What sources are to be used?
A data set of EFs represents a unit process of human activity that exchanges GHG emissions with the environment. The activity can be referred to process/good/service and it is important to determine the reference flow of each activity, i.e. the measure of the process/good/service output taken into account for each dataset. To produce country-specific EF, you need to follow standard references and collect reliable data.
Following references have been considered to build the Clim’Foot methodology:
Standards for carbon footprint for product and organization
Other GHG Protocol and ISO normes were considered to properly define the methodology of the Clim’Foot national databases.
Standards for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 are the main standards for LCA and environmental footprint. These references inform you on the principles and framework for LCA as well as the requirements for environmental management.
European Union Commission recommendation (2013/179/EU) on the use of common methods to measure and communicate the life cycle environmental performance of products and organizations is built on: The Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) and the Organization environmental footprint (OEF) guides.
Classification of GHG emissions
Before explaining the sources used to constitute emission factors, you need to understand the classification of GHG emissions to calculate carbon footprint of organization.
Here is an overview of the main source of data to constitute a country-specific EF.
For data collection, sources vary depending on the classification in scopes of the GHG emissions of the organization. The sources to collect scope 1 data (emissions from greenhouse gas sources owned or controlled by the company) are in order of priority:
National Inventory and statistics Agencies,
National Sectorial Experts,
IPCC Emission Factors database
and International experts or organisations publishing statistics (for example: United Nations, Eurostat, OECD, etc).
Data sources for indirect emissions, scope 2 and 3, mainly include data from an European context and could be collected from several sources like:
Existing LCI databases;
Existing EF databases;
Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) study of sector associations;
Literature data and Environmental Product Declarations (EPD);
Country-specific datasets from existing data (ex: IPCC Emission Factor Database) or specific studies.
The sources used to collect data for the scope 1 emissions could be also used to collect scopes 2 & 3 emissions data.