Emission factors (Carbon accounting)
An emission factor (EF) quantifies the amount of greenhouse gas emissions associated with a specific activity or unit of product or service. For instance, it can measure the additional emissions linked to spending one euro on clothing or transportation or purchasing one kilogram of textile or one litre of fuel. Emission factors are used to estimate a company’s emissions based on their reported spending on different products and services or by more detailed reporting of quantities of purchased items.
Spend-based emission factors provide a rough estimate of a company’s emissions based on expenditure. In contrast, activity-based emission factors provide a more accurate estimate by considering the quantities of all purchased items. Emission factors are essential tools for measuring and tracking greenhouse gas emissions, and they can assist companies in evaluating and managing their environmental impact, as well as in setting emissions reduction targets and implementing mitigation measures.