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Tips ´n Tools

Ensure comparability

  • In order to monitor the development of your emissions profile over time, comparability between past and present emission inventories needs to be maintained. While constantly striving to improve on the quality and scope of the inventory, the following points are important to consider when preparing updated inventories:

    • Consistent data source – use data from the same data provider (source), check their method of collecting and providing data is still consistent. When moving to another data source (e.g. one that is more detailed), try to quantify the difference this makes and take into account when comparing different years.
    • Consistent in what is included or excluded – when adding sectors, other GHGs or scope, make notes and be transparent what is or was part of the inventory before and after, and quantify the difference.
    • Consistent in the emission factors used – Emission factors for energy used can change significantly over time, particularly for electricity use. In order to identify the emission reductions from your mitigation measures only, emission factors need to be consistent, so not to include external factors such as a change in electricity generation mix. Quantify the difference and be transparent when actual year emission factors are used.
    • Normalisation – Energy use and emissions can change significantly from year to year due to external factors, such as weather or population growth. Normalisation for external factors can help making year-to-year comparisons more meaningful. Common normalization factors include: temperature (heating degree days), population, number of households, distances travelled, number of tourist nights et al. Since care needs to be taken to normalize relevant energy uses only (e.g. only the energy used for actual heating purposes when normalizing with heating degree days), only very detailed data should be normalized.


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