Carbon Footprinting

Carbon footprinting is used by ports to determine emissions sources, track emission trends, and provides data that allows ports to focus efforts to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A carbon footprint is the given amount of GHG emissions an individual, organisation or event directly or indirectly releases over a measured period of time.

Whether the measurements are kept to emissions from their own landside operations or extended to monitor emissions of ships and other equipment outside their own boundaries, this methodology is useful in identifying and creating an effective carbon management strategy to reduce port GHG emissions.

Developing such a footprint is a valuable tool in monitoring emissions both on the lands in terms of port equipment , but also in terms of ships and other equipment outside of the immediate boundaries of ports.

With a comprehensive data set, a port can create a carbon management strategy and implement it in a measurable way to tangibly reduce port GHG emissions.

IAPH worked together with a number of ports to develop guidance for carbon footprinting in terms of inventory methods and measurement. A document was developed following a collaborative process undertaken by several North American and European ports which had a common interest in sharing knowledge and methods related to the planning and development of carbon footprint inventories.

The document, which was written in 2010, has been compiled with Port of Los Angeles as lead port with support from many other ports and the industry :

Carbon Footprinting Guidance


Online Carbon Footprint Calculators

In addition to the Guidance document, the Port of Los Angeles developed an online tool and made it available to ports interested in making their own carbon inventory calculation. It works on three levels.

Scopes 1 & 2 CO2 Calculator
This calculator focuses on Scopes 1 & 2 Port-related municipal sources and utilizes a simplified fuel consumption-based approach and energy consumption. Fuels included are diesel, gasoline, natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), compressed natural gas (CNG), biodiesel, and ethanol. Grid powered energy consumption is input as well. Users provide fuel and energy consumption values for the various Scopes 1 & 2 sources.

Scope 1 – Port Direct Sources. These sources are directly under the control and operation of the port administration entity and include port-owned fleet vehicles, port administration owned or leased vehicles, buildings/stationary sources (e.g., boilers, furnaces, etc.), port-owned and operated cargo handling equipment and harbor craft (to the extent the port is an operating port), port employee vehicles and any other emissions sources that are owned and operated by the port administrative authority.

Scope 2 – Port Indirect Sources. These sources include port purchased electricity for port administration owned buildings and operations. Tenant power and energy purchases are not included in this Scope.

Scope 3 – This carbon footprint calculator focuses on  sources typically associated with port tenant operations. Scope 3 sources covered in this calculator include ocean-going vessels (container and non-container vessels), harbor craft, inland waterway vessels, cargo handling equipment, container trains and container trucks. The calculator estimates CO2 emissions based on specifications made for ocean transit as well as specifications for a departure port and a receiving port. Fuel consumptions associated for each source category are also estimated in this calculator.

The calculator estimates CO2 emissions and allows for comparing existing or baseline conditions to user-developed emission reduction scenarios utilizing various control strategies (primarily switching fuel types and technologies such as hybrids and electric). The calculator is provided in English Unit and Metric Unit versions following the links below.

Please note that this public versions provides the user with  full use of the calculator. However it does not permit the saving of entered information or results. Results can be printed for retention or comparison purposes.

Click here for Scope 1 + 2 calculatorClick here for Scope 3 calculator