Our calculations only measure projects with a direct relationship to our finance or investment activities. Given that we are often the principle funder of a project we include 100% of the impact when we co-finance a project. If it is not possible to record 100% of the energy produced by the facilities we finance or invest in, we use estimates based on wind and solar indexes, if applicable, and exclude projects that are still under construction.
We have participated, since the Paris climate summit in 2015, in the Platform Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) which has stipulated a new framework methodology to account for the carbon footprint of loans and investments and we plan to start implementing this attribution approach during 2018. This will give stakeholders a clearer picture of the climate impact that results from our finance.
The calculation of CO2 emission avoidance is made using conversion rates (gram CO2 per kWh energy produced) received from Ecofys, an international energy and climate consultancy bureau. The conversion rates describe, per country, the grams of CO2 avoided when comparing sustainable energy with the mix of all non-sustainable power plants.
To date we have reported the avoided emissions of a total project. In technical jargon, we take a contribution rather than an attribution approach. With multiple loans and investments, and different types of renewable energy technologies and geographies, a contribution approach has been both practical and, we believe, reasonable. As part of an effort to continually improve our impact reporting we intend to include an attribution analysis in the future. This means that we will calculate the avoided emissions as they relate to the proportion of our finance in a project. It’s important to note that an attribution approach leads to lower carbon emission figures than compared to a contribution approach. That is because a contribution approach accounts for all of the emissions from a project rather than a proportion of them.
To calculate the average energy use in kWh per household in the countries where we are active, we use the energy efficiency indicators published by the World Energy Council (WEC), which were updated in May 2016.
The ‘Impact per customer’ calculations used throughout the annual report are based on a total of 681,000 customers at the end of 2017.