Sustainability

Information on ACE

ACE is simple to use

Just enter your data into a separate sheet for each month. Results are displayed in:

  1. Tables and a bar chart of emissions by source each month;
  2. Graph of cumulative annual emission

First time users register here.

Registered users login here.

Instructions for using ACE are provided in the tool itself. The  following information however will assist you with understanding some of the technical aspects of the calculator. We encourage all users of ACE to read this page.

For more information visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Emission factors

Standard emission factors are used to convert activity to emissions. Most emissions factors incorporate non-CO2 gases and hence units are given in terms of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) emissions.

Emission factors are provided in terms of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) emissions. The emissions of different GHGs are calculated separately and converted to CO2e on the basis of their global warming potential. Values from the Fourth Assessment IPCC Report are used.

For example

  • 1 unit of methane is equivalent to 25 units of CO2e
  • 1 unit of nitrous oxide is equivalent to 298 units of CO2e.

Emissions for the consumption/combustion of fuel are then calculated based on the simple formula:

Emissions (tonnes CO2e) = quantity of energy (unit) X emission factor (tonne CO2e/unit)

Have ACE customised

We recognize that "one size doesn't fit all". You may want to consider some of the following:

  1. Personalise ACE by adding your logo and other company details
  2. Change the types of inputs and the input units
  3. Incorporate different emission factors
  4. Present data to allow year-by-year comparison.

 Contact us to discuss your needs.

Environmental footprinting

Eco-innovation

Reporting



Source of Emission Factors

The emission factors used in our ACE calculator are sourced from:

  • the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment (MfE) for ACE 2017 (NZ). MfE factors are released annually and are based on calculated greenhouse gas emissions of an energy source within New Zealand for a particular calendar year. In December 2016, the latest MfE emission factors were released based on 2014 data.
  • the Australian Government Department of the Environment for ACE 2017 (Aus). These factors, termed National Greenhouse Account (NGA) factors are also released annually and like MfE factors are country specific. The factors used in ACE 2017 (Aus) were released in August 2016.

Additional emission factors are sourced from the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Greenhous gas reporting - Conversion factors 2016. 

Other online calculators may use emission factors different to those in ACE, either in source or in year. For this reason outputs may differ between calculators. It is important to understand the emission factors behind your calculations.

The table below lists the emission factors used in ACE 2017 (NZ) and ACE 2017 (Aus).

Table 1. General emission factors used in ACE

Emission sourceUnitsMfE emission factors (kg CO2e /unit) [1]  NGA factors (kg CO2e /unit) [2]
Electricity kWh 0.138 see Table 2
Electricity distribution & line losses kWh 0.0113 see Table 2
Natural Gas GJ 53.3 51.3
Coal kg 2.11 2.39
Petrol   L 2.36 2.38
Diesel   L 2.72 2.69
Flights - Domestic km 0.160 0.160
Flights – International short haul <3700km km 0.0942 0.0942
Flights - International long haul >3700km km 0.111 0.111
Mixed waste kg 1.13 1.20
Office waste kg 1.84 1.84
Battery electric vehicle [3] km 0.11 /
Average local bus [4] km 0.10 /
National train [4] km 0.05 /
Ferry (average passenger) [4] km 0.12 /

[1] released in December 2016 and used in ACE 2017 (NZ) [2] released in August 2016 and used in ACE 2017 (Aus)

[3] Life Cycle Assessment of Electric Vehicles (EECA, 2015) [4] Greenhous gas Reporting - Conversion factors 2016 (DEFRA, 2016)

Australian electricity emission factors vary with state due to different generation profiles. For this reason users of ACE 2015 (Aus) must select their state when using ACE. Australian electricity emission factors are listed in Table 2.

Table 2. State-specific electricity emission factors used in ACE 2017 (Aus)

 

Electricity

(kg CO2e /kWh)

Distribution & line losses

(kg CO2e /kWh)

New South Wales and ACT 0.84 0.12
Northern Territory 0.67 0.10
Queensland 0.78 0.16
South Australia 0.61 0.11
Tasmania 0.12 0.02
Victoria 1.09 0.10
Western Australia 0.72 0.07
 
Emission Factors and reporting period

Ideally, emission calculations should be performed using factors representing the year being assessed. This is possible for historic data and previous years e.g. 2014 emissions should be calculated using 2014 emission factors. However as emission factors are derived retrospectively, the time lag means that for any current year e.g. 2017, period specific emission factors do not exist. In their absence the most recently published factors should be used i.e. those in ACE 2017.

GHG reporting

When reporting your GHG emissions it is important to quote the source and year of the emission factors used in your calculations, and reasons for using them. 

Vehicle fuel

Emissions from the combustion of vehicle fuel are most accurately determined when actual fuel usage (L) is the input. Where vehicle fuel usage is not known the user can enter distance travelled and fuel usage will be calculated. This is based on default fuel conversion rates for a range of fuel types and vehicle sizes. These default values have been sourced from the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and are listed in the Vehicle Efficiency tab. If the user has alternative efficiency values these can be entered in the Vehicle Efficiency tab. In doing this the default values are overridden.

Taxi use

Users can enter either distance traveled or cost of fare. In instances where a combination of data exists (e.g. some fare data, some distance data) both can be entered.

Calculations are based on:

  • fuel efficiency of a large petrol car (which most taxis are), and
  • a nationwide average taxi fare per km of $2.80 (NZ) or $2.00 (Aus) to calculate emissions based on fare.
Waste

This function simple with two options to select from:

  • Use the Mixed option if you are a household, or a business that produces waste similar in composition to that of a household
  • Office based businesses should use the Office waste option which assumes some food and garden waste (21%) but a predominance of paper (54%).

Note that emissions from waste disposal are only generated by biodegradable material in the waste. If your waste is purely inorganic you can assume no emissions from disposal and therefore eliminate waste as a source of emissions in your analyses.

For mixed waste, users may enter data in either units of weight (kg) or units of volume (m3). Emission factors for waste are based on weight so we have incorporated a volume-to-weight conversion factor for mixed waste to accommodate this input option. The factor we have used is 0.200 tonnes/m3, and was sourced from a 2003 MfE waste review strategy report, for uncompacted municipal solid waste.

This calculator assumes no gas recovery at landfill. For landfills that do recover emitted gas, different emission factors apply. Contact us for more information.

Air travel

The emission factors used for air travel in ACE now apply an airlift factor to take into account non-direct routes and delays/circling, which adds 8 - 9%. The user also has the option to include a radiative forcing factor (ACE NZ only). Radiative forcing (RF) is a measure of the additional environmental impact of aviation.  These include emissions of nitrous oxides and water vapour when emitted at high altitude. Inclusion of RF multiplies flight emissions by 1.89. No specific recommendation is provided by the MfE for the use or not of RF. The UK Governement recommends that 'Organisations should include the influence of radiative forcing (RF) in air travel emissions to capture the maximum climate impact of organisations’ travel habits. However, it should be noted that there is very significant scientific uncertainty around the magnitude of the additional environmental impacts of aviation.'

If require  more information on the radiative forcing factor contact us.

Materials

ACE 2017 allows users to calculate the embodied GHG carbon in common materials they may use or consume. Categories included are:

  • Packaging materials, and
  • Construction materials
Based on selected materials, consumed by your organisation, embodied GHG are calculated. The calculated values require manual transfer to monthly tab input cells.
 
Refrigerant losses

Refrigerants used in cooling appliances such as freezers, chillers and air conditioning units contain GHGs with extremely high global warming potentials (GPWs). Emissions of small amounts of these through leakage or overfilling can be significant when converted to CO2e.

A stand alone tab has been created for refrigerant input data. Data can be entered any time over the year. The calculation is based on either:

  • Known annual losses for each appliance – data based on service record details: amount of refrigerant added to appliance at service equals refrigerant lost since the last service.
  • Default annual losses for each type of appliance provided by MfE, based on an assumed leakage percentage (1 - 8% depending on the appliance) and refrigerant capacity.

Based on the refrigerant type (entered by user for each appliance) and its GWP, emissions in terms of CO2e are calculated and carried through to the summary tab.

A note about electricity emissions

The emission factors for electricity used in both versions of ACE have been calculated based on actual electricity generation in a calendar-year. This can vary due to changes in hydro and/or wind generation and therefore thermal generation. The emission factors account for the emissions from fuel combustion at thermal power stations which are associated with the consumption of purchased electricity from the grid. They also include a relatively small proportion of fugitive emissions from geothermal generation. As national and state grid averages they do not distinguish between thermally generated electricity and carbon neutral forms of electricity generation such as wind and hydro.

Where details of purchased electricity generation are known, users of ACE may like to make provision for this. For more information contact us.

Electricity line and distribution losses

Not all electricity that is generated makes it to the end user, a percentage (9-18%) is lost between the generator and the consumer. We have made provision for users of ACE to include emissions related to the generation of this “lost” electricity in their overall emission calculations. This is optional - measuring and reporting these emissions is not mandatory - so we have provided the user with the option.

ACE updates

ACE (NZ) was first launched in 2006 and has been updated on the following dates to incorporate new emission factors and added functionality: May 2008, April 2009, March 2010, July 2011, April 2012, May 2013, June 2014, May 2015, July 2016, Feb 2017.

ACE (Aus) was first launched in 2010. An update was released in April 2012 and more recently in May 2013, June 2014, May 2015 and Feb 2017.