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Calculating the greenhouse gas emissions of Finnish municipalities

The greenhouse gas emissions of Finnish municipalities have been calculated with a model called ALas. This site describes the ALas model’s calculation principles.

The Finnish Environment Institute SYKE calculates the annual greenhouse gas emissions of Finnish municipalities by using the ALas model (Alueellinen Laskenta, regional calculation). ALas 1.1 – covers 310 municipalities and the years 2005–2018. The model is updated as necessary, and the most recent results are published annually. The carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emissions, as well as F-gases, are calculated and the results are presented as carbon dioxide equivalents. With regard to carbon dioxide, bio-based fuels have zero emissions in the calculations. The energy consumption of various operations is also calculated, in addition to the emissions.

The calculation method of the ALas model is usage-based. The region’s production-based emissions act as the starting point, but some operations that generate emissions are calculated based on consumption, regardless of their geographical area of origin. In broad terms, the calculation is similar to the basic level of GHG Protocol’s GPC standard, with agriculture, F-gases and grid losses included, but without the local air service included in the standard.

The table below presents the ALas 1.1 model’s emission sectors and their calculation principles. Hinku calculation (of the Towards Carbon Neutral Municipalities project) is the default calculation approach for monitoring municipal emissions. The Hinku calculation rules imply that the following aspects are excluded from municipal emissions:

  • fuel usage of industrial plants that are part of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS),
  • all industrial electricity consumption,
  • emissions from industrial waste treatment,
  • drive-through traffic of trucks, vans and buses.

Additionally, emission compensations are calculated for the municipality for any wind power produced in the region, based on the annual electricity emission factor.

In the ALas model, all results are also produced without the Hinku calculation rules. Furthermore, the emissions are allocated in the emission trading and effort sharing sectors.

Corrections with heating degree days are not used to even out the differences between different years or municipalities. The benefit allocation method is used to calculate the emissions of combined heat and power plants.

ALas 1.1 does not include the following sectors:

  • Air traffic
  • Foreign boat traffic
  • Ice breakers
  • Industrial processes
  • LULUCF.

ALas 1.1 model’s emission sectors and calculation principles

Emission sector Calculation principle Hinku calculation Notes
District heat – ETS Consumption Yes Municipal production + purchase - sales
Subsectors: residential, services, industry, agriculture.
District heat – non-ETS Consumption Yes
Oil heating Territorial Yes Subsectors: residential, services, industry, agriculture.
Electric heating Consumption Yes Finnish average electricity, monthly emission factor. 
Subsectors: residential, services, industry, agriculture.
Ground source heat pumps Consumption Yes
Wood heating Territorial Yes Separate heating. Subsectors: residential, services, industry, agriculture.
Other heating Territorial Yes Gas, heavy fuel oil, peat, coal; separate heating.
Subsectors: residential, services, industry, agriculture.
Consumption electricity Consumption Yes Finnish average electricity.
Subsectors: residential, services, industry, agriculture.
Consumption electricity – industry Consumption No
Cars Consumption Yes

Annual mileage of vehicles registered in the municipality, regardless of municipal borders. 

Subsectors: roads and streets.

Motorcycles and mopeds Consumption Yes
Busses – drive-through Territorial No Mileage of vehicles registered in other municipalities, in the area under study.
Subsectors: roads and streets.
Vans – drive-through Territorial No
Trucks – drive-through Territorial No
Busses Territorial Yes Territorial emissions with drive-through traffic subtracted = “Own road traffic”
Subsectors: roads and streets.
Vans Territorial Yes
Trucks Territorial Yes
Rail traffic Territorial Yes Metros, trams, commuter and passenger trains; electricity and diesel. Freight trains; electricity and diesel.
Water traffic Territorial Yes Boats, passenger and cruise ships, cargo ships, fishing vessels, work boats and ferries.
Industry – ETS Territorial No Industry fuel use. Electricity generation and district heat sold outside are excluded.
Industry – non-ETS Territorial Yes
Machinery Territorial Yes Construction, mining and industrial, road and street, agricultural and forestry and other machinery.
F-gases Territorial Yes Commercial refrigeration, air-conditioning of buildings and vehicles, other sources
Agriculture Territorial Yes Enteric fermentation, manure management and cultivation; inorganic and organic fertilizers, soil emissions, other.
Waste treatment Consumption Yes Amount of waste generated in the municipality, regardless of the treatment site. Subsectors: Landfills, wastewater treatment, composting and anaerobic digestion; industrial and municipal waste.
Industrial waste Consumption No
Compensations Territorial Yes Wind power produced in the region; calculated by the annual emission factor for average Finnish electricity.

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More information

  • Senior Specialist Johannes Lounasheimo, SYKE, firstname.lastname@syke.fi (greenhouse gas emissions)
  • Researcher Santtu Karhinen, SYKE, firstname.lastname@syke.fi (road traffic)
  • Researcher Hannu Savolainen, SYKE, firstname.lastname@syke.fi (rail and water traffic)
  • Coordinator Tommi Forsberg, SYKE, firstname.lastname@syke.fi (F-gases)
  • Senior Research Scientist Jouko Petäjä, SYKE, firstname.lastname@syke.fi (landfills)
Published 2020-04-14 at 9:20, updated 2020-11-26 at 10:46
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