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GHG-Energy Calc Background Paper

Ben J. Rose
March 2009

© Ben J. Rose,
2003 - 2009
Section Contents Page
1.1 Australian domestic greenhouse gas emissions 3
1.2 Greenhouse gases (GHG) and global warming potential (GWP) 6
2.1 Using GHG-Energy Calc 8
2.2 How GHG-Energy Calc works 9
2.3 Home Heating Calculator 11


3.1 Definitions and boundaries 12
3.2 Estimation of embodied emission factors for manufactured goods, food and 13
residential buildings


5.1 Aircraft 17
5.2 Ocean liners 20
5.3 Private vehicles 21
Bicycle 22
5.4 Motor vehicle efficiency 23
5.5 Public transport – bus and train 24


6.1 Electricity (Australian grid systems) 27
6.2 Electricity – ‘green power’ renewable (biomass/hydro/wind power) 28
6.3 Heating fuels used in the home 29


7.1 Foods- emission classes 31
7.2 Using the Food section of GHG-Energy Calc 32
7.3 Water 32


8.1 GHG-Energy Calc waste section 34
8.2 Inaccuracies 34
8.3 Embodied energy emissions of municipal solid waste 34
8.4 Methane generation from landfill 35
8.5 Emission savings from recycling 36


9.1 Housing 37
9.2 Possessions 38

Appendix 1 Conversions 45
Appendix 2 Definitions 45
Appendix 3 Emission factors for fuels 49
Appendix 4 Air travel emissions understated 49
Appendix 5 Per Passenger Emissions from Cruise Ships 51
Appendix 6 Estimated embodied energy and emissions of goods in a typical home 54

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper


Global warming is now almost universally accepted as being the greatest environmental crisis to
affect mankind. The results are already being felt: global warming and a climate change with more
extremes - droughts, floods and intense storms that are predicted to become much worse as CO2
levels increase at an unprecedented rate. Reducing the rate of greenhouse gas emssions will be an
enormous battle that must be fought on many fronts. However it is winnable because it is a
phenomenon caused directly by human activities and there are many ways we can change to become
more energy efficient and less polluting. It is mainly the excessive consumption habits of
‘westernized’ developed nations that are producing more greenhouse gases than can be assimilated
by natural cycles. The burning of huge amounts of fossils fuels for transport, industry and domestic
electricity; unsustainable agricultural practices and clearing of forests are all common practices that
must cease or be curtailed if the world is to avert climate catastrophe.

This paper describes a greenhouse gas emissions and energy calculator (GHG-Energy Calc) for use
by individuals and businesses to conduct their own energy and emissions audits easily and quickly. It
is available for the public to use and can be downloaded from www.ghgenergycalc.com.au . Other
energy-related calculators, information booklets and brochures can also be found on the website.
These resources are intended to help the community to minimize greenhouse gas emitting activities
and consumption by being more energy efficient and changing to ‘cleaner technology’ energy
sources and products.

Australians have a lot of reducing to do from their current level of 28 tonnes GHG per head of to the
sustainable level of 2 tonnes (from IPCC, 2001). However, it can be achieved – the average
Australian can easily reduce emissions by half to 6-7 tonnes by simply leading a more energy
efficient lifestyle (see Section 2). If industry and commerce were to do likewise, that would be
another 7 tonnes per head. Going the rest of the way will require changing to renewable energy
technologies and less emissions intensive industrial and agricultural practices. Surely this will no
more technically difficult than putting a man on the moon or producing ‘nano-machines’. However it
will require profound societal and cultural changes.

Our current consumer culture will only change when a ‘critical mass’ of the population becomes
aware and concerned enough to change consumer habits and drive political change. An example
familiar to all is cigarette smoking. It was considered quite normal and harmless in the 1940’s but is
now recognized by the community as a health hazard and a cost to the taxpayer through increased
burdens on the health care system. Smoking is now banned in public areas, is heavily taxed and our
youth are educated about its dangers. In the same way, if the community become concerned enough
about the damage that excessive fossil fuel consumption is doing to the climate on which it depends,
many will change their consumption habits. For example, driver-only commuting in large petroleum
powered vehicles, exceeding the per capita sustainable emissions by over 100% from this source
alone, may in future be seen for what it is − ‘smoking in a public place’. Such behaviours will be
viewed by an increasingly, aware community as unacceptable behaviour. Eventually there will be a
change to a government that will legislate for the necessary regulatory controls. Whether this will
happen soon enough to avert climate catastrophe will depend on how quickly the community
become aware and concerned enough to accept some economic pain and lifestyle change.

In 2005, the European emissions trading scheme commenced. In 2006, the Kyoto Protocol came
into effect, with Russia joining. At the same time, rising oil prices due to the impending ‘oil peak’
provided financial incentives for alternative fuels. The first steps towards ‘climate action’ on a world
scale have begun. Climate change and its causes have at last become major issues in the Australian
media, with regular and continuing press coverage. The release in August 2006 of the film ‘An

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

Inconvenient Truth’ by ex-vice-president of the US Al Gore will go down in history as a watershed
event in world community awareness. However Australia and the US have been the slowest to take
action and by December 2007 had still not joined the Kyoto Protocol or adopted national fiscally
based emissions abatement. This, as explained by Australian Prime Minister John Howard on ABC
‘Four Corners’, 28/8/06 , is because the economies of these countries, in particular exports, are
reliant on cheap fossil fuel energy, mainly by coal. He did not believe that price rises of goods and
energy would be accepted by the community. This is an interesting paradox, as the community have
only begun to be exposed to the reality of climate change and its causes since April 2006 and the
Federal Governments of Australia and the US have played little or no role in raising community

Note: In 2008 a new Labour government under Kevin Rudd ratified the Kyoto Protocol and in July
of that year released a ‘green paper’ outlining the emissions trading scheme to be introduced in

Most individuals can take action to reduce the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions through their
workplace habits and decisions. Making small, achievable personal changes is the first step to action
on a national scale. With the establishment of corporate environmental ratings and ethical
investment funds, those of us who invest on the stock market can influence corporate policy by
choosing to invest in companies with low GHG emission policies and boycotting those with high
emissions. Everyone can influence Government decision-making through the ballot box and
collective lobbying. With email access to politicians, it is now easier than ever before to lobby

1.1 Sustainable level of per capita GHG Emissions

The sustainable equitable level of GHG emissions per person can be estimated by dividing the IPCC
figure of 11.5 billion tonnes CO2 that the biosphere can assimilate, by world population (IPCC,
= 11.5/6
The sustainable level of greenhouse gas emissions is less than 2 tonnes CO2e per person per year.

1.2 Australian domestic greenhouse gas emissions

In Australia, greenhouse gas emissions from all sources amount to 28 tonnes per person per year.

Australian Bureau of Statistic (ABS) figures show that about 56% of Australia’s energy related
greenhouse gases were emitted in the production and consumption of goods and services, for the
purpose of household final consumption. A further 23% of energy related emissions were generated
in the production of goods and services for export. Other final use categories (general government
final consumption and gross fixed capital formation) were responsible for the remaining emissions
(AusStats, 2002).

Another study (NIES, 2006) estimated that 62 million tonnes of CO2 were emitted by Victorian
households via household consumption expenditures. It stated that:
• Almost half, or 28 million tonnes, of CO2 emissions come from the direct use of petroleum
products, gas or electricity. The remaining 32 million tonnes come from the petroleum
products, gas, electricity, coal, etc. embodied in the complete range of goods and services
sold into the Victorian consumer household market.

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

• In 2001 the average carbon consumption of Victorian households from private consumption
was 35 tonnes per annum. This equates to 12.65 tonnes per person for a 2001 population of
4.9 million. It is possibly an under estimate as other greenhouse gases sch as nitrous oxides
from air travel and agriculture appear to have been excluded.

Figure 2.1 shows GHG-Calc estimates results of a ‘CO2e budget’ using energy and consumption
figures (AGO) for a typical Australian household of 3. The results show that about 39 tonnes CO2e
of GHG emissions for the typical household – about 13 tonnes per person.

The scope of GHG-Energy Calc only includes primary emission sources i.e. direct energy use and
consumption of goods and transport, over which the consumer can exercise direct choice:
• Direct energy use – electricity and fuels – in the home and for transport
• Indirect energy/emissions from the consumption of food and goods by the household.
It does not include services as these are considered to be secondary sources of emissions (see Section
3). That is about 46% of the 28 tonne average total emissions, which is 10 % less than the ABS
figure. This is to be expected as the ABS figure of 56% includes services to households.

Household energy consumption varies greatly. For example, a Swedish study of 6 households
(Carlsson-Kanyama et al) showed that energy consumption varied from 80 to 691 GJ, with the
Swedish average being 263 GJ.

Australians can have a direct influence – through their energy, consumption, transport and waste
disposal decisions – on about 46% of the nation’s GHG emissions. An average Australian household
can reduce emissions by more than 50% by using energy efficiency measures in the home and for
transport. Table 2.1 shows the emission reductions that are easily achievable. If all Australian
households adopted such energy efficiency measures, this would reduce Australia’s emissions by
about 23%. No new technology would be required and no loss of quality of life need be incurred to
achieve these results.

Serious action to reduce greenhouse emissions requires changes to many of our currently accepted
consumer habits, focussing first on the big emissions items. For example:
• Holidaying locally instead of taking one flight to Europe or the US will save about 8 tonnes
of CO2e of emissions per year.
• Having only one small car and minimizing driver-only commuting car can save 5 tonnes of
CO2e per year.
• Purchasing ‘Green Power’ and thus investing in renewable electricity generation can save 5
tonnes CO2e per year
• Changing our diet to minimise containerised food/drinks, meat and dairy products and
selecting fresh, locally grown foods can save up to 3 tonnes of CO2e per year.
• Changing 15 incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescents will save about 0.4 tonnes
CO2e per year.

While all emissions reduction measures are worth doing, GHG-Energy Calc quantifies the emissions
impacts, giving a realistic picture as to which changes will have the most impact.
Making ‘deep cuts’ to emissions means careful choice of how we travel and what goods we
consume; it does not mean going without holidays and cars altogether. Domestic emissions
reductions of 50% are achievable without suffering reduced quality of life.

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

Table 2.1 Potential emission reductions by changing consumer habits (household of three
people) – as estimated using GHG-Energy Calc (Rose, 2006)

Item Emissions – Consumer change Emissions – Emissions

typical Energy savings,
Australian Wise tonnes
household household
1. Overseas 6 Holiday in the continent you live in by 3 3
holiday – air train, bus or car. Limit air travel to one
travel, interstate fight.
2. Car travel, 10 Sell the large car. Reduce car mileage 5 5
25,000 km to 18,000km by using bus/train more,
in one large sharing transport.
and one
small car
3. Electricity 6 Purchase ‘Natural Power’. 1 5
and Reduce from 6000 units to 3000 by
domestic converting all heating appliances to
fuels gas or solar low volume shower-head,
energy efficient appliances eg. one
smaller fridge, reduce air cond.
4. Food and 8 Eat less processed/ imported/ 5 3
water packaged foods, red meats and dairy
and more local fresh produce.
5. Waste 4 Buy less packaged and disposable 2 2
products. Recycle and compost
6. Housing and 5 Buy less new things that you don’t use 3 2
possessions often – hire or borrow instead. Live in
a smaller house, occupied to capacity
Total, typical 39 t 19 t 20 t
EMISSION 20 tonnes CO2e ( 6.3 tonnes per person)
Note: Figures include direct (fuel and electricity) and indirect (embodied) emissions

1.3 Greenhouse gases (GHG) and global warming potential; (GWP)

Full details of global warming and greenhouse emissions are beyond the scope of this paper and are
well documented, for example on the Australian Greenhouse Office website. The essential points are
as follows:

Most greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are from the combustion of fossil fuels – coal, petroleum
products, natural gas and LPG – for energy, termed fossil fuel energy. The main GHG produced in
this way is carbon dioxide (CO2). Other greenhouse gases – methane and nitrous oxides – come from
agriculture and the anaerobic decomposition of organic materials, mainly from landfill waste and
ruminant digestion.

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

Although the least potent in terms of GWP, CO2 causes 70% of global warming; 75% of this figure
is from burning of fossil fuels and 25% from land use change (SafeClimate, 2006). The huge
volumes that are being emitted from the burning of all fossil fuels are beyond the capacity of the
oceans, soil and forest to absorb and re-convert it via uptake by living organisms into hydrocarbons,
which takes hundreds of years.

Methane (CH4) is another major greenhouse gas, accounting for 23% of global warming. Significant
anthropogenic (man-made) sources of methane are fugitive emissions from fossil fuel extraction,
anaerobic decomposition of organic matter in landfill and agriculture and smoke from rangeland
burning and wood-burning stoves/heaters.

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a significant greenhouse accounting for about 7% of global warming
Although its GWP is much higher than CO2 (Table 1.1), the quantities emitted are several orders of
magnitude less. Nitrogen fertilisers and fertilized agricultural land under damp, warm conditions are
the main source of nitrous oxide emissions.

Another significant cause of global warming is nitrogen oxides from the hot exhausts of jet aircraft
at high altitudes and the exhausts of large diesel ship engines. Nitrogen oxides such as NO, NO2 are
not greenhouse gases in themselves but react with oxygen to form ozone, a potent greenhouse gas
that is not included in the Kyoto list of GHG’s presumably because of its short life. GHG-Energy
Calc includes options to include the global warming potential (GWP) of nitrogen oxides.

The sources of Australia’s GHG emissions, by sector are (AGO, 2004):

• Stationary energy 50%
• Transport 14%
• Agriculture, 16% (mainly methane and nitrous oxides)
• Land use, land use change 6%
• Fugitive emissions 5%
• Industrial processes 5%
• Waste 3%

• The Australian National Greenhouse Accounts transport emissions figure does not include
international aviation (see Appendix 5)
• Fugitive emissions are mainly methane from the extraction of gas, coal and oil
• About 6% of total emissions are from coal fired electricity used for aluminium smelting
(Australia Institute 2006).

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

Table 1.2 Greenhouse gases and relative global warming effect.

Greenhouse gas Global warming Contribution to global warming

effect, compared (GWP, in relation to CO2)
to CO2 (100 yr time
CO2 1 Causes over 80% of global warming because of the
huge quantities produced from combustion of fossil
CH4 25 Next order of importance. Significant quantities
produced from domestic livestock and waste
disposal by landfill.
NO2 298 Relatively small quantities produced - jet aircraft,
nitrogenous fertilizers, accelerated burning of
vegetation. A very powerful greenhouse gas and
significant contributor to global warming.
Other, mainly Minor; although many have extremely high GWP
Hydro fluoro- carbons 150 – 11,700 per kg , they only are emitted in very small amounts
and perflourocarbons 6,500 – 23,900 by some industries.


GHG-Energy Calc is a ‘stand alone’ calculator that can be downloaded from the
www.ghgenergycalc.com.au website and used without any supporting software. The current version
is written in the Delphi program. Users only have to fill in their data once to see both energy and
emissions results. It only takes a minute or two to download and gives instant results for any audit or
‘what if scenario’ figures entered by the user.

It is designed to run simple audits and budgets of greenhouse gas emissions for households and small
businesses, from the direct consumption of fuel, electricity, food and goods but not services. GHG-
Energy Calc is not intended to provide the accurate, detailed audit outputs that may be required, for
example by corporations or industry. However it is useful for the purpose of domestic energy and
emissions budgeting, or for ‘first cut’ estimates preliminary to more detailed audits. The accuracy is
sufficient to give a good indication of where emissions reductions could be achieved, but is
dependent on:
• Accuracy of the consumption data entered by the user
• Error ranges of the energy input algorithms (see Sections 3-9)
• Error ranges of the emission factor algorithms (Table 2.1).

The design of GHG-Energy Calc will be periodically improved and updated. Emissions factors will
change as electricity generation technology becomes more efficient and the energy sources shift
from predominantly coal to gas and ‘renewables’. More accurate embodied emissions data will
become available as the life cycle analysis (LCA) databases currently under development are
published. It is hoped that in future the calculators will give more accurate results and that improved
technology will be reflected in lower emissions.

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

Preface to the 2008 edition

In the 5 years since GHG-Energy Calc was first released on the Warren Districts Renewable Energy
Group website in 2003 there have been 4 updates versions and numerous updates of the
‘Background Paper’. Version 5 of the Calculator features:
• Updated embodied emission factors derived from more recent research papers by Delucci
and Chester et al and a paper by the Author on the embodied emissions of cruise ships.
• Updated Australia electricity and fuel emission factors from the 2008 version of the DCC
factors workbook.
• Addition of an average world electricity emission factor (BCSE).
• Addition of an updated section on housing and possessions.
• A ‘pop-up’ trip calculator for adding and calculating trip distance from trip durations

GHG-Energy Calc Version 5 is being used by the Western Australian Government for public
awareness campaign and one other commercial user to calculate clients’ emissions for sale of carbon

Fig. 2.1 GHG-Energy Calc 4 (2007 version written in Delphi), showing emissions for a
typical Australian family of three.

Using the Delphi version of GHG-Energy-Calc

First and foremost, GHG-Energy-Calc is designed to be simple and user-friendly. Moving the
cursor/arrow over the data entry boxes shows an explanation or examples of what data is required.

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

Either energy or emissions results can be displayed for any or all of the six categories of
energy/goods consumption by clicking the radio buttons at the top right hand corner.

A help file is attached, giving additional user information and relevant background facts and figures.
To use GHG-Energy-Calc, the household’s consumption and waste figures are simply entered into
the highlighted boxes. Only numerical data can be entered; other (such as text) will result in an error
display. Emissions for sections/categories are given down the right-hand side, with the total for the
household at the bottom. There are three main methods used to enter data:
1. Click on arrows to the right of the larger boxes and select from the pull-down menu the
option that most closely fits your situation.
2. Click on the smaller boxes and enter (numerical) data. Enter numbers only, with numerical
precision no greater than to one decimal place.
3. Click a radio button to choose either Yes or No (mutually exclusive).

GHG-Energy-Calc has been designed so that the figures required are easily obtained or estimated.
For example, units of electricity per energy bill, annual vehicle mileage and vehicle fuel
consumption per km can be obtained directly from bills and logbooks.

For food consumption the user enters kilograms of foods and groceries consumed per week (from
their weekly grocery orders) of foods in 8 food categories. Holding the cursor arrow on each food
category shows examples of food items, making the process of data entry quite ‘user friendly’.
GHG-Energy-Calc sums the emissions / energy in each category, multiplies by 52 (weeks/year) and
divides by 1000 to give tonnes of emissions per year.

For waste, the user enters:

• The estimated total weekly volume of waste deposited in the landfill and recycling bins (in
• Marks the relevant boxes for the waste streams that the household recycles.
GHG-Energy-Calc assumes that:
o 8 L of waste pushed down into the bins by hand equals 1 kg.
o All of the wastes indicated are separated from landfill and recycled.
o Recycling includes remanufacturing, composting and incineration.
o Composting produces no net GHG emissions.

The Calculator estimates the total emissions / energy and deducts a small percentage for each of the
waste streams recycled.

For housing, the area and type of construction are all that is needed. There is an additional section
for contents (other goods), as possessions can account for more annual embodied emissions than the

Users can gain most benefit by first running their current energy use and consumption figures, to
indicate their main emissions sources and where savings could be made. Other budgets can then be
run, compared and considered, to arrive at a desired optimum ‘emissions budget’. Many budget
scenarios can be entered quickly, saved and printed.

How GHG-Energy-Calc works

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

GHG-Energy Calc is two calculators in one. The user only needs to type in their consumption figures
once. Clicking a radio button near the top right hand corner of the screen switches between energy
and emissions results. The results windows show:
• Global warming potential (GWP) expressed in tonnes of CO2 equivalents emitted by the
household or business per year.
• Energy use per year expressed in gigajoules.

The Calculator is designed to encourage self-auditing of energy use and emissions by households
and small businesses. It estimates all energy and emissions resulting from our consumption of energy
and goods:

1. Direct energy and emissions from fuel and electricity used.

2. Upstream energy and emissions from the extraction/ refining of the fuels and generation of the
electricity that we use.
(1+2 = full cycle energy and emissions)
3. Embodied energy and emissions from the production and manufacture of:
• Food, groceries and water that we consume and municipal solid waste.
• Vehicles and other transport modes, housing and other possessions.

Fuel, electricity and goods consumption data entered by the user are converted to megajoules (MJ)
of energy and multiplied by greenhouse gas emissions factors for the particular energy sources. For
embodied emissions, three emission factors are used, for the manufactured goods, food and
residential building categories. (See Section 3 for the derivation of these factors).

Details of how energy and emissions are estimated for 6 consumption categories can be found in the
corresponding sections:
1. Transport – air and overseas
2. Transport – private car and public (bus/train)
3. Electricity and other fuels used by the household
4. Food and water
5. Waste
6. Housing and possessions

Transport and electricity emissions are about 75 - 90% from direct energy use, but include embodied
emissions from the manufacture and maintenance of vehicles and aircraft. Infrastructure associated
with public transport, such as roads, are not included.

Food, waste and housing/possessions are indirect or embodied emissions – CO2 from fossil fuels
combusted and other emissions such as methane – from production processes. Emissions from
services, such as retail trade, health care and education are not included. In a GHG-Energy-Calc
audit for a ‘typical Australian household’ direct energy use accounts for about 40 - 50% of domestic
emissions. Embodied (indirect) emissions from food, goods, private vehicles, residential housing,
possessions and waste comprise the remainder of domestic emissions This is similar to an analysis of
energy use in 6 Swedish households (Carlsson-Kanyama et al, 2000) which showed direct versus
indirect energy used be householders to be in the range 48:52 to 32:68. GHG-Energy-Calc will give
results closer to 50:50 because services are not included.

To calculate emissions from direct energy used in the home and for transport, GHG-Energy-Calc
uses current fuel energy content and full cycle greenhouse gas emission factors from the Australian
Greenhouse Office. For public transport, it uses per passenger emissions intensities, estimated for
Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper
assumed passenger loads and including embodied emissions. If the electricity, fuel consumption and
travel mileage figures entered by the user are accurate, the direct emissions calculated should be
accurate to within about 5% for electricity and fuel consumption. The uncertainty of the public
transport estimates would be about 35%, due to the widely varying average passenger loads,
depending on the particular route and transport system.

About 42 emission factors are used in GHG-Energy-Calc (see Appendix 4). The fuel and electricity
factors are taken directly from Department of Climate Change National Greenhouse Accounts
(NGA) Factors Workbook, Jan 2008. The 2008 Version 5 of the Calculator expresses energy as
kilowatt hours (kWh) instead of megajoules (MJ). KWh is the unit used in electricity and gas bills
and is easier for most people to conceptualize. The conversion factor is 1 kWh = 3.6 MJ.

GHG-Energy-Calc estimates embodied emissions using emission factors (kg CO2e/MJ) for particular
categories of goods, house construction or food. The embodied emissions factors are derived as
outlined in the Appendix 1. Energy input data from over 20 references have been used to derive the
embodied emission factors. The quantity of goods used or consumed (entered by the user) is
multiplied by the embodied emissions factor to give their embodied emissions for that category of
goods. There is much greater uncertainty in the results than for direct emissions from fuel and
electricity use. This is due to variation in production processes, uncertainty in quantities entered by
the user and uncertainty in the embodied emissions factors. Uncertainty of individual embodied
emissions estimates from GHG-Energy-Calc is within about 35%. However the summed total of
uncertainties in estimates is likely to ‘balance out’, so the uncertainty of the total result is likely to be
significantly less than 35%.

Home Heating Calculator

Sources: Appliance efficiency figures – Sustainable Energy Development Office WA, 2002.
Energy costs – Western Power and Alinta Gas. Fuel energy contents – www.natural-gas.com.au, 2002.

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

The Home Heating Energy Calculator is an additional tool, which gives emissions and costs of home
heating. It can be downloaded from the new GHG-Energy-Calc website. Its purpose is to help
homeowners choose the most efficient heating appliance and energy source. Users can enter in their
actual heating energy consumption or their heat energy requirements and Home Heating Calculator
shows the GHG emissions and costs for the options.

The greenhouse gas emissions from home heating vary greatly depending on the energy source and
heating appliance. Figure 2.2 below shows the home heating calculator screen illustrating the cost
and emissions from producing the same amount of heating energy from various types of heaters. The
large variation in both emissions and costs between heaters and energy sources is highlighted. For
example, delivering 7,000 MJ of heat energy – enough for 60 sq metres for one winter – with a
natural gas portable heater costs $145 and emits 0.59 tonne CO2e. To deliver the same amount of heat
with an electric radiant plate heater costs $291 and emits 2.54 tonnes CO2e.

Four times more GHG emissions are produced from electric radiant panel heaters than from natural
gas heaters (Fig 2.2). Electric heat pumps (reverse cycle air conditioners) are up to 3 times more
efficient than electric element heaters. It is interesting to note that due to the superior efficiency of
the heat pump a reasonable emissions figure of 0.83 and low cost of $95 is obtained. These are really
the only electric heating technology that is competitive with natural gas and wood in terms of GHG
emissions. GHG emissions are still higher than gas heating when coal powered electricity is used.
However, for gas- fired power generation emissions would be similar. If electricity is generated
from bio- fuels or wind energy, heat pumps become the ‘cleanest’ heating option, after passive solar
design and solar heating. Fig 2.2 shows the energy used to supply about 7,000 MJ of heat energy
(sufficient to heat a typical 60 sq metre living space for one year in WA), using different heaters.


3.1 Definitions and boundaries

For the purposes of this paper and GHG-Energy Calc:

• Embodied energy is defined as the energy used in the production, manufacturing, packaging
and transport of foods and consumer goods. In Australia, over 95% of this energy comes
from fossil fuels.
• Embodied emissions are defined as the sum of the greenhouse gases emitted in the
combustion of fossil fuels in all aspects of production, including electricity, upstream fuel
emissions and machinery depreciation, together with other GHG emissions such as methane
and nitrous oxides that may be emitted as a result of production processes.

The scope of GHG-Energy Calc includes mainly primary emission sources i.e. direct energy use and
consumption of goods and transport, over which the consumer can exercise direct choice.
GHG-Calc Version 5 does include:
• Estimates for transport infrastructure and vehicle servicing in the ‘per kilometre’ factors for
transport modes.
• Maintenance of houses

These are included in the Calculator because they are directly related to the type transport or house
that is chosen by the consumer. For example double brick houses have higher embodied energy but
this is offset to some extent by lower maintenance as the external walls do not have to be painted.

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

Tertiary services are not included in GHG-Energy Calc, for example:
• Trade (retail and wholesale). .
• Insurance, finance, health and education.

Energy Analysis Program (EAP) data (Wilting et al) includes retail/wholesale trade and waste
disposal/ recycling. Where EAP-derived figures were used in GHG-Energy Calc, 20% was deducted
to exclude trade and disposal. Other data sources use Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), which is a detailed
analysis of all life cycle stages including energy use/emissions during the product life (consumption
stage). Where LCA data was used, for example for grain products (Narayanaswamy et al, 2003),
care has been taken to exclude the trade related components.

It must be noted that the GHG-Energy Calc embodied energy and emissions estimates are only
indicative, as a single, estimated emission factor is used for each of the goods categories. For
example, embodied energy of particular building materials may vary between sources by up to about
35% (Pullen, 1996) and this also applies to the food and goods categories.

3.2 Estimation of embodied emission factors for manufactured goods, food and residential

For simplicity three embodied emission factors are used for the goods categories:
1. Manufactured goods (estimated for automobile manufacture and servicing)
2. Food (estimated for bread and beer production).
3. Residential building.
Sections 3.1 – 3.3 describes how these emission factors were estimated.

Embodied Emissions Factor for Manufactured Goods

An emissions factor for Australian automobile manufacture was estimated as described below and
used in GHG-Energy Calc for all manufactured goods:
1. Listed mass of materials in an average motor vehicle (Table 3.1)
2. Calculated embodied energy of raw materials (data from Alcorn, 1997)
3. Added fabrication/ engineering/ assembly energy (from Chester et al, 2005 figure for
manufacturing energy)
4. Added energy for servicing over lifetime (McLean and Lave, 1998; from ILA website)
5. Estimated emissions – Author's 'guesstimates' of energy sources for each process (emissions
factors from AGO Factors and Methods Workbook).

From table 3.1 below:

• Energy per tonne to manufacture and service car = 80 MJ/kg weight of car
• Emissions per tonne for Australian auto - manufacture and service = 9.63 kg CO2e kg weight of

• Emission factor for automobile manufactured and serviced in Australia (also used in GHG-
Energy Calc for all manufactured goods) = 0.12 g CO2e/MJ

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

Table 3.1 Estimation of embodied energy and emissions for automobile production and
servicing in Australia (Sources: Materials estimates -Government of Canada (1991) in Fergus, D;
chap. 3; emissions factors - Australian DCC, 2008)
Material % Weigh Embodied Energy % of Assumed energy Emission Embodied
Total t (kg) energy from energy sources factor kg Emission
Vehicle virgin raw in car CO2e/M s
Weight material material J kg CO2e
MJ/kg in car
( Alcorn, MJ
Steel 55.0% 785.5

32 25136 22.01% coal 0.111 2,790

Iron 14.6% 208.6 20 4172 3.65% coal 0.111 463
Aluminium 5.0% 70.7 electricity 90%
190 13433 11.76% coal 10% 0.294 3,949
Plastics 7.1% 102 95 9690 8.49% CNG 50:oil 50% 0.07 678
Synthetic 4.3% 61.1
rubber 110 6721 5.89% oil 0.08 538
Fluids/lubricant 5.7% 81.6
s 50 4080 3.57% oil 0.08 326
Copper 1.6% 22.5 electricity 90%
97.6 2196 1.92% coal 10% 0.29 637
Glass 2.7% 38.6 gas 50%, coal
15.9 613.7 0.54% 50% 0.082 50
Zinc 0.6% 9.1 electricity 50%,
52.1 474.1 0.42% gas 50% 0.19 90
Other Materials 3.3% 47.5 electricity 50%,
50 2375 2.08% gas 50% 0.18 428
Est. fabrication/
engineering/ assembly electricity 80%
(Chester et al) 3300 2.89% gas 20% 0.26 858
SUBTOTALS 100.0% 1427.7 72190.8 63.22% 10,808
Est. capital goods and
transport 2700 2.36% diesel 0.075 203

Service and tyres (Mclean

and Lave) 39300 34.42% oil 0.07 2,751
Total to manufacture and
service car 114190.8 100.00% 13,761
Emission factor = 0.12 kg CO2e per
13,761/114,191 MJ

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

3.3 Embodied Emission Factor for Food

Embodied energy and emissions factors (Table 3.2) were derived from a published LCA analysis of
Western Australian grain products (Narayanaswamy, V., Altham, J., Van Berkel, R. and McGregor,
M. (Curtain University and GRDC). ‘Environmental Assessment Case Studies for Western
Australian Grain Products’). This study was a full LCA analysis including retail and consumption.
The breakdown of the figures between the different stages was shown and retail/consumption was
deducted from the full LCA figures.

Table 3.2 Embodied energy and emissions for production manufacture, transport for 1 kg
of bread, 1L of beer and 1 L of cooking oil.

Bread Beer Cooking oil

Energy MJ/ kg or L 18 11.17 41.2
GWP kg CO2e/ kg 1.51 1.2 5.72
or L
Embodied .083 .107 .139
emissions factor

The embodied emissions factors for bread (0.083) and beer (0.107) are consistent with 90- 95% of
the energy being sourced from diesel (0.08) and about 5-10 % from Australian grid electricity
(0.0308). The embodied emissions factor for cooking oils is higher as about 3 kg of seed is needed
for 1L of oil and presumably there would be high nitrogen inputs and NOX emissions from the soil.
It is likely to be atypical of most foods so it was not used to estimate the food emissions factor. The
average of the emissions factors for bread and beers was used:

• Emissions factor for food in GHG-Energy Calc = 0.095 kg CO2e/ MJ.

The production emissions from 8 food classes were calculated separately by multiplying the input
energies by this foods emission factor. (Section 7, Food and Water).

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

Embodied Emissions Factor for Residential buildings

An average embodied emission factor for residential buildings was estimated from data derived from
Pullen 1996. An emissions factor for each house was derived by dividing emissions (tonnes CO2e)
by energy (GJ).

Table 3.3 Summary of embodied energy and emissions from 14 typical houses in Adelaide
(Derived from Pullen, SF, 1996. 'Data Quality of Embodied Energy Methods'. ‘Embodied energy -
the current state of play'. Conf. Proc)

Embodied Embodied Embodied

Embodied emissions Energy peremissions- GWP
House energy andGWP yr, 80 yrs life(kgCO2e/yr) 80 yrEE factor
No. maintenance, GJ (kgCO2e) (GJ) life. (kgCO2e/MJ)
1 1362 150 17.03 1.88 0.110
2 1348 124 16.85 1.55 0.092
3 1091 100 13.64 1.25 0.092
4 2280 198 28.50 2.48 0.087
5 1722 167 21.53 2.09 0.097
6 2290 219 28.63 2.74 0.096
7 1354 124 16.93 1.55 0.092
8 1351 126 16.89 1.58 0.093
9 1258 112 15.73 1.40 0.089
10 1807 156 22.59 1.95 0.086
11 1368 125 17.10 1.56 0.091
12 2249 206 28.11 2.58 0.092
13 1461 129 18.26 1.61 0.088
14 1452 123 18.15 1.54 0.085

Average Embodied Emissions Factor for residential buildings 0.092

Pullen’s figures are for the construction of the basic house shell only, excluding site costs and fittings
such as plumbing, wiring, floor coverings, and curtains.

The embodied emission factors derived varied by less than 10% and the average was taken as the
estimated embodied emissions factor for housing used by GHG-Energy Calc:

• Emissions factor residential building = 0.092 kg/MJ

This figure reflects the predominantly direct energy inputs from coal (emission factors of 0.095 –
0.112 kg/MJ), petroleum products (0.078) and natural gas (0.064) with electricity inputs (0.308)
being minor.

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper


Transport energy and emissions are made up of:

Direct or fuel - from the combustion of fossil fuels.

Embodied - fossil fuel energy used to manufacture and maintain the transport vehicle (Section 3).

For mass transit, embodied energy and emissions are a much lower percentage per passenger km
than for personal transport vehicles, due mainly to the much larger distances traveled during their
lifetime. For example aircraft have the lowest percentage embodied emissions because they can
travel over 30,000,000 km during their lifetime.

Embodied emissions are generally a higher percentage than embodied energy, reflecting the fact the
emissions factors for manufacturing, where much of the energy is sourced from coal and coal-fired
electricity rather than oil or gas-based transport fuels.


5.1 Aircraft

Aircraft emissions are exceptional in that most of the global warming potential is caused by
emissions other than CO2. Nitrous oxides (NOx), water vapor contrails and soot from the jet
exhausts are involved in complex chemical and physical phenomena in the upper troposphere and
stratosphere. Jet aircraft emissions have 2-4 times the global warming potential of the CO2 alone.
Aviation is a fast growing source of GHG emissions, estimated to be 4 -9% of the world’s total
(EFTE, 2006).

Emissions were calculated as follows:

1. The fuel energy of jet aircraft was derived from a table of energy per passenger km for
various flights (Climate Partners website, 2002). By trial and error, ‘best fit’ energy intensities were
selected. It was found that energy intensity rises sharply for trips of less than 2000 km return (legs of
less than 1000 km):
• Fuel energy intensity, long haul flights km legs =
1.5 MJ/passenger km
• Fuel energy intensity, short haul flights < 800 km legs =
2 MJ / passenger km.
Note: Trips with less than 500 km legs had even higher energy intensity but were not included in
GHG-Energy Calc.

2. A more accurate method was used to estimate fuel consumption for long haul flights. Figures for a
Qantas Boeing 747-400 3 class Longreach aircraft, with 14 first, 50 business and 315 economy seats
(total 379) were used. For this aircraft, business seats occupy 2.4 times the areas of economy and
first class 3.3 times. These figures vary between aircraft, configurations and airlines
(www.seatguru.com ), so GHG-Energy Calc assumes that business class seats occupy 2 times the

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

space of economy and first class 3 times and that fuel consumption per seat is proportional to space

Maximum total payload is about 50 tonnes, which is small compared to maximum takeoff weight of
about 390 tonnes. This illustrates that is space occupied and not weight contributed by each
passenger that is the main determinant of the number of passenger the aircraft can carry, and
therefore the energy intensity per passenger. As carrying passengers is the primary economic purpose
of the aircraft, freight is assumed to account for a negligible portion of fuel consumption. With the
maximum freight likely to be carried being 10 tonnes, freight would only account for less than 2.5%
of aircraft fuel consumption

With all seats occupied (assuming 369 passengers @ 80kg) and assuming an average fuel
consumption of 12 L/ km for this type of aircraft (www.qantas.com ) the following equation is used
to determine the fuel accounted for by an economy class seat (x):

3(14)x + 2(50)x + 318x = 12

(52 +100 + 318) x = 12
470x = 12
x = 0.026 L of jet fuel per km
Multiplying by the energy content of aviation turbine fuel kerosene, 36.8 MJ /L (DCC, 2008)
= 0.96 MJ

Assuming a 75% load factors (typical for long haul routes):

=100/75 times 0.96

Long haul jet energy use = 1.28 MJ = 0.356 kWh / economy passenger km

Assuming short haul uses 2/1.5 = 1.33 times more energy (from 1. above):

Short haul jet energy use = 1.33 * 1.28 = 1.701 MJ = 0.473 kWh / economy passenger km

2. Point source fuel emissions factor for jet aircraft (CO2 only) = .0691 kg CO2/MJ (AGO,

The AGO point source emission factor for aviation turbine fuel burned on the ground is 0.0707 kg
CO2e per MJ (AGO, 2006). This is essentially CO2 only and is a gross underestimate of the actual
global warming potential (GWP) of emission from jet aircraft. So the estimated global warming
potential factor for fuel burned by jet aircraft in flight used in GHG-Energy Calc is obtained by:

The emission factor (CO2 only) for long haul jets = 1.28 *0.0707 = 0.09 kg CO2 / passenger km

Similarly The emission factor (CO2 only) for short haul jets = 1.7*0.0707 = 0.12 kg CO2 /
passenger km

However, there is additional global warming potential from other gases to be considered. ‘Over the
period from 1992 to 2050, the overall radiative forcing (GWP) by aircraft – excluding that from
changes in cirrus clouds – for all scenarios in this report is a factor of 2 to 4 larger than the forcing
by aircraft carbon dioxide alone.’ In GHG-Energy Calc one of the lower radiative forcing scenarios
(IPCC, 1999 (2)) is used – a factor of 2.7; i.e an additional 1.7 times GWP over and above the CO2

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

Other gases (including NOx and contrail) = 1.7*.09 = .153 kg CO2e in addition to CO2 only
for long haul

Other gases (including NOx and contrail) = 1.7*.12 = .204 kg CO2e in addition to CO2 only
for long haul

3a. Embodied energy for aircraft, estimated by assuming:

Boeing 747 service life of 45,000 hours @ 700 km/h = 30 million km
Note: Aircraft service life can far exceed these figures. TWA Flight 800 that crashed in the US in
1996 was a 25 y.o. aircraft that had over 90,000 hours and 16,800 take-off and landing cycles.

A Boeing 747 weighs 180 tonnes (Quantas Virtual Airways, 2006)

http://curbe.com/QVA/qva/fplan/qvaaircr.htm. Assuming it carries an average 250 passengers,
aircraft weight is about 0.7 tonne per passenger.

Assuming maintenance averages $15,000 per day over the life of the aircraft − 10,800 days
Maintenance cost total approx. $162 million for the life of the aircraft
Cost of Boeing 747 = $180 million
Hence we assume EE maintenance and parts replacement over life of aircraft = EE of the aircraft
itself. Aircraft is 80% duralium – approx. 6 times the EE/ tonne of a steel automobile.

Assume embodied emissions per tonne to manufacture and service aircraft is 6 *2 = 12 times the EE
per tonne to manufacture a car (see Section 3.1), (which is approx. 18 t CO2e per tonne vehicle
weight): Embodied emissions =12*18*180 = 39,000 t CO2e.

Assume the aircraft travels 30,000,000 km carrying an average of 250 passengers

Embodied emissions per passenger are 39,000,000/ (30,000,000*250)
= approximately 0.0052 kg CO2e/ passenger km.
Round off to 2 decimal places = approx. 0.01 kg CO2e/ passenger km.

Similarly, embodied energy is 12 * 113,600 *180 = 245,400,000/ (30,000,000 * 250)

= 0.03 MJ/passenger km.

These figures for aircraft (747) production and maintenance equate to about 4% of total energy and
C02 emissions.

3b. Embodied energy and emissions of aircraft and infrastructure, Chester et al.
A US study by Chester et al, 2006 using input-output analysis found that embodied emissions of the
aircraft manufacture and maintenance plus airport infrastructure and maintenance varied from 4.5 –
13% of total emissions according to the type of aircraft and also to assumptions about airport use

Table 5.1 Embodied energy and CO2e as a percent of total for 3 types of aircraft
% plane % plane
and inf and inf
embodied embodied Average
Aircraft energy CO2 Weight passengers lbs/passenger
747 7.7 13 397900 305 1304.59
737 3.5 4.5 81800 94 870.2128
r 6.5 7 25740 34 757.0588

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

It is assumed that Chester’s figures for the 747 were disproportionately high due to high
manufacturing costs used by the I-O analysis, which would not reflect the fact that most of the
embodied energy would be in the aluminium and other materials.

GHG-Calc V5 assumes that embodied energy and CO2e for air travel (aircraft plus airport
infrastructure) amount to about 7.5 % of total for both long haul and short haul aircraft.

• Embodied emissions for air travel = 0.02 kg CO2e/ passenger km

• Embodied energy for air travel = 0.06 MJ /passenger km
• Upstream fuel emissions factor of 10% of CO2 emissions for production of fuel = .007 (long
haul) and .012 (short haul) kg CO2e/ passenger km.
• Upstream energy factor 10 % of fuel energy = 0.036 MJ/passenger km long haul, 0.048 for
short haul

4. Summing emissions intensity per passenger km:

• Total emissions for long-haul aircraft = 0.09+.153 + 0.007+ 0.02 = 0.27 kg /

passenger km economy.
• Total emissions for short haul aircraft = 0.12 +0.204 + 0.012 + 0.02 = 0.36 kg /
passenger km, economy.

Summing energy intensity per passenger km:

• Total energy for long haul = 0.356 + 0.06+ 0.036 = 0.46 kWh / passenger km,
• Total energy for short haul = 0.473 + 0.06 + 0.048 = 0.58 kWh / passenger km, economy.

Table 5.2 Fuel combustion emission factors (transport energy)

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper
Emissions per passenger km for premium economy, business and first class seats were estimated
proportionally to typical seat area (www.seatguru.com).

For premium economy, economy passenger emissions are multiplied by 1.2

For business class, economy passenger emissions are multiplied by 2
For first class, economy passenger emissions are multiplied by 3

1/ Embodied emissions of an aircraft are less than 1/10th the EE per passenger km of a driver only
car, due mainly to the huge distances – over 30 million km - flown by jet aircraft in their lifetime.
This is about 120 times the 250,000 km traveled by a typical car in its lifetime.

5.2 Ocean liners

Although freight transport by ship is the most fuel efficient of any mode, passenger travel by ocean
liner is inefficient because:
o A large gross tonnage of ship per passenger is used – from 21 tonnes per passenger for
budget liners to 53 tonnes per passenger for luxury liners such as the QM2. Even the QM2,
at 150,000 gross tonnes, carries only 2800 passengers – a ‘people mass’ less than 280 tonnes.
A similar cargo ship would carry over 75,000 tonnes.
o Every passenger requires about 0.4 crew members – passengers and crew must be fed and
entertained over long voyages of a few to several weeks.
o Liners have fast cruising speeds of 22- 27 knots compared to 14- 18 knots for cargo ships.
This requires at least 40% more energy to move the same tonnage.

Estimation of emissions from cruise ships is detailed in Appendix 5 for a typical med-large ocean
liner. Cabin class has the greatest impact on emissions as the space taken up by passengers varies by
up to 300%. Embodied emissions of the ship are relatively small (less than 3% of total). Direct CO2
emissions from the diesel engines comprise about 65% of the emissions. An additional 32% has been
added to account for the global warming effect of ozone-forming nitrogen oxides from ship exhausts

Table 5.3 Per passenger energy and emissions intensity - cruise ships

kWh kg CO2e
Per passenger day (economy) 744 210
Per passenger kilometre (economy ) 1.28 0.36

5.3 Private vehicles


GHG-Energy-Calc has choices for several categories of cars / 4WDs and motorcycles. Energy and
emissions are calculated per vehicle owned and operated by the household, not per passenger km as
for public transport modes. Calculations are as follows:
1. Fuel energy – GHG-Energy Calc uses the nominated fuel consumption (L/100km) and
divides by 100 to give km/L, then multiplies by the km traveled to give L of fuel per year. This
figure can then be multiplied by the fuel energy content (Table 5.2) to give annual fuel energy

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

2. GHG-Energy Calc estimates fuel emissions by multiplying the litres of fuel used by the full
cycle emission factor for the fuel (DCC, 2008). It divides by 1000 to give GHG emissions (tonnes
3. GHG-Energy Calc calculates the embodied emissions of the vehicle according to the weight
of the vehicle (Delucci et al Table 5.4), on a per km basis, assuming a default life of 225,000 km.
4. Emissions per vehicle km from road construction and maintenance are calculated as for 3
above. (from Chester et al, Table 5.5)
5. The embodied emissions are added to the fuel emissions to give total emissions.

Table 5.4 Embodied energy and emissions for manufacture and service of automobiles (from
Delucci et al, 2005)
Manuf. Maint Manuf/ Maint Ditto
Manuf. Maint CO2e per km energy kWh/
kg CO2e * * MJ/vehicle **** km
Car (1 tonne wt) 10,201 0.045 85,008 0.105

Embodied CO2e per vehicle km for vehicle manufacture, maintenance and tyres =
= 0.045 kg CO2e / tonne weight / vehicle km

Embodied energy per vehicle km for vehicle manufacture, maintenance and tyres, assuming
manufacturing emission factor of 0.12 kg CO2e/ MJ = .045/.12/3.6
= 0.104 kWh / tonne weight / vehicle km

Table 5.5 Embodied energy and emissions per car km for the construction and maintenance of
Californian roads. (derived from Chester et al, University of California, 2005)
Road Const./ Road Const. / Road Const./ Ditto
maint. CO2e/ maint. CO2e/ maint. MJ /veh kWh/
vehicle life vehicle km ** life ** veh km
Car (1 tonne wt) 8,734 0.039 102,215 0.126

CO2e per vehicle km for road construction and maintenance = 8734/225,000

= 0.039 kg CO2e / vehicle km

Embodied energy per vehicle km for road construction and maintenance, assuming building and
construction emission factor of 0.092 kg CO2e/ MJ = .043/.092/3.6
= 0.126 kWh / vehicle km


Bicycles are powered by energy from food consumed by the rider and this does have a fossil fuel
emission factor (Section 3). A bike requires about 75 watts of power to maintain a leisurely pace of
16 km per hour. This equates to 75 watt hours to travel 16 km. As the body is only about 24%
efficient at producing work energy, about 100/24 * 75 = 312 watt hours = .312 kW hrs = .312 * 3.6 =
1.12 MJ of food energy is required to travel 16 km. Assuming that it takes on average 3 times more
energy than the food contains to produce it (Section 7), this equates to 3.4 MJ to travel 16 km =
3.4/16 = 0.21 MJ/km.

Fuel energy intensity for bicycles = 0.21 MJ = .058 kWh per passenger km.

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

Using emissions factor for food (Section 3) = .095 * .21

Fuel emissions for bicycle = 0.02 kg CO2e per passenger km.

Add embodied energy per vehicle km for road construction and maintenance, assume 0.25 of 1 t car
= .03 kWh/ rider km kg CO2e / bicycle

Energy intensity of bicycle = .058 + .03 = .09 kWh/rider km

Emission factor for bicycle = .02 +.01 = .03 kg CO2e per rider km

The current version of GHG-Energy Calc does not have a box for entering emissions from bicycle
travel, because the figure would be so low as to negligible. Embodied energy / emissions of the
household’s bicycles can be included by adding the weight (12-15 kg per bike) in the ‘external items’
box of the ‘House’ section of the Calculator.

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

Table 5.6 Energy content and emission factors of fuels (Source: Australian Greenhouse
Office, 2004 Factors and Methods Workbook)
Fuel combusted Energy content of Point-source Full fuel cycle Full fuel cycle
fuel emissions factor kg emissions factor kg emissions factor
GJ/t; MJ/L; GJ/kL CO2/MJ CO2-e/MJ kgCO2e/ L or kg
LPG: non transport 49.6 GJ/t 0.0594 0.0671 1.86
Kerosene/ aviation turbine fuel 36.8 GJ/kL 0.0705 0.0782 2.9
Aviation turbine fuel burned at high altitude 36.6 0.2115 n/a n/a
(est. from IPCC = 2.7 times CO2 GWP)
Heating Oil 37.3 GJ/kL 0.0697 0.0774
Automotive gasoline 34.2 0.073 0.0812 2.8
Automotive Diesel (ADO) 38.6 GJ/kL 0.0695 0.0772 3.0
Industrial/marine diesel fuel 39.6 GJ/kL 0.0705 0.0782 3.1
Fuel oil (• Refer specifications of actual fuel) 0.0743 0.082 3.3
• default 40.8 GJ/kL
Natural Gas (e) – 53.6 GJ/t 0.0547 0.069 2.7

5.4 Motor vehicle efficiency

The number of passengers carried, vehicle size and weight are and will remain the main factors
contributing to efficiency and emission intensity of transport by motor vehicle.

Other factors such as old or worn or poorly maintained engines also increase the fuel consumption
and emissions. In terms of engine design, there have been few improvements in fuel since the mid-
1980’s when advances such as fuel injection for petrol engines were introduced.

Figure 5 illustrates greenhouse gases emitted by existing commuting options. It shows that we can
continue to travel the same distances with only 10–20 % of the GHG emissions by simply switching
from ‘driver-only car’ to mass transit, shared transport or ultra light-weight personal transport. Table
2 shows dollar and GHG savings from changing to more efficient transport modes.

The main problem today is the use of heavy vehicles for transporting one or two people. One person
driving alone in a medium to large car as is common in Australia today uses 9 to 15 litres of fossil
fuel, and emits 24 – 43 kg of greenhouse gases for every100 km travelled.

To keep the per passenger fuel consumption to a minimum, vehicles should be loaded to their design
capacity (Table 5.7). A useful ‘rule of thumb’ for vehicle efficiency is a maximum 0.25 tonnes of
vehicle weight for every passenger.

Table 5.7 Per passenger fuel efficiency and emissions intensity of motor vehicles
Vehicle Weight No. of Fuel Per passenger fuel Per passenger
(tonne) passengers consumption consumption, L / fuel emissions (kg
transported , L / 100 km 100 km CO2e/100 km)
Bus, 36 people 9 36 40 1.1 3.9
Light car, 4 people .9 4 6 1.5 4.3
Moped bicycle <25cc .05 1 1.2 1.2 5.5
rider only
Large car, 5 people 1.7 5 12 2.4 7.0
Motor cycle 250cc rider 0.15 1 3.5 3.5 10.1

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

5.5 Public transport – bus and train

GHG-Energy Calc uses emissions intensity factors (kg CO2e/ passenger km), calculated in 3 steps as

1. Calculate fuel energy per passenger km and apply emission factor to give fuel emissions per

2. Calculate embodied energy of the vehicle and transport infrastructure. Convert to embodied
energy intensity per passenger km by applying assumed vehicle life kilometers and average
passenger load (20 passengers).

3. Add fuel energy and embodied energy to give energy intensity per passenger km

4. Similarly, calculate emissions intensity in kg CO2e/ passenger km by summing full cycle fuel
emissions/km and embodied emissions/km.

The emissions intensity factor calculations for each public transport mode are shown below:


1. Bus fuel consumption (diesel, 20 passengers) = 2.5 km/L (Transperth bus drivers, pers.
comm.) = 0.4 L/km = .02 L/passenger km.
Multiply by the energy content per litre of diesel = .02*38.6 = 0.72 MJ/ passenger km.
Fuel energy for buses = 0.72 MJ/ passenger km
Fuel energy for bus = 0.2 kWh / passenger km
Applying the fuel emissions factor for diesel, = 0.078 * 0.72
Fuel emissions from bus = 0.056 kgCO2e/ passenger km

2. Assume bus weighs 11 tonnes; lifetime mileage of 1.8 million km; embodied emissions/tonne
from Table 5.8 below (Delucci et al) :
embodied emissions = 11*8950/1,800,000.
Vehicle embodied emissions = 0.003 kg CO2/ passenger km
Similarly, embodied energy for bus manufacture and maintenance (assuming EF of .12 kg CO2/ MJ)
Vehicle embodied energy =.006 kWh / passenger km.

Table 5.8 Embodied energy and emissions per kg vehicle weight for manufacture and service
of a bus (from Delucci et al, 2005)
Manuf. Manuf. Manuf./ Manuf/ Maint Manuf/ maint
Maint Maint maint kg energy Ditto energy kWh
kg CO2e per CO2e per MJ/vehicle kWh/ passenger km
CO2e * km * pass. km **** km (20 passengers)
11 tonne Bus 20
passengers 98,439 0.055 0.003 820,325 0.127 0.006

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

Table 5.9 Embodied energy and emissions per bus passenger km for the construction and
maintenance of Californian roads. (derived from Chester et al, University of California, 2005)
Road Road Road Road
Const./ Const. / Const./ Const./ Road Const./
maint. maint. maint. CO2e maint. Ditto maint. kWh /
CO2e/ CO2e/ bus /pass. km MJ / bus kWh/ pass. Km (20
bus life km ** (20 pass.) life ** bus km passengers)*****
11 tonne Bus 20
passengers 33,800 0.019 0.001 482,000 0.074 0.004

3. Calculated as for 2. above (Table 5.9 above, Chester et al), assuming vehicle life of 1.8 m km
and passenger load of 20:
Embodied emissions from road construction and maintenance = 0.001 kg CO2/ passenger km
Embodied energy of road construction and maintenance = .004 kWh / passenger km

4. Adding fuel and embodied emissions = 0.056 + 0.003 + .001 = 0.06, rounded = 0.06
Emissions intensity factor for bus = 0.06 kgCO2e/ passenger km

5. Adding fuel and embodied energy for bus = 0.2+.006+.004 = 0.21

Energy intensity factor for bus = .21 kWh/passenger km

Diesel Train

1. Fuel consumption (diesel, 3 carriage) = 2.5 mpg= 1L/ km. (Trains and the Environment,
2002.) An average of 120 passengers was assumed.
= .0083 L/km/passenger. Multiply by the energy content per litre of diesel
= .0083* 38.6
Fuel energy diesel train = 0.32 MJ/ passenger km.
2. Multiply by emissions factor diesel = 0.078*.32
Fuel emissions = 0.023 kgCO2e/ passenger km
3. Embodied energy and emissions of rail infrastructure and rail vehicles: ‘For energy inputs and
‘GHG emissions, the non-operational life-cycle components account for around 50% of total effects
(Chester et al, 2005)
5. Add fuel and embodied emissions = 2*.023 = .046; rounded = 0.05 kgCO2e/pass. km

Energy intensity factor for diesel train = 0.64 MJ = 0.18 kWh /pass. km

Emissions intensity factor for diesel train = 0.05 kgCO2e/ passenger km

Electric train

1. The electric train was assumed to be the same size and carry the same average number of
passengers as the diesel train. Electric motors are assumed to have about 35 % fuel efficiency
compared to about 30% for the diesel (see section 5.5)
= (30/35) * 0.32
Fuel energy consumption of electric train = 0. 27 MJ/ passenger km
Multiply emission factor for 50% coal /50% gas = .27*.08
Fuel emissions = .022 kg CO2e/passenger km
2. Embodied emissions train and infrastructure as for diesel train

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

3. Add fuel and embodied emissions = .026 + .022= 0.048

Energy intensity factor for electric train = 0.59 MJ = .16 kWh /pass. km

Emissions intensity factor for electric train = 0.05 kgCO2e/ passenger km

Note that GHG-Energy Calc uses the electric train figures above for all suburban commuter trains

Taxi (2 passengers)

1. Taxi of 1.6 tonnes, 4 L engine capacity was assumed to give 8 km/L

= 0.13 L/km. Multiply by the energy content of gasoline = 34.2*0.13 = 4.45 MJ = 1.25 kWh
Fuel energy use = 1.24 kWh / km
Multiply for emission factor gasoline = 0.085*4.45
Fuel emissions = 0.38 kg/ km

2. Add fuel plus embodied energy of vehicle and roads (as for Cars above) : = 1.24 +1.6( .104
+.126) = 1.61 kWh/ km . Assume average 2 passengers
Energy intensity for taxi (2 passengers) = 0.8 kWh/ passenger km

3. Add fuel plus embodied emissions of vehicle and roads = .38 + 1.6(.045 + 0.039) = 0.51 kg
CO2/km. Assume average 2 passengers:
Emissions intensity factor for taxi (2 passengers) = 0.26 kgCO2e/ passenger km

Table 5.10 Comparison of per passenger Energy and emission intensities of transport modes
used in GHG-Energy Calc Version5, 2008.

Transport mode Emissions intensity kg Energy intensity kWh /

CO2e/km km
Bicycle 0.03 0.09
Train 120 passengers (NSW grid 0.05 0.16
electric or diesel)
Bus 20 passengers (diesel) 0.06 0.21
Taxi (6 cyl. 2 passengers) 0.26 0.8
Air (economy, long haul) 0.27 1.38
Air (economy, short haul) 0.40 2.13
Cruise ship (standard cabin) 0.36 1.28
Car (large V8 or SUV L/100 km, 0.51 1.61

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper


Only about 33% of the energy used to supply electricity is delivered to the home (CSIRO, 2002),
due to:
• Power stations being only about 30-40% efficient and
• Further energy losses in transmission lines
Energy input for electricity generation = electricity delivered + heat and friction losses at the power
station + transmission losses.

In contrast, all of the energy from heating fuels used in the home is converted to heat at the home,
with relatively minor losses depending on the heater efficiency.

6.1 Electricity (Australian grid systems)

GHG-Energy Calc has boxes for the user to enter the State they live in and the percentage of ‘green’
power they purchase, both of which have a significant influence on the emission factor of the
electricity used.

The Australian Greenhouse Office has calculated emission factors for each State in Australia, taking
into account the efficiency of the power stations and energy sources used (Table 6.1). Over all,
electricity supplied in Australia is about 80% sourced from coal, with some states using significant
amounts of natural gas and Tasmania having mainly hydropower. Electricity generation in Victoria
(mainly brown coal) has an emission factor more than double that of the Northern Territory (>90 %
natural gas)

GHG-Energy Calc estimates emissions by converting the kWh of electricity consumption entered by
the user (from their electricity bills) by a full fuel cycle emission factor from Table 6.1 column E

Table 6.1 Full cycle emission factors for electricity purchased/used/delivered in Australia
(DCC, 2008)

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper


Electricity generation essentially converts heat to electrical energy. The process is quite inefficient,
about 60-70% of the energy being lost as heat from boilers, turbines and transmission.

Electric motors are 85- 95 % efficient and large combined cycle power plants are 30- 40% efficient,
giving an overall efficiency of 25 – 35% for electric motors. They are generally more efficient than
internal combustion engines, which are only 20- 25% efficient. However, the emissions intensity of
electricity varies according to the energy source used to generate the electricity. Electric motors run
from coal fired electricity are likely to generate more GHG emissions than diesel motors because the
full cycle emission factors are 95-109 for black coal and 82.4 for diesel.

Heating is generally more efficient and less emissions intensive when the energy source is fuel
burned directly in the heater, rather than electricity (see Section 6.4 below)

6.2 Electricity -‘green power’ / renewable (biomass/hydro/wind power)


The Net Energy Requirement (NER) of electricity generation is defined as kWh of non-renewable
energy required to generate 1 kWh of electricity. GHG-Energy Calc uses (derived from Dey and
Lenzen, 2000):
• For fossil fuel fired power 3.0 kWh / kWh delivered at meter. This reflects the fact that our
electricity grid is only about 33% efficient in converting fossil fuel energy to electricity
delivered to the home (CSIRO,2004)

• For renewable energy = 0.2 kWh / kWh (an estimate based on photovoltaic power with no

GHG-Energy Calc converts kWh of electricity entered by the user to NER, based on the percentage
of renewable energy purchased.


Total emission factors for power generation, including embodied energy of the plant are known as
Greenhouse Gas Costs (GGCs). Emission factors Australian grid power average about 1.2 kg
CO2e/kWhr (AGO, 2000), depending on the State power grid (See Table A2.4).

CO2 emissions from electricity generation using biomass gasifier technology, including fossil fuel
use in transportation, but excluding embodied emissions of the plant, have been estimated to be 24
g/kWh compared with 815 g/kWh for coal (Bhattacharya, S, 2001; Asian figures).
= 24/3.6 = 6.67 g/MJ = 0.007 kg CO2/kWh.

GGCs of 0.034 − 0.125 kg/kWh for wind, 0.05 − 0.15 for photovoltaic and 0.018 − 0.026 for hydro
electricity are cited (Dey and Lenzen, 2000). AGO cites a GGC of 0.002 kg/kWh for hydropower in
Tasmania but embodied emissions are likely to be an underestimated in this figure and the capacity
for new generation from hydro in Australia is limited. Most new RE is likely to be from wind,
biomass or solar sources.

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

Note: The GGC of nuclear fission energy is cited as 0.015 kg/kWh (Meier and Kulcinski, 2000), but
nuclear power is not considered an acceptable, renewable option to fossil fuel power generation and
is not included in the Calculators.

On the basis of the figures for wind and biomass:

Emission factor estimate for all ‘renewable electricity’ = 0.1 kg/kWh

For the ‘% electricity’ options, GHG-Energy-Calc estimates the portion of ‘green power’ at 0.1
kg/kWh. In all cases the emissions from ‘renewable electricity’ are small compared to fossil fuel-
sourced electricity.

6.3 Heating fuels used in the home

GHG-Energy-Calc applies fuel emission factors derived from DCC, 2008, then divides by 1000 to
give tonnes of CO2e emissions:

Natural gas

Energy content of natural gas is 1 kWh per unit

Natural gas full cycle emissions are cited as 65.5 kg CO2e/GJ = 3.6*65.5/(1000) = .236 kg/kWh

To obtain emissions, GHG multiplies the units (kWh) entered by 0.236


Energy content of LPG is 25.5 MJ/L = 25.5/3.6 = 7.08 kWh/L

LPG density is 0.54

Energy content of LPG = 7.08*100/54 = 13.1 kWh / kg

LPG EF is 1.7kg CO2e per L. Converting to EF per kg = 1.7/.54

Emission factors for LPG = 3.15 kgCO2e/ kg LPG.

Multiplies the emissions figure 3.15 * 45 to give emissions per 45 kg cylinder of LPG. It then
multiplies this figure by the user’s number of cylinders used per year to give annual emissions from

Oil/ kerosene

Energy – multiplies litres used by 37.5/3.6 = 10.4 kWh/ L

Emissions - multiplies the litres used by 2.8

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper


Wood energy content = 16200 MJ/tonne = 16200/3.6 = 4500 kWh/t

Wood emissions = .0156 kg/MJ = .0156*16200/1000 = 0.25 t CO2e / tonne wood

The Calculator multiplies tonnes of wood by 0.25. In reality, emissions and efficiency of wood
heaters varies greatly depending on heater design, air setting and wood dryness. Wood heaters range
in efficiency from about 25% for old, open-type stoves to about 70% efficient for modern catalytic
models. (Bhattacharya et al, 2001)

Note: Wood has the highest particulate (smoke) emissions of any fuel.

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper


7.1 Foods - emission classes

Full tables of energy inputs for foodstuffs could not be found in the literature, so the author has
compiled a table of estimated energy inputs for the primary production (Pimentel, 1980,
Narayanaswamy et al, 2003) and manufacture (Carlsson- Kanyama and Faist, 2000;
(Narayanaswamy et al, 2003) of foods. Transport energy was estimated for Australia intrastate,
interstate and imported. Food containers/packages were weighed and the embodied energy of the
containers estimated. These inputs were summed to give an estimate, by process energy analysis, of
energy inputs for the primary production, manufacture, packaging and transport of foods. The
Australian Food and Grocery Council Environmental Report 2003 estimates retailing adds an
average of about 0.3 kg CO2e per kg of food, but GHG-Energy Calc does not include emissions from
retail of wholesale trade. The figures were checked against full life cycle energy figures for Swedish
foods (Carlsson-Kanyama, Carlsson et al, 2002)

The main non-food groceries such as soaps, shampoos, detergents, nappies and toilet paper are
included in the food section.

To estimate GHG emissions from the energy inputs of various categories of foods, the emission
factor for foods derived in Section 3 was used for all foods

• Emission factor for foods/ groceries = 0.095 g CO2e /MJ

Emissions (in kgCO2e/ kg food) were thus estimated by multiplying the energy input in MJ by 0.095.

Methane emissions were added for red meats and dairy products (ICF Consulting, 1999):
• Mature dairy cows = 249 lbs =110 kg CH4/ head/ year = 2.2 tonne CO2e/ head per year.
Annual production of 320 kg milk solids/ year (NZ MAF) = 2200/320 = 6.8 kg CO2e/kg milk
solids = 0.7 kg CO2e/ kg milk
• Yearling system steers/ heifers = 1.01 tonne CO2e/ head per year

The total GHG emissions for food types were cross- referenced by figures from SE England (Taking
Stock…, 2004).

From these tables, the simplified Table 7.1 below was compiled to give ‘ball park’ estimates of
average GHG emissions for 8 groups of foods used in GHG-Energy Calc.

Food packaging, newspapers, magazines and nappies

Food packaging, which has embodied energy of around 35 MJ/kg for paper, about 80 for plastic and
over 100 for aluminium, is included in the food section and also in the in the waste section, meaning
that it is double counted but at the much lower embodied energy figure of 15.45 MJ/kg for waste.
Disposable nappies –embodied energy 100 MJ/kg – are included in the food section and are double
counted in the waste section but at the much lower embodied energy of 15.5 for waste. Newspapers,
magazines and other throw-away items are not included in groceries as they comprise a larger
portion of waste and are counted in the waste section. They are therefore under-counted at only
15.45 MJ/kg, which is much less than the actual embodied energy, for example of newspapers (about
35 MJ/kg) and magazines (about 100 MJ/kg).

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

Is not possible to avoid the problem of double counting in the waste and food sections entirely and it
contributes to the uncertainty of the GHG-Energy Calc outputs for these sections. However, double
counting of some items is likely to be offset by under counting of others.

Table 7.1 Global Warming Potential (GWP) for 8 categories of foods, used in GHG-
Energy Calc. * (Rose, 2004, unpublished; Eckard, R., 2006.University of
Melbourne, Vic DPI)
Emissions Emissions
Methane, from from
Energy Energy Nox energy, energy Average
inputs - inputs - Average EI emissions lower, kg higher, kg totlal
lower higher energy (kg CO2e CO2/kg CO2/kg emissions
(MJ/kg (MJ/kg input / kg food = food = kg
Food class ) ) MJ/kg (a) product * (B)*.095 (C)*.095 CO2e/kg

L1- Fresh/minimally
3 10 6.5 0 0.285 0.95 0.6
processed. Fresh fruit/veg,
grains, flour, rolled oats
L2 - Pasta, biscuits, rice,
muesli, pulses, soy products, 11 20 15.5 0 1.045 1.9 1.5
canned/bottled cool/juice
drinks, cakes, breads
6 10 8 0.7 0.57 0.95 1.5
M1 Milks (dairy and soy)
M2 - Canned or bottled
fruit/veg based foods, frozen
fruit/veg, dried fruits/nuts, 21 30 25.5 0 1.995 2.85 2.4
sugar, beer, honey, soaps,
papers, eggs, pastries
MH1 - Chicken meat,
chocolates, wine, jam, potato
chips, cooking oil, margarine,
tea/herbs, ground coffee, 30 44 37 0 2.85 4.18 3.9
processed breakfast cereals
Dairy – yoghurts, icecreams
MH2 - Soup powders, instant
coffee, spirits; pork, fish, 45 120 82.5 0 4.275 11.4 7.8
soaps and detergent, shampoo,
disposable nappies
H1 - Red meats (lamb and
other ruminants), Dairy -
44 90 67 6.4 4.18 8.55 12.8
H2 Beef 44 90 67 9 4.18 8.55 20

Emissions from meat and dairy milk production were calculated for typical breeding herds, using
software developed by:
Eckard, R, 2007. ‘A decision Support Framework for Greenhouse Accounting’ CO2 calculators for beef, dairy
and sheep enterprises. University of Melbourne, DPI Victoria. http://www.greenhouse.unimelb.edu.au

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

7.2 Using the Food section of GHG-Energy Calc

The user enters kilograms of foods and groceries consumed per week (from their weekly grocery
orders) of foods in 8 categories, as shown in Table 7.1. Holding the cursor arrow on each category
shows examples of food items. GHG-Energy Calc sums the emissions in each category, multiplies
by 52 (weeks/year) and divides by 1000 to give yearly figures.

7.3 Water

From a study of embodied energy of water supply to suburbs or Adelaide, Australia (Pullen, 1999),
the annualised energy consumption for the water systems amounted to 0.7, 2.4, and 1.6 GJ/ house
per year for the water supply, sewerage and storm water respectively – a total of 4.7 GJ. Pullen’s
calculation per kL delivered through the water meter and drained in sewerage was 2.9 MJ/ kL for the
embodied energy of the storage, delivery and treatment systems and 7.8 MJ/ kL for the fuel energy
used for pumping = 10.7 MJ/ kL for the total energy.

A fixed embodied energy was calculated for the average household connected to scheme water,
sewage and drainage by multiplying Pullen’s figure of 2.9 by 237 (which is the AusStats figure for
average household water consumption in Australian cities)
Average embodied energy of water supply and sewerage = 687 MJ per household per year

The energy factors used in the water section of GHG-Energy Calc were:

• Operating energy, domestic reticulated water = 7.8 MJ = 2.17 kWh/ kL.

• Fixed embodied energy of the water system = 687 MJ = 191 kWh per year per

The average emissions factor for electricity generated in Australia − 0.293 kg/ MJ (AGO,2006;
ABARE, 2006) − was used to convert energy to emissions.
Fuel emission factor for water = 7.8*.293= 2.3 kg/ kL

Fixed embodied emission factor was calculated by multiplying embodied energy by the embodied
emission factor for manufacturing, 0.12 kg /MJ (see Vehicles section)
= 687 * 0.12 kg/1000 = 0.082 tonnes
Embodied emissions of water supply = 0.082 tonnes / household / year.

• Fuel (electricity) emissions, domestic reticulated water = 2.3 kg/kL

• Embodied emissions of the water system = 0.08 tonnes per year per household.

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper


By weight, WA’s Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) was about 934,000 tonnes per year, (32% of total
waste). Of this, 800,000 tonnes went to landfill and 134,000 tonnes was recycled (Wastenet, 2001).
Building/construction waste was about 1.5m tonnes (52% of total waste) and commercial/industrial
waste was about 450,000 tonnes (16%); these waste stream are not dealt with by GHG-Energy Calc

MSW – domestic, local council, commercial and food waste – amounts to about 680 kg per capita
per year. GHG-Energy Calc only deals with MSW and does not include construction and industrial
waste. The 30 % green/garden waste is also excluded, as it is normally collected separately and
composted or burned, making negligible net contribution to GHG emissions.

Average MSW per person WA kerbside bin collections = 476 kg per year = 9.1 kg/week

Table 8.1 Average composition of waste in kerbside bins

Waste category Percent in Methane emission Methane released,
kerbside factor tCO2e/ wet assuming 55% is
collection* tonne ** captured and burned as
fuel ***
Food 37 .9 .405
Paper/cardboard 34 2.5 1.13
Metals plastic glass and other 29 0 0
inert waste
MSW mixed landfill 1.11 0.50
* from EPA NSW, 1997
** DCC, 2008
*** Grant 2001

8.1 GHG-Energy Calc Waste section

GHG-Energy Calc assumes that:

• 8 L of waste pushed down into the bins by hand equals 1 kg.
• All of recyclable waste streams can be separated from landfill and recycled.
• Recycling includes remanufacturing, composting and incineration.
• Composting and incineration produce no net GHG emissions.
• Other forms of recycling reduce embodied emissions by displacing virgin materials
(Grant et al)

The user enters:

• The estimated total weekly volume of waste deposited in the landfill and recycling bins (in
• Marks the relevant boxes for the waste streams that the household recycles.

GHG-Energy Calc estimates the total emissions and deducts a percentage for the recycled waste
streams (Table 8.3, derived from Grant et al).

8.2 Inaccuracies

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

The problem of overlap and double counting in the food and waste sections has been explained in
the food section. However the main inaccuracy lies in the assumptions that, for every household 8L
of waste = 1 kg and that the waste composition is the average for MSW. To achieve more accuracy,
the waste streams would have to be weighed each week for several weeks, a task that few
householders would be willing to undertake. Entering total volume of waste in the bins was
considered to be the only user- friendly way to treat waste quantities. Users need to be aware of the
inaccuracy and use the results more for comparison than absolute values.

8.3 Embodied energy and emissions of municipal solid waste

MSW contributes to greenhouse gas emissions in two ways:

• Embodied energy of the waste material.
• Methane generation from anaerobic decomposition of organic materials (food scraps and paper
waste) in landfill.

Table 8.2 Embodied energy of materials in municipal solid waste

(Adapted from EPA of NSW, 1997; Alcorn, 1998; Waste Net, 2002; Victoria
University Wellington, 2002; Grant et al, 2001.)

Waste material Embodied energy (EE) of material Comments- best practice disposal
( MJ / kg) - range cited in literature
Paper, newsprint and 36 - 51 (virgin) Recycle, burn or compost to prevent
cardboard 28- 34 (recycled) methane generation
Food (mainly veg scraps) 0 Aerobic composting to prevent Me
Garden and wood 0 Compost
(Excluded from MSW figure) Burn
Plastic 40- 65 (PVC) Recycle
75-103 (HDPE)
81 (PET)
Glass (Mostly recycled) 30 (virgin) Recycle. Recycled glass has 43% of
10 (recycled) the embodied energy of virgin glass
Steel and other metals 7-18 (steel recycled) Recycle to save up to about 60% of
32-40 (steel recycled the embodied energy
206 (aluminium virgin)
14-27(aluminium recycled)

The embodied energy of municipal solid waste (MSW) was calculated by taking the sum of
(embodied energy of manufactured waste streams) times percentage by weight of waste stream.
(Table 8.1)

Estimated average embodied energy of MSW = 15.45 MJ = 4.3 kWh/kg

Average embodied emissions per kg of MSW were calculated by multiplying the embodied energy
by the EE factor of 0.12 kg CO2e/kg of manufactured goods:
= (0.12* 15.45) = 1.85

Methane generation from landfill

Methane emitted by landfill counts as GHG emissions because it is produced by this man-made
source. It results from anaerobic decomposition and would not have been produced if the organic
materials had decomposed by natural aerobic processes – composting or burning. Although these

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

processes produce carbon dioxide, the CO2 taken up by the organic material is cycled back into the
atmosphere, and is assumed to produce negligible net GHG emissions, as in the case of biomass fuel

Methane emission factors (from DCC, 2001) are shown in table 8.1

Methane EF land filled MSW with 55% capture is assumed to be 0.5

Total embodied emissions factor for MSW was estimated by adding the embodied energy emissions
and methane emissions = 1.85 + .5 = 2.35

Estimated embodied emissions of MSW = 2.35 kg CO2e/ kg MSW.

8.5 Emission savings from recycling

In 98% of Perth’s waste collections and some regional centres, glass, plastics, metals and
paper/cardboard wastes are collected in a separate bin and recycled. Recycled materials generally
contain much less embodied energy than virgin materials. For steel the figure is about 30%, paper
60% and aluminium 10%. However, actual energy and GHG saving for recycling are much less than
these figures indicate, as significant amounts of energy are consumed in the collection, sorting,
cleaning and pulverizing of the waste before it can be used as recycled feedstock. Table 7.4 below
shows actual emission savings from recycling an average kerbside waste bin as about 10% for paper
and 10% for glass/ plastic/ metal waste – a total of about 20% savings. This is a significant reduction
and the reduction in aquatic, toxic and nutrient pollution and volume of landfill are even greater.
According to Grant et al, of an average 6.6 kg of recycleable materials in household bins in
Melbourne, 2.1 kg went to landfill and 4.1 kg (62%) was actually recycled. The results of recycling
this 62 % are shown in the table below.

Table 8.3 GHG emissions savings from recycling an average household’s municipal solid waste
(Derived from RMIT, Grant et al, 2001 ‘Life Cycle Assessment of Paper and Packaging waste
management scenarios in Victoria’)
% of total CO2
Net KG CO2 % savings embodied in
recycling CO2e/ embodied on CO2e, average bin
Weight % by CO2 kg in average AV WASTE saved by
in bin weight savings virgin waste bin BIN recycling
Newsprint and
office paper,
cardboard 2.96 44.8% 1.611 3.46 10.2416 16% 10.0%
Paper and board 0.68 10.3% 0.34 3.46 2.3528 14% 2.1%
Glass 1.51 22.9% 0.41 2.12 3.2012 13% 2.6%
Aluminium **** 0.05 0.8% 0.44 19.36 0.968 45% 2.7%
Steel cans * 0.44 6.7% 0.19 3.82 1.6808 11% 1.2%
Plastics 0.854 12.9% 0.17 5.9 5.0386 3% 1.1%
TOTAL 6.494 0.983939 3.161 23.483 19.7%
Total CO2e in average waste bin (embodied plus methane) 16.04018

From this it is assumed that the recycled stream had 100/62* 19.7% = 32% reduction in emissions.

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

Embodied emissions of recycle bin contents = 0.68* 2.35 = 1.6 kg CO2e per kg recyclable

The percent embodied energy reduction in the recycled stream is assumed to be 53% of the emission
reduction, as 47% of the emission reduction was from avoided methane emissions (Grant el al) and
the rest from embodied fossil fuel energy. I.e 0.53*32 – 17%

Embodied energy of recycle bin = 100 – 17 = .83* 4.3 = 3.57 kWh/ kg

The above analysis assumes that food scraps are not included. If food scraps are included in the
MSW i.e. not composted, additional emissions are incurred. From Table 8.1:

Additional methane emissions from food scraps in waste bin = .37*.405 = .15 tCO2e per tonne
of total kerbside waste.

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper


9.1 Housing

Embodied GHG emissions of housing are significant and are included in GHG-Energy Calc under
House and Possessions. Depending on the lifetime and type of construction, direct emissions from
energy used for space and water heating, air conditioning and lighting over the lifetime of the house
are generally 4-6 times greater than embodied emissions. GHG-Energy Calc estimates show
embodied emissions from Australian homes to be in the range 0.5 – 3 tonnes CO2e/ year.

Embodied energy per square metre of floor space for different types of construction, from various
sources, are shown in Table 8.1 below (note that the references with lower figures are for the house
shell materials only). GHG-Energy Calc estimates are based on average energy/ square metre for
each type of building, inclusive of site works, construction, plumbing, electrical wiring, fittings,
painting and finishing (Glover, 2001). Emissions per m2 (column 8), were estimated by applying the
embodied energy factor of 0.092 (see section 3.3).

The energy to plan, construct and retail a steel framed, fibro cement transportable home is estimated
at 7 - 8% of the energy embodied in the materials (Rose, B., 2007. Energy audit of a transportable
homes company office and construction yard, Lawson, 1996.Embodied energy of house shell)

GHG-Energy Calc only provides an indicative comparison between the construction types and an
estimate of emissions, accurate to about 35%. In reality there are large variations due to efficiency
of materials manufacturing processes and due to the energy sources used by the manufacturer.
Another source of uncertainty is the assumption of a single emissions factor for housing of 0.092
MJ/m2 fro all building components when in reality this will vary with the type of material and where
it was produced.

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

Table 9.1 Embodied energy and emissions per square metre of floor area, free standing
residential house

Lawson, Baird Alcorn (Buchanan Rose, 2008 Estimate Estimate Embodied

1996 (energy and (NZ, , A. and (For fully used in used in emissions/ sq m
embodied in Chan 1996), Honey, B, fitted GHG- GHG- = energy/ sq m
walls, floor g (NZ, (House 1993, in house and Energy Energy * .092.
and roof 1983) shell Glover, landscaped Calc Calc (kWh (kgCO2e/
materials (2) only) (3) 2001) (4) small lot) (MJ/m2) /m2) m2/year) used
only) (1) in GHG-Energy
Construction type Calc
Timber frame, timber
weatherboard cladding;
tile roof, timber elevated
floor. 715 1500 700 2287 2350 653 216.2
Steel frame, fibro- cement
clad, all steel roof, steel /
board elevated floor
983 3230 897 297.16
Steel frame, fibro- cement
clad, steel roof, 110 mm
concrete slab
1358 2300 1100 4200 1167 386.4
Steel frame, steel
(colorbond) clad, all steel
roof, 110 mm concrete
slab 1438 4700 1306 432.4
Single concrete cavity
block, steel roof 110 mm
concrete slab on ground.
1325 2700 1600 3957 4100 1139 377.2
Timber frame brick veneer
clad, clay or concrete tile
roof, 110 mm concrete
slab on ground. 1446 3200 1400 5530 5700 1583 524.4
Double clay brick, clay or
concrete tile timber frame
roof, 110 mm concrete
slab on ground. 1776 5910 1642 543.72
Double clay brick, all steel 5100
roof, 110 mm concrete
slab on ground.
1988 6610 1836 608.12
Double clay brick 2 storey,
all steel roof, 125 mm
concrete slab both storeys
2093 6960 1933 640.32

9.2 Possessions

Embodied emissions of possessions were calculated by:

• Taking full life cycle embodied energy figures from Carlsson- Kanyama et al, 2001 and
Rose, 2004, rounded to nearest 100 MJ.
• Subtracting 20% for trade and disposal where the figures were for full life cycle.
• Dividing by an expected life –from 5 years for computers to 30 years for boats and caravans.
• Multiplying by the emissions factor for manufactured goods of 0.12 kg/MJ and dividing by
1000 to give tonnes of emissions per year

Annual consumption of goods was estimated for low, average and high households (Fig 8.3, shaded
columns). The totals were used as ‘embodied energy and emissions of possessions’ low, average and
high options in GHG-Energy Calc:
Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper
Table 9.2 Annual embodied energy and emissions attributable to possessions (other than
car and house)

Household contents / possessions Embodied energy Embodied emissions

kWh / year tonnes CO2e/ year
LOW - Minimal furnishings for a 1- 2 brm flat, 583 1.3*0.2 = .26
some old or used only small sized basic appliances,
basic clothing and bedding, mostly more than 5
years old.
BASIC - basic furnishings, for a small house or unit 1750 1.3*0.6 = .78
and only small sized appliances, basic clothing and
AVERAGE - Furnishings for medium sized house; 2917 1.3
standard appliances and furnishings, one of each
common appliance, including computer, average
quality wardrobe and bedding
HIGH - High quality furnishings for large house. 4083 1.3*1.4 = 1.82
Possessions exceed any three of the
following: more than one of a particular large
appliance, e.g. fridge/freezers, TV's, dishwashers,
computers, pianos, audio equipment; more than one
lounge or dining suite, more than 70 kg of books,
large wardrobe of clothes and bedding mostly less
than 3 years old.
EXTREME - Top quality furnishings for very large 5251 1.3*1.8 = 2.34
or luxury house . More than one of more than 5
appliances or suites as above; large wardrobe of
near new expensive clothes and bedding

The user then enters the estimated weight in kg of external items such as boats, trailers and caravans
owned by the household.

Embodied energy of external items = 0.5 kgbCO2e/ kg weight

Embodied emissions of external items = 4.1 kWh / kg weight

GHG-Energy Calc sums the embodied energy of possessions and shows a figure in the right hand

Items that are older than the assumed life can be omitted - external items > 30 yrs, appliances > 20
yrs and computers > 6 years can be omitted.

For the reasons stated in housing above, the accuracy of GHG-Energy Calc output can only be
expected to be in the range of about 35%. For example, metal/plastic manufactured items generally
have from 130 - 240 MJ/kg embodied energy. Appendix 6 shows estimated embodied energy and
emissions of goods, annualized over an assumed lifetime

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper


Further research

To develop GHG-Energy Calc into a more accurate tool, sections 6-8, which relate mainly to
embodied energy, could be researched and expanded further, for example:
• More accurate life cycle analyses of energy inputs for manufactured goods under categories
including automotive, white goods, electronic goods, furniture and textiles.
• More comprehensive set of embodied emissions factors, in addition to the three used in this
• Verification/ adjustment the emission factor for air travel, which is a major ‘emission
intensive’ energy consumption category. GWP of jet aircraft emissions is uncertain, being 2-
4 times CO2e emissions (IPCC ). Note: This was adjusted down from 3 to 2.7 in Version 4

Note that estimate factors for embodied energy and emissions of infrastructure such as roads,
bridges, traffic control, rail track, stations and airports 5 (Chester et al, University of
California,2005 have been added in GHG-Energy Calc Version.

To develop a tool for more detailed auditing, all sections could be expanded with more options and
links to other more detailed calculators.

Note : A travel accumulator pop-up that adds trips and estimates km from trip duration was added
to GHG-Energy Calc Version 5.

Calculators similar to the Home Heating Calculator could be programmed for vehicles, embodied
energy and household appliances, and linked to GHG-Energy Calc for more detailed and accurate
analysis. However, this may be beyond the scope of a simple, user-friendly tool for households.

Environmental Impact Labelling

GHG-Energy-Calc has stimulated community interest in the embodied energy and emissions of food,
goods and housing. However, it can only give estimates with an uncertainty of about 35%.
Consumer demand for a system of product environmental impact labelling (including CO2 emissions
and energy use) is increasing. For labelling to be introduced, it would be necessary to:
• Develop and promote an ISO-standard system of labelling for use by all producers and
service providers in Australia.
• Establish standard boundaries, processes and procedures for conducting impact analysis
(including energy and emissions) of products and services.

Embodied energy of services

Tertiary services are not included in GHG-Energy Calc because an energy source or physical product
is not being directly consumed. However, services such as health and education do carry with them
GHG emissions, depending on the energy intensity of the activities of the companies and individuals
delivering them.

Consumers may like to consider the energy intensity of services purchased when choosing providers.
It is hoped that providers would be undertaking their own energy audits to decrease their energy and
emissions intensity. Services could be covered in a separate calculator of energy and emissions (EE)
intensity per dollar for services such as retail, education, health and insurance. This would enable
Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper
services to be considered separately from products and would be a more useful method than process
LCA of accounting for their environmental impacts.


GHG-Energy Calc has the potential if widely promoted and extended to contribute to:
1. Raise consumer awareness by providing a simple tool to show emissions (GWP) from their
consumption of energy, transport services, goods and food, but excluding other services.
2. Help households, Government and industry achieve greater energy efficiency and reduce
environmental impacts.
3. Stimulate consumer demand for product environmental impact information. The ultimate aim
is an environmental impact labelling system, applied to all goods, showing energy input and
emissions affecting the environment such greenhouse gas emissions (GWP), toxics and
nutrients. This, combined with an ‘energy efficiency star rating’, as is currently used for
Australian vehicles and appliances, would enable consumers to make meaningful choices
between competing products and brands on the basis of environmental impacts.
4. Stimulate industry and Government towards cleaner, more efficient production. The variation
in energy inputs and emissions between different sources of particular products illustrates the
potential for more efficient, cleaner production even using currently available technology.
5. Contribute to the development of a national standard set of energy and emissions calculators
for households, industry and government.
Note: GHG-Energy Calc website was started in 2007, with two commercial subscribers. In 2008,
the Western Australian Department of Planning and Infrastructure adopted GHG-Energy Calc
as their official calculator for use in their Living Smart community education program.

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

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27. EPA NSW, 1997. NSW SoE 97 CH 5 Waste Generation and Disposal
28. EPA Victoria, 2002. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Energy efficiency in Industry (p9). Pub. 825
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32. Fergus, D. 2002. Monetisation of Environmental Impacts on Roads. (Chapter 3)

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33. Gregory, A., Keolian, G, Kar, K, Manion, M., Bulkley, W, 1997. Industrial Ecology of the Automobile- A
Lifestyle Perspective. Table cited in; http://www.sustainable-busforum.org/bldgmat.html.
34. Heeringa, Dan, 2002 Milk processing: from the Cow to the Plant
35. Houck, E., Tiegs, P., McCrillis, R., Keithly, C., and Crouch, J., 1998. Air Emissions from Residential Heating:
The Wood Heating Option Put Into Environmental Perspective. Conf. Paper.
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Greenhouse Gas Committee Emission Inventory Improvement Program.
37. Institute of Lifecycle Analysis, 1998. Automobiles: Manufacture vs. Use.
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global atmosphere
39. IPCC, 2001. Climate Change 2001: Working Group I: The Scientific Basis. Introduction
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Assessment. http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc/aviation/068.htm
41. Key Issues and Information Resources – Consumption – Discussion Paper http://www.agrifood-
42. Laboratory of Ecosystem Management, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne Comparison of IO and
Process LCA for computers on a per kg basis
43. Lawson, WR, 1996. Timber in Building Construction: Ecological Implications in Environment: Environmental
Properties of Timber http://oak.arch.utas.edu.au/environment/env_prop/env_prop.html
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Transportation Research, Vol 4 No 4, July 1999.
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some consumer choice, technology and government outlay options
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47. Livestock- Environment Interactions (LEI) www.fao.org/DOCREP/004/X6111E/x6111e05.htm
48. Lufthansa website, 2005. http://konzern.lufthansa.com/en/html/magazin/a_340600
49. MAF, NZ. 'Total Energy Indicators of Agricultural Sustainability: Dairy Farming Case Study'
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Power. Fusion Technology Institute. http://fti.neep.wisc.edu
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selected household types – a preliminary analysis. A report for the Brotherhood of St Laurence
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Stoves. For US Environmental Protection Agency.
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paper http://ausnet.rmit.au/papers/8dbmc
57. Quantas Virtual Airways, 2006. http://curbe.com/QVA/qva/fplan/qvaaircr.htm.
58. Rocky Mountain Institute, 1999. Climate- Air Travel Emissions. www.rmi.org/sitepage/pid600.php
59. SS Canberra. www.sscanberra.com/stats3.htm
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61. Seat Guru, 2006. http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Qantas_Airways/Qantas_Airways_Boeing_747-400.php
62. Sustain/Elm Farm Research Centre, 2001. Eating Oil- Food in a Changing Climate.
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66. Thomas, Ulrig and Sclenzig, 1999. From GT2 Environmental Manual Database.
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69. US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, 1998. Greenhouse gas
Emissions from Management of Selected Materials in Municipal Solid Waste.
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73. 67. Wilting, H., 1998. 'An Energy Perspective on Economic Activities'.

Appendix 1

Units and conversions

Several conventions for fuel and energy units are used in GHG-Energy Calc:

• Quantities of fuels are expressed as litres or kilograms.

• Vehicle fuel consumption is expressed as litres per 100 km.

• Energy is expressed as megajoules (MJ). All other energy units are converted to MJ.

• GHG-Energy Calc converts total fuel used into MJ.

• One unit of energy as shown on electricity and power bills is equal to one kilowatt hour
(kWh), which is converted into MJ:

1kWh = 3.6 MJ
1 kilocalorie = 0.00418 MJ

• Calculated greenhouse gas emissions are in metric tonnes.

• GHG emissions factors are expressed as kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents per
megajoule of energy (kg CO2e /MJ).
Note: GHG emission factors can also be expressed as weight of CO2 equivalents per weight
of fuel used, for example the EF for diesel produces 3.18 t CO2e / t; EF of natural gas 1.86 t
CO2e / t. However, GHG-Energy Calc does not use these units, as it converts fuel
consumption into energy consumption and then into greenhouse gas emissions.

Appendix 2.


For the purposes of this paper, and in GHG-Energy Calc, the terms used have the following

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

Combustion energy
Combustion energy is the total energy released when a fossil fuel energy source is burned.

Pre-combustion energy
Pre-combustion (or upstream) GHG emissions are from the production of fuels. The figures range
from 10% (CNG) to 22% (diesel) of total end use emissions.

Fuel energy
Fuel energy is the total energy contained in a fuel, that is released when the fuel is burned
(combustion energy), plus the upstream energy used to extract, refine and transport the fuel. Only a
certain fraction of the fuel energy used to drive a machine (about 20- 40% depending on the
efficiency of the machine) is used to do work; the remainder is wasted as heat or friction.

Fuel emissions
Full cycle (combustion plus pre-combustion) GHG emissions from energy sourced from fossil fuels.

Embodied energy
Embodied energy is defined as the energy used to produce the raw materials, manufacture, package,
store and transport and service a particular food or consumer good. This energy will come from a
variety of sources. In Australia, over 95% of embodied energy comes from mix of fossil fuel

Embodied emissions
Embodied emissions are defined as the sum of the greenhouse gases emitted from:
• Embodied energy sources from fossil fuels (see above) including the emissions from
electricity used and upstream fuel emissions,
• Other GHG emissions such as methane and nitrous oxides that may be emitted as a result of
any of the processes described under embodied energy. For example methane from ruminant
production is added to the energy-related emission of dairy products
Note: Energy analysis as described by Wilting et al relates to the full life cycle of the product,
including resale and wholesale trade and waste disposal/ recycling. Embodied emissions figures
used in GHG-Energy Calc are not life cycle emissions as retail/ and are excluded. Embodied
emissions are generally about 20% less than full life cycle emissions described by Wilting et al, but
this varies greatly with different goods.

Emission factor
The quantity of a given GHG emitted per unit of energy (kg CO2/GJ), fuel (t CH4/t coal) or other
such measure. Used to calculate GHG emissions by multiplying the factor (e.g. kg CO2/litre petrol)
with activity data (e.g. litres of petrol used). EFs can be categorized as point source – emissions at
the point of consumption – or full fuel cycle.

Full cycle emission factors

Point source emissions plus the pre-combustion or upstream emissions from the production and
transport of the fuel (an additional 5-20%). In this paper and in GHG-Energy Calc. Emission factor
always refers to full cycle emission factor.

Energy content (of a fuel)

The energy contained by a fuel – expressed in MJ/kg or L – that is released when the fuel is burned
(oxidised) completely.

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper
Greenhouse gas

Radiative Forcing
A change in average net radiation (in W m-2) at the top of the troposphere resulting from a change in
either solar or infrared radiation due to a change in atmospheric greenhouse gases concentrations;
perturbance in the balance between incoming solar radiation and outgoing infrared radiation

Appendix 3

Emission factors for stationery energy fuels.

Combustion (Scope1) emissions are from the burning of fossil fuels to produce energy.

Full cycle emissions include the additional Scope 3 emissions from extracting, transporting and
processing the coal and running of the power station

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

Table A3. Fuel combustion emission factors (DCC, 2008)

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

Air Travel Emissions Understated

Less than 1/6th of Australia's actual greenhouse gas emissions from air travel are officially reported, because:

• Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gas national inventory reporting only accounted for the emissions that
would be produced if aviation turbine fuel were burned in at ground level, essentially emitting only
CO2. The greenhouse effect of the nitrous oxides, ozone and contrails produced by jets at high
altitude are not accounted for.
• Only domestic flights are included in the inventories; international flights are not accounted for.

Total radiative forcing (greenhouse effect) of aircraft emissions is 2-4 times that of CO2 alone (International
Panel on Climate Change, 1999). This fact is ignored in the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory.

Officially, Australia’s aircraft emissions were reported under the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory as:
“Domestic aviation contributed 6% - 4.8 million tonnes of transport emissions.” This equates to about 0.8%
of Australia’s total emissions.

Table 1 below shows that when international flight kms are added (estimated by the Author from ABS
international arrivals and departures statistics), this figure rises to about 11.5 million tonnes.

For travel by jet aircraft, the latest version of GHG-Energy Calc uses a multiplier of 2.7 times the global
warming potential (GWP) of CO2 emissions from burning aviation turbine fuel on the ground. This is one
of the lower scenarios listed in the IPCC, 1999. ‘Aviation and the Global Atmosphere’ report.
(http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc/aviation/068.htm.) Using this multiplier to arrive at a figure for actual
global warming potential caused by Australian domestic and international flight kilometers, the figure is
about 31 million tonnes CO2e. This is about 6.5 times higher than that officially reported in the National
Greenhouse gas Inventory, and equates to about 5.2% of Australia’s total emissions.

As a result of the current under-reporting, the real global warming impacts of air travel are not officially
recognized by Government. Consequently, national greenhouse reduction strategies and public awareness
campaigns ignore air travel and the level of community awareness of the impacts is still low.

Added to this are the current advertising campaigns by airlines offering cheap emissions offsets. The most
misleading (even fraudulent) aspect of these campaigns is that flight emissions are grossly understated by
using the AGO emission factor based on aviation turbine fuel burned on the ground rather than actual global
warming impact of jet aircraft in flight at high altitudes.

Australians travel, on average half as far by air as we do by car. The average distance per head of population
traveled by air is about 4940 km per year (derived from ABS international and domestic travel data, 2003),
compared to about 9,900 km traveled by road (ABS, 2005). About 69% of international flights are for

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

Table A.5.1 Estimation of emissions from air travel by Australians, derived from ABS
published statistics, 2003
Derived from ABS stats Domestic International Total TOTAL million t

Million passenger km 34,643 64,252 98,895

Average km air travel (20
million population) 1,732 3,213 4,945

Thousand litres of fuel(2) 1,850,000 2570080 4,420,080

Tonnes CO2e using AGO
figure for turbine fuel
burned at ground level 4,810,000 6,682,208 11,492,208
Total tonnes CO2e using
the 2.7 time multiplier for
jet aircraft in flight 12,987,000 18,041,962 31,028,962 31 million t

1. Fuel use was estimated using 4L/1000 passenger km for international and 5.3L/ 1000 km for
domestic flights.
2. Emissions were estimated @ 2.8 tonnes CO2e / 1000 L fuel (AGO, 2005) and multiplied by three to
include emissions from nitrous oxides and contrails (IPCC, 2000)

Air travel continues to grow due to its low cost, and the lack of alternative bus and train services on longer
routes. There are several reasons for the low cost of air travel, one being lower labour costs due to shorter
travel times. However, another major reason is that there is virtually no tax on aviation turbine fuel. Under a
1930’s international agreement, it is levied at only a few cents per litre compared to, for example 38c/L for
road transport fuels in Australia and over 80c/L in Europe. If a 38c/L levy were applied to aviation turbine
fuel this mean a price increase of about 40%.

If a carbon cost of $30-40 per tonne CO2e were applied (the current European ‘cap and trade’ abatement
scheme does not apply to air transport) the cost of aviation turbine fuel would rise by a further 10%. It can
be argued that taxes reflecting ‘intangibles’, including environmental, public infrastructure and health costs
should be added. It can also be argued that a GST or VAT tax should be applied to the whole cost of tickets
worldwide. This would raise the cost of jet fuel to well over 50% higher than current levels and would ‘level
the playing field’ in line with road fuel costs. Rising crude oil prices are adding to this. As fuel comprises
about 30% of the cost of flying, fares would be expected to rise by over 20%. However, with the popularity
of overseas holidays and increasing affluence of the ‘haves’ of this world, it is unlikely that even a doubling
of ticket prices would be sufficient to curtail the growth in air travel.

In view of the already significant contribution of aviation to global warming and the ‘deep cut hard emission
targets’ that already being set by some countries, it is likely that other, more equitable measures will
eventually need to be taken to restrict air travel.

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

Appendix 5

Per Passenger Emissions from Cruise Ships

Assumption : The lifetime of the’ hypothetical cruse ship’ is assumed to be 40 years at an average of
240 cruise days per year, which equates to 9600 cruise days in lifetime. Embodied emissions per
ship cruise day are apportioned accordingly.

Total CO2e emissions per ship cruise day are calculated as follows:
Total emissions per ‘average cruise day’ for the ‘hypothetical large cruise ship = sum (operational
CO2e from fuel use + assumed global warming potential of operational NOX/ozone from ship
exhaust + ship embodied emissions)

Table 5.3 Emissions per passenger day and km for a medium-large cruise ship
Ship example Oosterdam
Gross tonnes 82000
Displacement 38307
passengers @ 100% occpancy 2388
% occupancy rate 95%
Assumed average number of passengers 2,269
crew 812
stated cruise speed knots 22
average speed knots over duration of cruise 13
Average kms per day 577
kW (all engines combined) 51840
Engine type medium speed diesels
average % of max fuel use while cruising 62%
fuel type Fuel oil
Specific fuel consumption g/kWh (assumed) 200
Estimated fuel use ,000 Litres per day 138.8
Fuel Emission factor, t CO2/kL 3.2
t CO2 emissions per cruise day (economy) 444.3
GWP* Effect of NOx emissions - ozone production - (assumed +50%) 222.2
Crew and passengers consumable and services emissions per cruise day @
1.5 t CO2e per year 17.1
Embodied CO2 emissions per cruise day @ 4.9 tCO2/ tonne lwt disp; 9600
cruise days in 40 year lifetime 19.55
Total est. GHG emissions tonnes CO2e per day 703.14
Total fuel plus embodied energy use per day = 1.05*1000 (39.7*138.8) / 3.6 1.6 million kWh
Embodied Emissions of ship and services % of total CO2/day 5%
Average GHG emissions t CO2e per passenger per day (ppd)* 0.31
tCO2e ppd economy 0.21
tCO2e ppd deluxe 0.31
tCO2e ppd ultra deluxe 0.47
tCO2e ppd luxury suite 0.62
kg CO2e/km economy * 0.36
CO2e/km deluxe 0.54
CO2e/km ultra deluxe 0.81
CO2e/km luxury suite 1.08

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

1.4 Estimation of emissions per passenger cruise day

Occupancy rate
One hundred percent occupancy rate is defined as all lower berths occupied. Occupancy exceeds
100% when all lower berths and some upper berths are occupied.

The worldwide cruise industry occupancy rates were projected at 90% for 2003. However, the actual
occupancy rate for the 3 large groups cruising from the US was 108% in that year (Ebersold, 2004).
Four Luxury lines averaged 69% occupancy. The generally accepted minimal occupancy rate is

Assumption 9: For the purpose of this study, the assumed passenger load is 95%

Assumption 10: emissions per cruise day for the whole ship are allocated to the passengers, at the
assumed average occupancy rate, according to cabin class (i.e. space occupied per berth).

Table 5.4 Typical space per passenger for different cabin accommodation classes

Suggested classes std deluxe ultra deluxe luxury suite

pp cabin area sq ft 75-100 100-150 150-200 200-250
Average pp cabin area sq ft 80 120 180 240
suggested emission multipliers 1 1.5 2.25 3
Average emissions = x .67x x 1.5x 2x

Note: Emissions should be incurred proportionally to per person suite area

Table 5.5 Allocation of emissions per passenger day by cabin class (GHG-Energy Calc 5)

Tonnes CO2e per Kg CO2e pp km assuming

Cabin class on large cruise passenger day (T CO2e average cruise speed of 13
ship ppd) knots
economy (80 sq ft pp) 0.21 .36
deluxe (120 sq ft pp) 0.31 .54
ultra deluxe (180 sq ft pp) 0.47 .81
luxury suite (240 sq ft pp) 0.62 1.08

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

Table 5.2 Embodied energy and emissions from shipbuilding
Estimat EE Assumed
ed materia emission CO2e Embodied
Estimated items/ EE % of
Tonnes l GWh / Assumed energy factor EF t CO2e
Material quantity in ship EE of
in tonne sources (EF) CO2/ t 64,000 t
64,000 t ship GWh ship
64,000 t (Alcorn tCO2e/G product ship
ship , 1996) Wh
Steel imported
Ship hull; super- 560,8 80.2
structural, 57690 9.7 coking coal 0.396 3.9 222,107
structure 75 %
Includes engines 11,11
Iron 2000 5.6 coking coal 1.6% 0.396 1.6 4,400
(6*200 t tonnes) 1
Aluminium Engines; super- electricity 90% 53,05
1000 53.1 7.6% 0.55 29.2 29,181
(virgin) structure coal 10% 6
Seats; equal
(including 50 15,83
amount other 600 26.4 LNG 50:oil 50% 2.3% 0.25 6.6 3,958
lifeboats@ 3 t; 3
15,500 seats)
LNG 50%; oil
Paint 300 27.2 8,167 1.2% 0.25 6.8 2,042

Synthetic rubber 100 30.6 LNG 50:oil 50% 3,056 0.4% 0.25 7.6 764

( including 5 azipods**+ 6
electricity 90%
cables 3000km generators @ 10t 860 27.1 40667 3.3% 0.55 14.9 12824
coal 10%
@ 0.25 t/km; gen copper each
/ mtrs
Plate Glass 5,000 sq m of @ gas 50%, coal
200 4.4 883 0.1% 0.33 1.5 292
(assume 15mm) 40 kg/sq m 50%

50,000 sq m @ 3
Carpet 150 16.7 LNG 50:oil 50% 2,500 0.4% 0.25 4.2 625
kg/ sq m
electricity 50%,
Zinc Galvanizing 400 14.5 5,789 0.8% 0.28 4.1 1,621
gas 50%
Other Materials electricity 50%,
flooring; deck 700 2.9 2,022 0.3% 0.28 0.8 566
–e.g. wood) gas 50%
Total ship Tonnes 64000
EU av.
Est. shipbuilding construction * 8,700 1.2% 0.475 0.0 4,133
EU av.
Est. engine and machinery construction energy 4,000 0.6% 0.475 0.0 1,900
TOTAL SHIP 699,307 284,411
Maintenance - reconditioning, refurbishment
50%, gas 104,896 0.28 0.0 29,371
and painting; add 15% EE over life of ship
T CO2e per tonne of ship 4.90

Notes : * Energy costs in ship construction is cited as 0.8% of the total cost (US EPA, 2007)
Electricity cost for large commercial users in Finland is cited as 8c/kWh.
Energy use is estimated as 0.008*870M*100/8

**The azipods (swivelling electric propulsion units) of big cruise ships are large – e.g. 400t each for

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper

Appendix 6

Table A6 Estimated embodied energy and emissions of goods in a typical home annualized
over an assumed lifetime.
ITEM Ref OF ITEMS YR MJ YR (kg CO2e) (years)
Bicycle 1 2 267 42.1 15
Fridge; freezer; 1 1 280 44.2 20
Washing machine 1 1 347 41.6 15
Dish washer; clothes drier; air conditioner 1 1 267 32.0 15
Toaster, iron, camera, small electric hand
tool/kitchen implement, telephone, 1 7 187 22.4 15
TV (15" or smaller); video camera 1 1 240 28.8 15
VCR; sound system, microwave 1 2 267 32.0 15
Computer system - CPU + screen+ printer
+ keyboard * 3,6 1 1733 208.0 6
Stove 1 1 160 19.2 30
Electric sewing machine or large power
tool 1 3 360 43.2 20
Bed plus mattress 1 5 1200 144.0 20
Jacket 1 4 352 42.2 10
Trouser 1 8 512 61.4 5
Sweater 1 6 480 57.6 5
Shirt, blouse, hat 1 10 480 57.6 5
Underwear (10 pieces) 1 3 240 28.8 4
Sets of bedding (doona+blanket) 1 3 240 28.8 10
Sheets set (2 sheets + pillow case) 1 6 300 36.0 8
Lawnmower (petrol, hand pushed)/ edger, 1 1 132 15.8 20


Sporting equipment (kg) 1 6 528 63.4 10
Wood furniture (kg) 1 400 533 64.0 30
Metal furniture (kg) 4 300 1200 144.0 30
Metal/ plastic small items, tools &
equipment (kg) 1 100 1200 144.0 10
Small electronic appliances, computer
peripherals, (kg) 1 30 480 57.6 15
Books (kg) 1 50 280 33.6 20


Vinyl/ lino floor covering (sq m) 1 50 200 24.0 20
Carpet - synthetic light- med weight types
(sq m) 5 50 200 24.0 20
High quality wool carpet (squ m) 1 50 500 60.0 30
POSSESSIONS (GJ / year ) * 10531.2


(Tonnes CO2e / year) * 1280.36

Boat, trailer, caravan (per kg, excl retail) 4 300 1220 146.4 30
* 20% is subtracted for retail

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper


1. Carlsson-Kanyama, A; Carlsson, R. (Environmental Strategies Research Group/FOI Stockholm,

Sweden). Moll, H and Kok, R. (IVEM University of Groningen The Netherlands). Household
Metabolism in the Five Cities. Swedish National Report-Stockholm.
2. Rose, 2004. GHG-Calc, a Tool for Self-audit of Domestic Greenhouse Gas Emissions
3. Atlantic Consulting and IPU, 1998. LCA Study (version 1.2) EU Ecolabels for Personal
4. Institute of Lifecycle Analysis, 1998. Automobiles: Manufacture vs. Use.
5. Alcorn, A., 1998. in ATLA News, issue 7 no 4, Nov 1998. http://www.converge.org.nz/atla/new-11-
98-p4.html. Embodied Energy in NZ Materials
6. California Energy Commission, 2005.'Optimization of Product Life Cycles to Reduce Greenhouse
Gas Emissions in California'

1/ Possessions that are older than the indicated life and still in use can be omitted
2/ Embodied energy and emissions are estimates for the production, manufacture, packaging and
transport of the goods. Retail and wholesale trade, insurance, and disposal are not included

3/ Embodied emissions factor of 0.12 kg CO2e / kg goods was applied for all goods.
4/ 20% was deducted from the energy figures from Carlsson-Kanyama et al to exclude retailing.

5/ Expected lifetimes of goods categories were Author's estimates.

Rose, B.J., 2009. GHG-Energy-Calc Background Paper