Over the past six months Defra has initiated a review of the content, format and navigation of GHG conversion factors, in response to pressure from stakeholders.

Yesterday, the Govenment announced that companies listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange must report their organisation’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

In order to report the GHG emissions associated with an organisation’s activities, users must convert ‘activity data’ such as distance travelled, litres of fuel used or tonnes of waste disposed into carbon emissions.

According to the Government, GHGs can be measured by recording emissions at source by continuous emissions monitoring or by estimating the amount emitted by multiplying activity data by relevant emissions conversion factors.

The Government says it has simplified the conversion factors by reducing reporting ambiguity and consolidating complex information regarding the reporting methodology paper.

It has also streamlined the location of guidance annexes in Defra’s newly revised environmental reporting guidelines and simplified the agreement to recalculate for updated factors.

According to carbon management company Carbon Smart, who was chosen by Defra to conduct the review, said some organisations using the Defra conversion factors will need to rebaseline their data to align with the new approach, while others will find new simpler ways to get to the factors they need.

Carbon Smart senior consultant Julie Emmings, said: “Across the board the stakeholders we engaged with were ambitious in their future needs for the conversion factor tools; with strong emphasis on making the future resources simpler to understand, quicker to use and ultimately allowing them to get on with taking action”.

“This is a timely review of the conversion factor resources, which have organically grown over the last few years and become quite difficult to navigate. With the new mandatory greenhouse gas reporting regulation bringing through hundreds of new reporting organisations we really needed to bring a fresh new approach,” she added.

Leigh Stringer

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