12 Oct 2023

Explainer Series | Precision and uncertainty in emissions calculation models

Posted in: Measure and Report Emissions

Precision and uncertainty in emissions calculation models

This Explainer report covers the context and concepts of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) accounting and emission calculation model precision, uncertainty, and materiality. It shows:

  • There is a difference between measuring and modelling greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Whilst measuring determines the exact amount of GHG emitted, modelling is a simplification of measuring physical processes.
  • A model requires a single variable activity data multiplied by an emissions factor (EF).
  • Emission factors help us understand the level of greenhouse gases intensity that occurs from certain activities. They have a certain level of accuracy and uncertainty.
  • Toitū sources or develops emission factors additional to those published by government agencies, including to improve accuracy.
  • Carbon accounting might not give a precise representation of GHGs being emitted, but it does equip organisations with vital insights into their climate impact and areas of influence. If it isn’t measured, it cannot be managed.

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