Greenhouse Gas (GHG) conversion factors – what exactly are they? Why are they so important for UK businesses?
Collecting emissions data and using conversion factors to present the data in the required format for Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) can be a daunting task – it doesn’t need to be.
We have created a fast guide to conversion factors, breaking down the need-to-know information.
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What are the UK government GHG conversion factors?
Governments worldwide have pledged to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2040. To achieve this, the UK government requires transparency on our current carbon emissions.
To measure the total amount of emissions being released into the atmosphere, the rate at which a company’s different activities release emissions needs to be converted into activity data. These calculations are referred to as conversion factors.
Examples of activities: distance travelled, litres of fuel used, tonnes of waste disposed.
Each year the UK government releases a new spreadsheet with current conversion factors. This includes values for the calculations and step by step guidance on how to use them.
How are the greenhouse conversion factors grouped?
Emissions activities are grouped into three categories, known as Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3.
Scopes are important in the reporting exercise, because the UK Government GHG Conversion Factors Reporting Spreadsheet categorises the conversion factors by these scopes, using colour coded tabs (see example from 2022 below).
*Remember, the UK Government releases a new spreadsheet each year, and businesses should use the version released in the year that corresponds with the data they are reporting on.
Do all UK businesses need to report on GHG emissions using conversion factors?
Not all UK companies are currently obligated to report. The Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) methodology requires reporting from companies who meet the below criteria.
Quoted businesses, large unquoted businesses and large Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP).
A quoted company is one who has its equity share capital officially listed on the main market of the LSE, a European Economic Area Market, NYSE, or Nasdaq (Stock Exchanges).
The SECR considers an unquoted company or LLP to be large if they meet two or more of the following criteria:
- a turnover of £36 million or more
- a balance sheet of £18 million or more
- 250 employees or more
Automate calculating GHG conversion factors
How are companies automating the process?
ClearVUE.Zero is a groundbreaking tool automating the process of gathering Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions data for simplified reporting.
With just a few clicks, the system generates a corporate report, using built in UK reporting standards, including all mandatory information regarding consumption, emissions, and intensity ratios. Users also have the flexibility to manually add their energy efficiency action plan.
Built in reporting standards are updated yearly in line with the UK government’s release of conversion factors, and our team of expert sustainability consultants are on hand to support the process, ensuring correct data input is accurate.
Book a free demonstration of our platform and associated services today.