are rough estimates of Danish conditions as they not only relate to the material, but also use, which is situation-specific.


References underlying production of purchased materials and waste

ILCD Format, created by the European Commission’s JRC-IES, the European Platform for Life Cycle Assessment with FZK GmbH, IAI. Copyright (C) 2009, European Commission. GaBi 4, Software and Database for Life Cycle Engineering. PE International GmbH, Stuttgart, April 2007. All rights reserved.


Restrictions for production of purchased materials and waste

Emission factors are stated for raw materials such as steel bars, plastic granulate, etc. If the company buys components or finished products from a supplier, the company can obtain a fuller picture of its climate impact by adding the supplier’s production energy. Climate Compass emission factors are generic, and calculated results should only be regarded as indicative and not as an absolute truth. Reuse of products and materials used are not included in the calculator as the climate impact depends significantly on use. Assumptions about shares disposed of via deposits, incineration and reuse are based on Danish conditions.


Emission factors for contractor owned transport

In the Carbon Calculator, indirect emissions (scope 3) from business travels are based on various data: Public transport: Calculated, using constants from “TEMA 2000 – A calculation tool for transport-related fuel use and emissions in Denmark” (in Danish: TEMA 2000 – Et værktøj til at beregne transporters energiforbrug og emissioner i Danmark) prepared by the Ministry of Transport in cooperation with COWI (2000) Taxi: The calculations were made by Miljø og Sundhed on the basis of statistics (2007) of the Danish Taxi Board Plane: Calculated, using the constants of Defra – the British Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Leased cars: See emission factors for fossil fuels

They are updated once a year in so far as the various institutions update them.


Process-related and fugitive emissions

Under scope 1, you can find out whether the company is assumed to have process-related or fugitive emissions (agriculture excluded). This applies to very few companies. You cannot use the Carbon Calculator for calculating the amount of emissions of the company. The list of industrial processes emitting greenhouse gases was prepared on the basis of the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. It is the latest internationally recognised guideline for national reporting of greenhouse gases. It is an update of the Revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, used by countries comprised by the Kyoto Protocol.

På Klimakompasset kan du få inspiration til at udarbejde en klimastrategi, som kan reducere din virksomheds udledning af CO2 og andre drivhusgasser.