Added: API version, data versioning, AR6 calculation method, audit_trail feature, ‘year’ logic, add-on endpoints, /unit-types endpoint, construction materials embodied emission factors
Updated: data quality flags, currency rates, data explorer, cloud computing endpoint, selector specification, improved factors, unit_type string categorisation
After a short break for easter egg hunting, we’re back with a major update, including a new API version (Beta4), data versioning capability, new logic for handling years, the AR6 calculation method, and many other changes & improvements. Here are a few of the major highlights.
We are excited to introduce Beta4, our latest API version, featuring improved performance and new capabilities. Upgrade your implementation now to get access to the latest enhancements. More details about the new features can be found below.
We recommend migrating to the new API version promptly, as older versions will no longer be supported and will soon be deprecated. If you are a Developer or Enterprise plan customer, please contact us if you require any assistance.
For all API updates, including breaking changes and specific migration instructions please see our migration guide.
The database underpinning Climatiq is frequently updated. New emission factors are regularly added, and existing factors are modified for various reasons, such as when a source publishes errata, new data quality flags are applied to existing emission factors, or when changes are made to a factor's metadata like activity_id or source_lca_activity value.
Updates like these often necessitate changes in your application. Therefore, we are now introducing the concept of data versioning, which allows you to choose when to opt-in to such changes, providing greater control over emission factors and data quality used in your calculations.
Our data versioning approach ensures that users can maintain stability in their applications while still having the option to access the most recent and accurate data when needed.
Please note that data versioning only applies to /estimate and /batch endpoints that require users to provide an emission selector in the API request. Endpoints like Cloud Computing, Intermodal Freight, Flights, and other advanced calculation endpoints that do not require a selector, will be automatically updated with the latest data version without user involvement.
For a detailed explanation of these changes and their implications, please refer to our data versioning guide.
This past March, the IPCC published their Sixth Assessment Report covering Climate Change in 2023. Throughout almost 8,000 pages, the AR6 goes into detail on the deep impacts we’re seeing as a result of rising greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
They’ve also included an updated calculation method, which we’ve added as a default for sources that provide AR6 data. For information on calculation methods, see our co2e calculation documentation.
This update introduces customisable audit trails for calculations, which are invaluable for audit tracing and reporting compliance. Audit trails are used with our advanced endpoints, such as freight shipping, cloud computing, and classification.
Users can now control the visibility of these trails, enabling them for audit or record-keeping purposes. By default, audit trails will be turned off. If you're a user of these advanced endpoints and would like to access this capability, please contact us for more information.
We have implemented a new logic for handling years in emission factors. Previously, the year attribute corresponded to the publication year of the data source. Now, it accurately represents the year the data source deems most valid for the emission factor.
We’ve made changes to how we handle data quality flags in our calculations to align with current best practices and enhance the overall data quality. We kept the old default flags for those who still use them, but we have now introduced a new method.
Going forward, we won’t include emission factors flagged for certain types of data quality issues in calculations unless the user specifies them in the API request. For which data quality flags have been affected, see our beta4 migration guide.
Our Cloud Computing, Classifications and Custom Activities endpoints are now available as add-ons as part of our paid Developer or Enterprise plans, much like our Intermodal Freight endpoint. Please contact us if you are interested in using these features.
We have switched our source for monetary exchange rates to the UN treasury, improving the accuracy and reliability of our currency exchange data. As a result, you will see some changes in the CO2e currency-related endpoints as the new rates are implemented.
We’ve revamped our data explorer homepage to make it easier for you to find relevant emission factors. You can now access emission factors by featured sectors and categories directly from the new homepage, as well as see the most popular factors in our database.
We’ve also added new pages for individual activities and emission factors. These pages display in-depth information about our data at-a-glance.
See the full data release log here.
We are proud to announce that our intermodal API endpoint has achieved GLEC (Global Logistics Emissions Council) certification! As a globally recognised standard, GLEC ensures precise and consistent calculations of logistics emissions across supply chains. With this accreditation, you can confidently rely on the results from Climatiq's calculation engine for accurate, reliable results, suitable for audits, reports, and sharing with third parties—increasing their impact both within and beyond your organisation.
We've also created a video guide to assist you in getting started. Check it out here:
We've enhanced our cloud storage, cpu, and memory endpoints by incorporating location-specific electricity data for more precise calculations. These endpoints now utilise region-specific electricity emission factors for each data centre, instead of basing emissions solely on storage, CPU, or memory consumption. For added customisation, you can also override the power usage effectiveness and the emission factor used, giving you even more control..
We've added new pages for each sector, category, and region on the Data Explorer to make browsing related factors easier and give you a better understanding of the data available. Here are some examples:
As our dataset continues to expand, we'll be introducing additional pages in the coming weeks to cover every aspect of the data.
The new source_dataset field has been added to all emission factors, now available alongside the source field in endpoints. This enhancement simplifies the identification and querying of specific datasets you're interested in, particularly when sources release multiple datasets.
In addition, we've added a new endpoint: emission-factors/source-dataset to help you explore the datasets issued by the sources available in Climatiq.
We have a number of new datasets and updates for you:
Calculate emissions from credit card spend
In addition to industry codes ISIC and NACE, we are now able to provide estimates based on Merchant Category Codes (MCCs), which are used to classify financial transactions globally. Simply hand up the code and the amount spent and a footprint will be provided for anywhere in the world and in most major currencies.
All-new cloud compute endpoint including embodied and dynamic power usage calculations
We’ve released a new computing endpoint, where you can input a specific virtual machine instance you’re renting, and get back a combined estimate for both the emissions and electricity consumption for the memory and cpu used, and also an embodied emissions for the underlying hardware.
GCP, AWS and Azure are supported with default values. If you have more details from your cloud provider, you can provide custom details such as average vCPU utilisation (load), specific power utilization efficiency (PUE) or electricity emissions factor (either from the Climatiq dataset or one uploaded by you).
Note that this feature is in alpha and therefore subject to change. Please do get in touch if you'd like to learn more about the feature.
Automated mapping tool now accepts data by API
Our custom activity mapper can now accept your taxonomy via an API endpoint. This allows you to send your (or your clients') internal categorisation to our activity mapping dashboard, where you can then view suggestions to map these labels to Climatiq activity IDs.
Self-reported emission factors now supported
We have added a "self-reported" flag, both as part of our updated compute endpoint above (for example we have included Google's electricity emission factors for use in estimating cloud emissions), and to pave the way for increasingly granular emission factors provided directly from companies - particularly useful for supply-chain assessment. If there is any particular data you would like to see (or to disclose your company’s data in our database) please get in touch.
Please note that emission factors with this flag will not be used in API responses by default due to their nature of the emission factor; these will need to be explicitly allowed to appear in requests using the allowed_data_quality_flags parameter.
Other improvements and fixes
We have released a number of new datasets and updates, including:
After running the alpha through a thorough testing program, including hundreds of thousands of real-world tests in numerous client implementations, the intermodal logistics endpoint is ready for prime-time. It's fast and powerful, allowing you to get GLEC-compliant emission estimates broken down by leg and by use-phase and upstream emissions. Just provide two locations on the globe, a cargo weight and nominate a form of travel. The rest - from plotting routes to selection of most likely ports to electing GLEC-compliant emission factors - is done for you.
But that's not the end of the story; while the endpoint can give you a valid, fully transparent answer from minimal inputs, it can also accept a huge amount of more granular data as well: cargo types (e.g. chilled or unchilled), vehicle types (e.g. van or heavy goods vehicle), specific transport nodes for any given leg - all this and more can be accepted to provide ever-more accurate estimations. For an example of what it can do, check out the announcement with our partner Celonis.
Note that this feature is a paid add-on to the standard API subscription - please do get in touch if you'd like to trial or learn more about the feature.
We’ve given our Data Explorer an overhaul - emission factors are now grouped by their emission-generating activity, giving you more comprehensive search results over a range of activities when searching through the emission factors available in the API. In addition to this, our search algorithm has been completely revamped. While using the Data Explorer and the /search endpoint, you will see fewer, but much better results for any given query.
If you have ever attempted to assess emissions generated from electricity usage, you know it's not as straightforward as it might appear - there are a vast variety of emission factors and even more ways that they can or should be applied. So as a first step in helping people use the API to navigate their way through this, we have published a guide - the first in a series of guides on emission factor selection.
We have released a number of new datasets and expanded the range of several more to cover either retrospective years or the latest up-to-date factors:
The first iteration of our automatic activity mapping is here! This upgrades our activity mapping feature to provide suggestions as to what the appropriate Climatiq activity ID might be for your data. Simply add (singly or as a bulk upload) whatever labels you use for emission-releasing activities or consumption categories and then let our suggester find an ID to suit; in this first release you can filter results by source or unit type. Then simply accept the suggested activity ID for each, or find alternatives via the explorer. Once mapped, you can hand up your custom-defined activity label along with the appropriate parameters (kg of material purchased, kWh consumed, kilometres travelled, amount spent etc) to our /custom-activity endpoint to get a valid estimation back. Then relax - you never need worry about mapping your activities or material categories again - unless you add more! You can create multiple different mappings - they are unique per project, simply make sure you are using an API key associated to the correct project when you perform estimations.
Note that this feature is in alpha and will see significant performance improvements soon. We welcome feedback - please do get in touch if you've got feedback or like to learn more about the feature, upcoming improvements and how you can incorporate it into your build.
Climatiq now provides another piece of the puzzle for assessing cloud-based infrastructure: the embodied emissions associated with the equipment used to run cloud services via Azure, GCP or AWS. These factors allow you to estimate the impact of these embodied emissions, expressed per CPU-hour so that you can attribute back to your usage just as can be done with the emissions associated with the usage of cloud infrastructure from these three providers.
We have released a number of new datasets and expanded the range of several more to cover either retrospective years or the latest up-to-date factors:
We are very pleased to announce the launch of the first live use-case of our intermodal freight/logistics endpoint with our design partner, Celonis. This endpoint is now supplying road, sea and air route determination and GLEC-compliant CO2e estimations globally, as well as rail routes in Europe, to a range of live implementations - please get in touch if you would like to trial.
Two new data quality flags have been introduced: partial_factor to identify factors whose CO2e value represents only part of the emissions (typically CO2 only) and suspicious_homogeneity to highlight where we have detected potential boundary issues in the presentation of several factors. These and the existing flags can now be included in queries, allowing you to filter them in or out using a new allowed_data_quality_flags selector. Some flags are allowed by default in your queries to avoid backward compatibility issues. We recommend you read the data quality guide and the API reference and determine what sort of data quality issues you’re okay with accepting in your estimates; you will also see these flags highlighted and explained in the Data Explorer.
You may have noticed that things are being updated in the Data Explorer. This month we have released a number of tweaks to help browse emission factors and make understanding and performing API calls even easier. The most obvious is the new code snippets which are now present in each emission factor - simply click on the tab at the bottom of the factor and you can see exactly how to make an estimate using curl, including both request and response (with appropriate selectors and sample parameters).
A little while ago we announced our partnership with ecoinvent, one of the world's most comprehensive environmental datasets. These data now live in the Data Explorer right alongside the rest of the sources available in Climatiq. Note that access to ecoinvent data requires a paid license - get in touch with us if you like to know more about key environmental datasets like ecoinvent.
Our activity mapping tool now allows batch uploading, meaning you can add a full schema of custom activity labels mapped to Climatiq activity_ids in one go, and start making calls based on your own taxonomy. Stay tuned for more updates to our mapping capabilities, as we are working hard to develop some great new the tricky task of mapping activity data to emission factors.
We now have batch endpoints for the different compute endpoints including memory, CPU and storage. This is handy if you need to perform many computations at once. In other computing endpoint news, the computing metadata endpoint is now out of alpha - you can rely on it being stable between versions now.
We're very pleased to announce that the excellent work our science team do week in, week out is now front and centre in the Data Explorer! Where we have detected a data anomaly, there will now be an alert displayed and an explainer to tell you more about the issue found. Of course, these flags are available in the API so you can listen for them in your implementation.
Our GLEC-compliant freight endpoint (currently in alpha) is now able to route-plan intermodal logistics for road, sea and air. Just put in a geolocation (long/lat, postcode, city name, full address, or just a search query) and select your mode and let the endpoint do the rest. It will plot the route to the nearest port or airport and provide emissions estimates broken down by each leg, including scope 1 and 3 emissions. Just let us know if you'd like to join the alpha.
We're constantly improving our documentation based on your feedback - and after a few calls with users to understand how we can better describe the way LCA activity is handled by the API, we've updated our how-to guide.
You never go very far in the world of emissions assessment without hearing the term "ecoinvent". We've been working with the ecoinvent team to make the huge array of emission factors in their v3.8 dataset available to you via Climatiq's lightning-fast, distributed infrastructure so that you can embed the world's most widely-used materials/life-cycle emissions dataset right into the heart of your decision-making. You will be able to browse the dataset soon via our data explorer; in the meantime, just get in touch with us if you are interested in getting these data into your project.
Those familiar with our flights endpoint already know that it's fantastically helpful to have distance calculations taken care of. Now we're very pleased to be going into alpha with an intermodal version that will estimate road and sea freight emissions from and to any location in the world - whether you have coordinate, city name, postcode or any other type of address or location information. Compliant with the Global Logistics Emissions Council and, logistics movements are estimated in realtime incorporating factors such as traffic data, allowable routes, vehicle/vessel size, road gradient and plenty more. Please get in touch if you are interested in joining the alpha group trialling this new functionality.
Cloud Carbon Footprint (CCF) have released data for 2022 and we've now transformed this into nearly 700 emission factors to help bring your cloud computing measurements bang up to date.
The AIB has also released their 2022 national electricity grid factors for European nations.
Many of you have told us that while the datasets available in the API meet the majority of needs, sometimes there are specific emission factors that are needed for your project that can't be shared publicly - say a licensed dataset or footprints provided from suppliers. So we're very pleased to announce a new feature, available as an add-on to our Corporate or Commercial tier: Private Emission Factors. This feature allows you to add any emission factors to a secure environment via an uploader in our dashboard, making them available to you right alongside any of the currently available emission factors in our /estimate, /batch and /search endpoints. Contact us for more information on getting access to this feature.
We're delighted to announce that the default emission factors from the Global Logistics Emission Council (GLEC) Framework are now available via the Climatiq API. These are ready to use in your freight logistics estimations from today. Stay tuned for more on this front, as logistics is going to be a big focus for the next few months (grab me or one of the team if you want to learn more).
Here they are! Note that, as with any annual data update, any queries that are not specifically calling 2021 will automatically update to use 2022 data. As well as updating their existing factors based on the latest data available, BEIS have for the first time included emission factors for estimating homeworking emissions.
You can now specify a region_fallback boolean for the custom activity, classification and estimate endpoints selector. If this boolean is set to true and your initial estimate fails to find an emission factor specific to the country or region provided, Climatiq will automatically broaden your region to factors with the same ID mapped to regions the country falls within (for example Tanzania → Africa → Global) until it finds a compatible emission factor.
Data quality issues found by our science and data team are now highlighted within API responses. Climatiq has a tiered approach to handling of data quality issues; where emission factors are considered statistical outliers or otherwise seriously problematic, they are not included in the API. However, where the issues are less serious we include the datapoints to provide consistency with the source data, and provide a data_quality_flags in the response. Current flags are erroneous_calculation and notable_methodological_variance; details about the issues detected will be outlined in the description field of the emission factor in question. More details about this feature can be found in our how-to guide and in the data guidance of the OEFDB.
Speaking of how-to guides, we've overhauled our guides page with a new look and feel and added a couple of new guides in addition to the data quality guide above:
The data explorer has been updated to make it even easier to find the emission factor you need, with an update to filters allowing for selection of multiple categories at a time and regions now returning any sub-region of a country that you have filtered to (for example all US states will be returned if you filter to US rather than just US-wide factors).
After having to keep things very hush-hush we can now officially announce that Climatiq is one of just 50 launch apps on Stripe's brand new App Marketplace (announced 24th May). Our Emissions Calculator app allows any stripe merchant to assess the impact of every sale (and their entire sales history) based on GHG Protocol and EPA emission factors. We're very excited to be helping Stripe merchants understand their impact, as well as prompt action through Stripe's carbon removal fund.
As well as this, we now support over 30 currencies, which will be converted in real-time for spend-based emission estimates.
We also released a number of improvements to our API error handling, including better descriptions of errors to help you understand what might have gone wrong.
Reminder: remember to cut over to the new search endpoint if you haven't already - we will soon be deprecating the emission factors endpoint to provide a much lighter (and more sustainable!) way of assessing the availability of factors.
...all of which takes us past 12,000 datapoints!🚀
We have added the ability to map your own custom taxonomies to Climatiq emission factors right in our dashboard. Just click on the Activity Mapping tool in the dashboard and once you have mapped your taxonomy to emission factor IDs, the custom activities endpoint will accept your own IDs as selectors in API calls. You can have different maps for each of your projects, giving you plenty of flexibility.
A new classifications endpoint has in now in alpha. This endpoint allows you to hand up industry codes (in this first release ISIC4 and NACE2) to the API, meaning activities can be automatically classified and estimated. In addition, as these codes map to each other via the UN correspondence tables, factors that aren't directly mapped to the code passed up can be automatically selected to ensure the most valid estimates are returned. There'll be more classifications to come soon, including NAICS and CPC, making it increasingly easy to get the best emission factor automatically - please do get in touch if there is a particular classification you would be interested in seeing supported.
The new search endpoint was released to replace the deprecated list emission factors endpoint to provide a much lighter way of assessing the availability of factors (please do move to the search endpoint if you are still using the list factors endpoint).
Since our last release notes we have:
Only rarely do we ship "versioned" releases, preferring to release continuously to prioritise getting our data and tools into your hands. However in this instance we have a range of exciting updates which involved the potential to break or interfere with existing implementations. Before we get to the details of the release, it's worth mentioning that we have published a handy migration guide to step you through switching from v2 to v3 - and don't worry, v2 will remain supported while you do. We intend for this to be the last beta release before we go into full production.
There's a lot there, so plenty of additions have been made to the docs page to help take advantage of the new functionality, including as mentioned the handy migration guide (note you can switch back to the v2 docs page using the selector in the sidebar).
We hope you had a chance to take some time to reflect on the past 12 months and to revive as we go into a huge year for tackling the climate crisis - 2022 feels make-or-break.
Here at Climatiq, while we’ve relished the chance to take stock, we haven’t slowed; we’re starting 2022 with a bang by announcing the addition of almost 400 spend-based EPA emission factors to the API. Having a dry January? Why not find out how much carbon you’re saving - now according to data release by either the UK or the US government.
There’s a very serious side to this of course - assessing supply chain emissions is a huge problem for companies, and while spend-based data isn’t perfect, in many cases it’s the only viable way of reporting. As such, the UK and US data will soon be joined by the high-level global numbers used by the GHG Protocol scope 3 calculator.
Want to make sure these numbers are comparable? We’ve got you covered: the Climatiq API provides currency conversion on the fly, based on the average rate of the year the emission factor was reported.
That’s not all of course - as ever, there’s a range of data and functionality additions since our last release communication, which you may already be using. In case you missed them:
Led by feedback from you, our beta community, this release includes a bundle of exciting updates. There's lots of detail on what has been updated and why in our release blog post, but here are the key things to know. We've:
These updates represent a significant improvement in both technical usability and in data quality and robustness. Above all, it sets us up for fast iteration in both including new emission factor data (look out for spend-based scope 3 factors soon) and rapid development of features in the API.
To take advantage of the new features and dataset you will need to update your queries based on the new version of the implementation docs available at docs.climatiq.io (but don't worry we still support the old version, so nothing will break).