A spreadsheet tool has been developed to allow you to calculate your air pollutant emissions. The tool is designed to make use of data that your company is very likely to already have collected and has already used to report its GHG emissions. 

The more detailed calculations within the tool likely require information that might not be immediately to hand, but which quite possibly is available. Guidance in the tool will support you to find the right data.

A tiered approach to calculating emissions

The EMEP/EEA Air pollutant emission inventory guidebook contains internationally accepted methodologies for estimating emissions for Air Pollutants for a very wide range of anthropogenic sources.

Technical experts have the written guidance to explain how air pollutant (AP) emissions should be calculated. This guidance has been internationally adopted, and the calculations in the spreadsheet tool are based on this guidance.

Within the guidance three levels (or tiers) for calculating are described with increasing detail and complexity. We have followed this same approach to provide a flexible approach to emission calculations.


  1. Tier 1

    A simple approach based on fuel use and fuel-based emission factors, that should allow the air pollutant estimations to be done within the existing GHG data collection approaches.

  2. Tier 2

    Increased complexity, introducing some elements of technology into the emission factors where this data is available. In some cases, this data is already collected for GHG calculations, especially for better estimation of non-CO2 gases.

  3. Tier 3

    The most detailed emission factors around technology and operating conditions are used. In this case, the data required will be beyond what is normally used for GHG reporting.

The current tool only allows for tier 1 and tier 2 calculations.  Contact us if you would like to consider a more detailed tier 3 approach.

Scopes and their implementation in the spreadsheet tool

The GHG Protocol Standard for Corporate Accounting and Reporting is the most widely used international accounting tool for understanding, quantifying, and managing GHG emissions. The standard emissions categories are divided into three groups or 'Scopes' and by analogy, this approach can be used to categorise air pollutant emissions as well.

  • Scope 1 covers direct emissions from owned or controlled sources.
  • Scope 2 covers indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling consumed by the reporting company.
  • Scope 3 includes all other indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain. The box and diagram below explain these definitions.

Scopes and their implementation in the spreadsheet tool

The spreadsheet tool provides the possibility to calculate Scope 1 and 2 emissions. The road transport element of the tool can also calculate some Scope 3 emissions.  

Source of AP emissions covered by each of the 3 spreadsheet categoriesScope 1Scope 2Scope 3
Transport activityOwned fleet (including leased and hired vehicles)Electricity use by any vehiclesStaff or other business travel including mileage allowances and public transport
Heat and PowerCombustion emissions from heating plant, generators, CHP, etc.Purchased electricity or heat 
NRMM (Non-road Mobile Machinery)Owned equipment such as forklifts or construction equipmentElectricity used by NRMM 

The table explains the type of AP emissions covered under each scope. Collecting the activity data needed for Scope 1 should be relatively straightforward for all companies. Much of this data should be available from the information already used to report GHG emissions.

Southwark air quality team were pleased to have been invited to participate in this trial of these tools.  From a local authority perspective, the outputs of this project may help us;

  • understand our own air quality emissions as an organisation,
  • work with local businesses and organisations to help promote corporate and social responsibility around air pollution,
  • support the planning applications process to secure lower air pollution  emissions in the future,
  • create a more detailed local emissions inventory to help us decide where to most effectively target our air quality project resources.

Southwark Council

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