Scope 5 offers most of the EPA Hub emissions factors throughout its libraries. The Selected EPA Hub Tables library includes emissions factors for the following activities:
- Mobile Combustion
- Stationary Combustion
- Steam and Heat
Most of the emissions factors published by the EPA are included in various Scope 5 standard resource libraries. Below, we outline how the emissions factors are organized. Please note the EPA periodically renames table headings used to organize the emissions factors they publish. We update these Resource Sub-Categories to reflect the titles used in the most current release. Please contact us if you would like help mapping the organization of a resource throughout the EPA's updates.
The Selected EPA Hub Tables library includes emissions factors for Mobile Combustion CO2, Upstream Transportation and Distribution and Downstream Transportation and Distribution, and Business Travel and Employee Commute.
If you are looking for Scope-1 mobile combustion resources that include an emissions factor for all component gases (CO2, CH4, N2O), we recommend reviewing the offerings in the Scope 5 TCR library. This library has a complete set of mobile combustion factors, which use the same underlying documents as the EPA Hub Tables.
Biogenic mobile combustion resources are considered 100% biogenic.
Mobile Combustion Activity Units
For all Business Travel and Employee Commute-type emissions factors, activity units are in distance. For Upstream Transportation and Distribution and Downstream Transportation and Distribution-type emissions factors, activity units are in either distance or weight-distance. Weight-distance (such as ton-miles) is a specific type of unit associated with freight, in which activity expresses the product of the weight of the goods shipped and the distance over which they are shipped. The EPA states that distance-only activity (and the corresponding emissions factors) are appropriate when the entire vehicle is dedicated to transporting the reporting company's product. Weight-distance activity is appropriate when the vehicle is shared with products from other companies.
The EPA gives the following examples and definitions for vehicle types:
- Passenger cars include "passenger cars, minivans, SUVs, and small pickup trucks (vehicles with wheelbase less than 121 inches)."
- Light-duty trucks include "full-size pickup trucks, full-size vans, and extended-length SUVs (vehicles with wheelbase greater than 121 inches)."
- Intercity rail includes "Amtrak long-distance rail between major cities. Northeast Corridor extends from Boston to Washington D.C. Other Routes are all routes outside the Northeast Corridor."
- Commuter rail includes "rail service between a central city and adjacent suburbs (also called regional rail or suburban rail)"
- Transit rail includes "rail typically within an urban center, such as subways, elevated railways, metropolitan railways (metro), streetcars, trolley cars, and tramways."
The Selected EPA Hub Tables library includes all emissions factors published in Table 1 of the EPA publication. Factors are available in units of energy and weight or volume, depending on the fuel type.
For all values by energy (for which the denominator is in MMBtu (or any energy unit)) Scope 5 has chosen to use the Higher Heat Value (HHV), as opposed to the Low Heating Value (LHV), to calculate the emissions factor. In GHG reporting the HHV is the more conservative value as it is always slightly higher or equivalent to the LHV, resulting is a slightly higher (or equivalent) emissions factor than would be calculated by using the LHV. Subsequent EPA releases have explicitly referenced only the HHV.
Biogenic stationary combustion resources are considered 100% biogenic.
Electricity, Steam & Heat
The EPA's eGRID emissions factors for electricity can be found in the Scope 5 WRI Resource Library. Steam and Heat is included in the Selected EPA Hub Tables library.
The EPA's March 2020 update included waste factors from version 15 of the EPA’s WARM tool. These factors can be found in Scope 5’s WARM library.
Refrigerant Blends and Global Warming Potentials (GWPs)
Many of the EPA's Global Warming Potentials (GWPs) and GWPs for Blended Refrigerants (Tables 11 and 12), which use AR4 Global Warming Potentials, are incorporated into custom resource creation and can be selected as an impact. For AR5 GWPs for refrigerants and fugitive gasses, please see the Scope 5 Fugitive Emissions (AR5) library. Please contact us for further help.
Where the Numbers Come From
All factors in the Selected EPA Hub Tables library are sourced directly from the Center for Corporate Climate Leadership GHG Emission Factors Hub. Scope 5 includes the emissions factors from the November 2011, April 2014, November 2015, March 2018 and March 2020 EPA publications.
A Note on Effective Dates
For the 2011-2018 updates, the effective date for each emissions factor set was sourced from the dates indicated by the Source data in the footnotes of the EPA tables when possible. For 2020 and subsequent updates, the first day of the publication year was used as the effective date.
To learn more about the source data of each Conversion Factor Set, roll your cursor over the question mark icon in the library listing of Conversion Factors.
The EPA highlights any changes between versions in red text. For the 2011-2018 updates, Scope 5 added a new conversion factor set only to resources that changed between each of the EPA updates. Beginning with the 2020 update, a new conversion factor set is added to each resource to indicate it has been maintained.
Occasionally, in later publications, the EPA ceases to include resources it historically maintained. For example, the Methanol (CO2) (volume) Retired resource was included in the EPA's 2011 and 2014 release, but excluded thereafter. These resources include Retired as a suffix.
Global Warming Potentials (GWPs)
Following the Greenhouse Gas Protocol recommendation, all Scope 5 standard resource libraries use global warming potentials from the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) as of February 13, 2017. Please note the EPA recommends using AR4 GWPs.