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User guide: LIPASTO unit emissions database

In the following we provide guidance for using the LIPASTO unit emission factors.
Further calculation examples are provided in Finnish only.


LIPASTO unit emission database covers emission factors for road, rail, waterborne and air transport as well as working machines. Both passenger and freight transport in Finland, and for waterborne and air transport also international traffic to or from Finland, are included. By unit emissions we mean the amount of emissions emitted during operation of vehicles, measured in mass units and allocated to each passenger or tonne of freight transported over one kilometre (e.g. [g/tkm] tai [g/pkm]).

LIPASTO unit emission is an open-access database that can be used for free providing that appropriate referencing is used. Below is a general example of referencing, which can be further specified to reference to a given data table by its title.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. LIPASTO unit emissions -database.
[Accessed 12.4.2017]. Available at: lipasto.vtt.fi/yksikkopaastot/

The method and level of emission calculations is largely determined by the calculation needs and what type of transport data is available. Typical examples of users of LIPASTO unit emissions include:

  • A transport operator wants to calculate emissions caused by their transports. Data available covers vehicle characteristics, transport route distances, measured fuel consumption and amounts of cargo or passengers.
  • A customer of a transport service wants to calculate emissions caused by the transport of a product or person. Data available covers amount of cargo or passengers and transport distance but not vehicle characteristics, total amount of cargo or passengers, actual route or fuel consumption.
  • A thesis worker or citizen wants to calculate and compare alternative means or modes of transport for a given journey. Data available includes amount of cargo or passengers, transport distance and vehicle types as defined for the comparison purposes.
  • Owner of a transport, building or other suchlike project wants to calculate how the project impacts transport emissions. Data available includes estimated changes in transport volumes.

In the most typical case energy consumption and emissions can be calculated using the LIPASTO unit emission database as follows:

  1. Define passenger kilometres [pkm] or tonne kilometres [tkm]. These are calculated as the product of number of passenger or amount of cargo tonnes and transport distance.

  2. Find the most appropriate LIPASTO unit emission data table. The database is structured according to transport modes and passenger and freight transport. The data tables are then given for e.g. various vehicle types, fuels and transport units.

  3. Choose the appropriate energy consumption and unit emission factors from the data table (e.g. [g/pkm] tai [g/tkm]).

  4. Multiply the unit emission factor by passenger- or tonnekilometres.

Data tables can be directly exported to Excel using the link in the right top corner of each data table.

Calculating passenger and tonne kilometres [pkm] / [tkm]

Passenger and tonne kilometres can be calculated in a number of ways depending on the accessible data. For best results, it is recommended that most detailed, accurate data available is used.

  1. On the most detailed level, passenger and tonne kilometres are calculated separately for each trip by multiplying distance travelled [km] by passengers [p] or tonnes of goods [t] transported. Passenger or tonne kilometres for each trip are then summed up. Detailed trip-specific data like this is usually available for transport companies only and it should be taken advantage of. Thus the real trends in energy efficiency can be seen.
  2. When a certain number of passenger [p] or amount of products [t] is transported always to the same destination, passenger or tonne kilometres are calculated by multiplying the all passengers [p] or production [t] by the one-way trip distance [km]. In case of multiple destinations, the passengers or tonnes transported to each destination are multiplied by the corresponding distances and resulting passenger or tonne kilometres are then summed up.
  3. If the number of passengers or freight tonnes transported is not known, passenger or tonne kilometres can be estimated by multiplying average passenger count or load weight by one-way trip distance.

Road transport

Vehicles of a different size (not found in the tables)

LIPASTO unit emission tables on these pages contain figures for only a limited range of vehicle types and vehicle sizes. However, because energy consumption and emissions are to certain extent linearly dependant on the mass of the vehicle, emissions can be estimated for vehicles of other sizes too. The equation for calculating emissions for a freight road vehicle of a different size is shown below. Two vehicle types need to be chosen: one that is heavier (mb) and one that is lighter (ma) than the vehicle (mx) whose emissions are being calculated (mb > mx > ma).

ex = ea + ((eb - ea) / (mb - ma)) x (mx - ma) ,


ex = emissions per vehicle kilometre of vehicle x [g/km]
eb = emissions of vehicle b [g/km]
ea = emissions of vehicle a [g/km]
mx = total mass of vehicle x [t]
mb = total mass of vehicle b [t]
ma = total mass of vehicle a [t]

Unit emission figures for partial loads

LIPASTO unit emission tables give figures for empty and fully loaded vehicles. Additionally, unit emission factor for a somewhat typical partial load is given. However, for more detailed results, the unit emission factor [g/tkm] for a given load [t] should be calculated using tabled unit emission figures for empty and full loaded vehicles. Emissions are practically linearly dependent on the mass of the vehicle and emissions from a vehicle at any load can be calculated as follows:

ex = (ea + ((eb - ea) / lc x lx)) / lx ,


ex = emissions per tonne kilometre with load lx [g/tkm]
eb = emissions per tonne kilometre when full loaded [g/km]
ea = emissions per tonne kilometre when empty [g/km]
lc = carrying capacity [t]
lx = load for vehicle x [t]