Light Goods Freight Defra


This category is deprecated. The latest DEFRA methodology for van-based freighting can be found here.

This category uses the most recent Defra data and advice to calculate emissions from UK large goods road freight. The most accurate way to measure emissions is by fuel use using the Fuel category. But often this data is not available, or, specifically for freight categories, all emissions are not due to the packages being monitored. Therefore, this category allows the user to estimate their greenhouse gas emissions based on the distance travelled and the mass of the freight being transported.

The emission factors used in this category, of kg CO2 per tonne km, were calculated from the emissions factors per vehicle in the Van category and an average load factor of 40% (estimated on the basis of Department for Transport 2005). The average cargo capacity was taken to be 0.6 tonnes for petrol vans up to 1.25 tonnes gross vehicle weight and diesel Class 1 vans, I tonne for Class II diesel vans and taken to be 2 tonnes for vans up to 2.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight.

How to use this category

Use the drill-down fuel to select the type of fuel used from the following options.

  • petrol
  • diesel
  • lpg
  • cng
  • unknown - for unknown fuel type
The second drill-down, size, can then be used to select the size of vehicle, in terms of it's weight. The distance and mass must then be entered as profile item values.


CO2eEmissionFactor = CO2EF + N2OEF + CH4EF

kgCO2e = CO2eEmissionFactor * distance * mass

The result is equivalent CO2 emissions, which includes contributions from carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane emissions.

JTP69ICBS18H cng, up to 3.5t
Y483YP0WL2HK diesel, 1.305t to 1.74t (Class 2)
VI7BOS4HPWK3 diesel, 1.74t to 3.5t (Class 3)
C0KY58YQYNPZ diesel, unknown
ATHG77WLS7HY diesel, up to 1.305t (Class 1)
IC9VA9FW4FBU lpg, up to 3.5t
WBYOGBVAYJNB petrol, up to 1.25t
J7BUYKK146RD unknown, up to 3.5t
Log in to perform calculations on this data
Name: Light_Goods_Freight_Defra
Full path: /transport/van/generic/freight/defra
Parent Category: Van Freight