2.3.3 Carbon Measurement: Calculate Carbon Account

This article sets out the requirements for calculating the carbon account to attain the carbon neutral certification.

Calculating the emissions from your business involves the following steps:

The Pathzero platform calculates the estimated emissions from all relevant and required emission sources. The inventory includes emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3).

Emission Factors

Emission factors are used to convert a unit of activity into its emissions equivalent. The Pathzero platform has been built to use credible and reliable emission factors when determining the carbon account.

The emission factor used for a particular calculation is displayed in the Pathzero platform.

Government published Emission Factors

Pathzero uses the most up to date emission factors in order to convert activity data into tonnes CO2-e. Preference is given to those factors that are publicly available and regionally relevant and are published by governments or other reputable organisations. In line with guidance from IRCOA, the following sources are used or have been approved for use in within the Pathzero self-serve web application:

  1. Australia – National Greenhouse Accounts Factors (NGA Factors, Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources).
  2. New Zealand – National Emission Factors (Ministry for the Environment).
  3. Netherlands – National Emission Factors (Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment).
  4. UK – Current GHG conversion factor (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy).
  5. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – Emission Factors Database

Other emission factor sources used in Pathzero’s calculation application include:

  1. Australia – Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – Greenhouse gas reporting conversion factors 2019.

Spend Analysis

Input-Output Analysis (or short "IOA") is a method that tracks all financial transactions between industrial sectors and consumers within an economy. By adding environmental information, such as greenhouse gas emissions, to each sector it becomes possible to assign an environmental burden (a "footprint") to these financial transactions. Similar to following the flow of money, or costs, from production to consumption, an environmentally extended input-output model allows following the flow of environmental footprints along supply and production chains. As each production step adds an environmental burden, the result is a life-cycle inventory of impacts of production and consumption, e.g. carbon, water or ecological footprints of companies, organisations, sectors, individuals, regions or countries.

Pathzero has collaborated with leading EEIO researcher, Professor Manfred Lenzen from The University of Sydney as well as Professor Singh from the University of Purdue to create proprietary Environmentally Extended Input Output Analysis (EEIOA) for the Australian economy and that of the United States.

This analysis enables a robust conversion of $ spend in these regions into CO2e.

Pathzero predictive model

Pathzero has gathered publicly available emission data as well as proprietary data to understand the key drivers and then predict emissions per industry.

We have a growing library of industry emission drivers and predictive models that provide an initial screening tool and can be used for non-material scope 3 items in a final inventory.

Proprietary emissions modelling

Pathzero’s research team is constantly identifying new emission sources, like “work from home” and developing peer-reviewed models to efficiently calculate the resulting greenhouse gas emissions from these new emission sources.

Renewable Energy and Carbon Neutral Supply Chains

Some organisations may already be purchasing carbon neutral products and services. The Pathzero self-serve web application and Manual Consulting process prompts clients to identify where a carbon neutral product or service has been purchased.

The use of the activity or product must still be reported in the Gross emissions of the carbon account to ensure transparency and completeness of the account. It would then be deducted, so that the net/residual emissions would be zero for that emission source.

Pathzero guidance

A carbon neutral activity or product in the organisation’s supply chain could include:

  • use of products and services (e.g. retail electricity or flights) certified against the Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard for Products & Services; or
  • accommodation in a carbon neutral building certified against the Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard for Buildings; or
  • accommodation in a carbon neutral precinct certified against the Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard for Precincts.

Emissions Over Time

Organisations have an opportunity to adjust the emissions inventory on a monthly basis. The emissions inventory is therefore comparable over a monthly basis. As an organisation continues to report and offset emissions, year-over-year analysis will also be possible.