The CO2 Calculator

Our calculator aims to estimate the CO2 emissions of the laboratories and research core facilities of the School. This tool helps us to assess the sources of pollution in order to implement emission reduction solutions adapted to the specificities of each laboratory.

The CO2 Calculator project was born out of a pilot project collaboration with Zero Emission Group, Quantis and EPFL Sustainability. This work has enabled the establishment of a carbon accounting methodology for laboratories.

In 2021, a dozen laboratories and pilot platforms have volunteered to evaluate their CO2 emissions.

In the long term, the calculator should allow us to monitor the evolution of the climate impact of our research activities.

The calculator follows the Greenhouse Gas Protocol methodology which classifies emissions according to three scopes:

The first scope corresponds to direct CO2 emissions. In our school, these emissions are generated among others by the CO2 taps, the gas boiler, or the refrigerant leaks from the cold storage equipment.

The second scope covers indirect emissions related to electrical equipment, lighting and heating. The calculator considers the laboratory’s equipment and the amount of usage to obtain the associated emissions in CO2-equivalent. The electrical consumption due to heating and lighting is also considered, according to the surface of the laboratory. In order to refine our factors, we have started to install electricity consumption meters on various key devices in the faculty.

The third scope refers to all other indirect emissions such as commuting, business travel, purchasing and waste. We first consider the emissions from the “Beginning of Life” (BOL) and “End of Life” (EOL) of the devices. In cases where data is not available, a mass factor is applied.

An important part of the emissions of a laboratory is often linked to the consumables the laboratory uses. The amount of plastic consumed by the laboratory is therefore considered.

Commuting and business trips are often the largest sources of CO2 emissions in a laboratory. Eating habits at the workplace are also part of scope 3 emissions.

This makes it possible to account for all emissions in their different forms and to summarize them as a global CO2 amount per laboratory.

Contact us

Questions or suggestions? Do you want your lab or core facility to take part in the project?  write to us!

Project manager:
Joan Suris
[email protected]

Calculator Development manager:
Alexis Chanel
[email protected]

How to find us

EPFL SV-DO
SV 3811 (Bâtiment SV)
Station 19
CH-1015 Lausanne