About GHG Calculator

Copyright

GHG-Energy Calc, the background papers and educational resources are copyright. They are free to use for non-commercial purposes. Commercial use is limited to paid subscribers, who can access detailed databases and spreadsheets that facilitate auditing for commercial purposes. Commercial subscribers also have the right to have the Calculator and resources on their websites.

History

The GHG-Energy Calc project started in 2002 when Author and environmental professional Ben Rose became convinced that global warming is the most serious environmental issue ever to face humanity. He decided to estimate his own energy use and greenhouse emissions with a view to ‘making a difference’, at least on a personal level. It soon became evident that the use of cars, air travel, electricity and also consumption of food, goods and housing by individuals in the world's affluent communities (e.g. us) accounts for most of the world’s greenhouse emissions.
It became a large project as he gradually uncovered the complexities of emissions factors and embodied emissions. Embodied emissions factors for Australian goods and services did not exist at the time, so estimates were calculated from the primary emission factors published by the Australian Department of Climate Change and from embodied energy and Life Cycle Analysis literature published on the Internet.

Friends and colleagues showed interest in the project and wanted to know their own emissions. After hundreds of hours of tedious research, the first version of the Calculator was posted on the Warren Renewable Energy Group website in 2003. It was soon followed by a more user-friendly version, with pull-down menus, programmed in Delphi by fellow renewable energy buff Steve Grabham. The interest generated encouraged them to develop the product and GHG-Energy Calc was born. Four major updates have been produced; the latest, Version 5 was uploaded to this site in December 2009. It features pull-down windows for calculating flight distances, building additions and external items. A paper outlining the research behind GHG-Energy Calc v5 (GHG-Energy Calc Background Paper) can be downloaded from this site.

There was a great leap in awareness of global warming issues in 2006, with the release of several documentaries and of course Al Gore's film 'An Inconvenient Truth'. Suddenly CO2e auditing was no longer a strange eccentric pastime. Almost overnight it became of vital interest to concerned citizens from all walks of life. This has coincided with the Government mandating reporting of energy and emissions by large industries. The Author has delivered many Power Point presentations to community and industry groups.

Links with other Organisations

The increasing demand for up to date emissions reduction information from both community and commercial users has led to the development of this website. For example the WA Government Living Smart http://www.livingsmart.org.au public awareness program has used the Calculator to provide participants with a holistic tool for estimating their household emissions. Days of Change http://daysofchange.org a web-based program in which people and organizations pledge to reduce their emissions, has also used GHG-Energy Calc. Tweed Shire has the free booklet ‘How to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions…’ on their website.

Subscribers pay an annual subscription for the right to use the Calculators and auditing tools for commercial purposes and have GHG-Energy Calc on their own website. The authors endeavour to post updated versions of the resources on the website annually or when there are significant changes in emission factors due to improved low emissions technology.