The CO2 Calculator

A tool that estimates the greenhouse gas emissions of individual research labs.

The purpose of the calculator is to estimate the greenhouse gas emissions of the School’s laboratories and core facilities. This tool maps the sources of emissions linked to research, and helps us find solutions to reduce emissions that are tailored to the needs and specifics of each laboratory.

Calculation methodology

The calculator follows the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, the international standard for the estimation of greenhouse gas emissions. The GHG Protocol is divided into three scopes, which contain the emission sources to be assessed:

Scope 1. Direct emissions (mostly on-site combustion of fossil fuels and fugitive emissions).
Scope 2. Indirect emissions (mostly linked to purchased electricity that is used on site).
Scope 3. Other indirect emissions (purchased goods and services, commuting, professional travel, etc.).

The development of this tool is an iterative process. We refine our methodology and scope as new data becomes available. Please contact us if you have any questions about our calculation methodology.

This tool has taken different shapes during its development. The main milestones are described below.

Pilot projects (2019-2021)

In 2020, Zero Emission Group presented the “Carbon accounting” project in the context of Act 4 Change Lab. Eight students were trained by an external company to carry out CO2 assessments of the Cell and Membrane Biology Laboratory and the Time and Segmentation Dynamics Laboratory. The external company also validated the students’ results. The assessment has been synthesized into an executive summary, which also provides recommendations for sustainable laboratory practices. The full report is also available.

Based on this pilot project, we developed an Excel-based CO2 calculator, which was used to evaluate the emissions of approximately ten laboratories and core facilities of the School of Life Sciences.

Online calculator (2022)

We are currently developing an online CO2 calculation tool that will be available to labs of the School of Life Sciences. The tool will simplify data collection and analysis. Data will be used to determine the footprint of the School’s labs and core facilities.

Contact us

Any questions or comments?
Interested in testing the calculator on your lab?
Write to us      

Find us

SV 3811 (SV Building)
Station 19
CH-1015 Lausanne