Recently the I-CHANGE partner Techne Consulting, with the collaboration of other partners of the consortium, finalised the report “Apportionment of carbon footprint and greenhouse gases” as one result of the research activity Benchmarking behavioral change: apportionment of carbon and environmental footprint.

The report describes the methodologies applied to compute carbon footprint and short-lived climate forcers emissions using driving forces data gathered within I-CHANGE Living Labs activities and traffic numerical simulations shown in the I-CHANGE report Prototype of fully integrated behavioral simulator (Adnan, M. et al (2023).

As for the carbon footprint calculation, an emission inventory approach has been followed considering the sources of emissions inside the Living Labs’ areas and including electricity consumptions and waste management using CO2 equivalent emissions. To compute CO2 equivalent emissions, specific emission factors in the Living Labs have been used when available, otherwise standard emission factors. A set of short-lived climate forcers and air pollutants were also taken into consideration in the modelling evaluation.

The analysis of the data available at Living Lab level has enabled the identification of the areas of intervention of the Living Labs for which it is possible to define and apply a calculation methodology. These areas are road traffic, energy consumption and waste management. As for road transport, the data about number of vehicles in the road network obtained by traffic simulations has been used as input. Traffic simulations have been conducted for the peak hours and day and, for the purpose of the report, have been scaled to annual mileage utilizing typical factors. In addition, the carbon footprint has been modelled for the residential sector of the Amsterdam Living Lab and the waste management in the Ouagadougou Living Lab.

Finally, the E2GovCmty model has been introduced. The model is a customization of the more general E2Gov model to store data and to evaluate the I-CHANGE carbon and environmental footprint.

Footprint calculation methodology for road traffic

 In regard to road traffic Techne Consulting developed a preliminary evaluation of carbon footprint and other climate forcers in the Living Lab areas of Bologna, Dublin and Hasselt.

In these cities I-CHANGE applied a set of models in an integrated framework to simulate changes in the lifestyles (especially mobility-oriented) (see I-CHANGE project report Prototype of fully integrated behavioral simulator). The number of vehicles in the road network obtained as part of traffic simulations as used as input in order c to test how the adoption of different traffic policies/scenarios would impact on individuals travel behaviour. Traffic simulations have been implemented for the peak hours and day and have been scaled to annual mileage with typical factors.

The annual mileages are modelled for the following vehicles categories:

  • Passenger Cars (PC)
  • Light Duty Vehicles (LDV)
  • Heavy Duty Vehicles (HDV)
  • Buses
  • Motorcycles

Carbon footprints and emissions of pollutants (Nitrogen oxides, Particles with diameter less than 10mm, Sulfur Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Non-methane Volatile Organic Compounds, Ammonia and Black Carbon) were computed.

To compute carbon footprint and emissions of air pollutants from annual mileage, specific emission factors for road traffic were elaborated using, as input, the emission factors of the national or regional emission inventory obtained in collaboration with local Living Labs by local Environmental Protection Agencies. National pollutants and greenhouse gases emission inventories were elaborated in the framework of the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) and are consistent with the IPCC Guidelines in relation to greenhouse gases.

Base cases and the following scenario were then introduced and simulated:

  • Bologna: Scenario 1, Provision of bicycle infrastructure in identified areas and Scenario 2, Introducing Low Emission Zone [LEZ];
  • Dublin: Scenario 1, Provision of bicycle infrastructure in identified areas and Scenario 2, Introducing Low Emission Zone LEZ;
  • Hasselt: Scenario 1, Restricted access to School Streets and Scenario 2, Flexible work hours and Working from home.

In the Figure 1 the carbon footprint on the road networks of the selected Living Labs area is reported for the base cases.


Figure 1: Carbon footprint on the road networks of the selected Living Labs area is reported for the base cases (own elaboration)

The following histograms in Figure 2 show the effect of measures on Black carbon emissions as an example.


Figure 2: Effect of measures on Black carbon emissions on air pollution in the cities of Bologna, Dublin and Hasselt (own elaboration)

Calculation of footprint from energy consumptions

The report introduces a preliminary evaluation of carbon footprint from residential combustion in the Amsterdam area. For this purpose, the E2GovCmty model was used. The tool:

  • evaluates emissions from activities data;
  • uses emission factors from Covenant of Mayors guidelines or specific emission factors in the area of LLs;
  • calculates emissions as the product of activities data and emission factors.

The estimate for Amsterdam residential sector was developed utilizing available statistical data for natural gas and electricity consumptions, national specific net calorific value and CO2 emission factor for natural gas and national specific CO2 emission factor for electricity. The Total carbon footprint in Amsterdam residential sector by neighbourhood (buurt) was computed as shown in Figure 3.


Figure 3: Carbon footprint in Amsterdam residential sector by neighbourhood (buurt) (own elaboration)

Regarding future scenarios, the City of Amsterdam roadmap (City of Amsterdam, 2020) foresees that by 2050, all buildings in the city must be heated sustainably. The focus is thus on replacing natural gas with alternative heat sources (before 2040) and saving energy.

Calculation of footprint from waste management

Techne Consulting also deeloped a preliminary evaluation of carbon footprint from waste management in the Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) area, using data from previous studies.

The methodology for the quantification of emissions in the project is compliant to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol that provides a set of default solid waste types and definitions consistent with IPCC Guidelines. The quantification of Green Houses Gases (GHGs) emissions from solid waste disposal is determined by two main factors: the mass of waste disposed and the amount of Degradable Organic Carbon (DOC) within the waste, depending on waste composition, which determines the methane generation potential.

The IPCC preferred method to determine the composition of the solid waste stream is to undertake a solid waste composition study, using survey data and a systematic approach to analyse the waste stream and determine the waste source (paper, wood, textiles, garden waste, etc.).

The characterization and potential recovery of household solid waste was analysed in a study of Université Ouaga (Haro et al, 2018). The study focused on physical and physicochemical characteristics of Municipal solid waste in the city of Ouagadougou, where two campaigns of characterization were carried out during the year 2017: one in the dry season (February-March) and the other one in the rainy season (July-August).

The population of Ouagadougou was estimated to be about 2,9 million inhabitants in 2017 and, with a rate of waste at 0.62 kg/person/day, the generated MSW in the city of Ouagadougou was estimated to be about 650 Gg annually in 2017.

The experimental composition of waste is elaborated to obtain the input data assumed for the model application and the default parameters from IPCC have been used. The final estimate is of 491.543 Mg for carbon footprint (23.407 Mg/year for CH4 emissions).

Conclusions and next steps

The results obtained in the evaluation of carbon footprint, other climate forcers and air pollutants modelling allow to draw the following conclusions:

  • the proposed measures for road traffic have a reduced impact on the carbon footprint of transport sector and are not very challenging as for the 2030 decarbonisation objective of the European Union (EC, 2020);
  • the effects on emissions of pollutants in the traffic scenarios that introduce a LEZ for vehicles up to Euro 4 in Bologna and Dublin can lead to a non-negligible reduction in pollutant emissions (in particular nitrogen oxides) but are already planned in most cities and are largely insufficient with respect to the challenges that the European Union has launched with the proposal for a new directive on air quality (EC, 2022); the effect on Hasselt of the scenarios is negligible;
  • more generally, all the measures proposed for traffic are not directly oriented towards changing citizens’ individual behaviour, but are more general local traffic planning choices nowadays under testing or already implemented in several European cities. The choice of the policies tested herein was based on the codesign with local stakeholders involved in the three LLs, and are in general aligned with local urban planning strategies.
  • The absence of scenarios from the other LLs regarding waste management and energy consumptions does not allow for the time being to develop scenarios alternative to the baseline reference scenarios; the results presented herein therefore represent a first assessment of the actual situation and must be evaluated by LLs to derive citizens recommendations and cocreate future scenarios.

 As an overall conclusion the methodologies and tools developed in this Deliverable represent a valid support to evaluate concrete actions for behavioural changes and to formulate solid advanced policies using the input data from the LLs.

Data collection from LLs activities represents a continuous process and the methodology and software model implemented herein will be of support to the whole project. The interoperability with the Environmental Impact Hub developed in the project activities will allow in future to improve the results obtained in this work.


City of Amsterdam (2020): New Amsterdam Climate. Amsterdam Climate Neutral Roadmap 2050, February 2020

Haro K., Ouarma I., Nana B., Bere A., Koulidiati J. (2018), Characterization and Potential Recovery of Household Solid Waste in the City of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Journal of Environmental Protection, 2018, 9, 309-324