Managing quality in the finnish greenhouse gas inventory
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Managing Quality in the Finnish Greenhouse Gas Inventory. Leena Raittinen, Statistics Finland Q2008 Conference, Rome 10 July 2008. Contents. Greenhouse gas inventories in brief Finland’s national system for GHG inventory preparation and reporting Defining quality Process approach

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Managing Quality in the Finnish Greenhouse Gas Inventory

Leena Raittinen, Statistics FinlandQ2008 Conference, Rome10 July 2008


  • Greenhouse gas inventories in brief

  • Finland’s national system for GHG inventory preparation and reporting

  • Defining quality

  • Process approach

    • Inventory process

    • QA/QC process

  • Experiences and conclusions

Leena Raittinen, Statistics Finland

Industrial countries that are parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Kyoto Protocol must prepare annual national GHG inventories that cover emissions and removals of direct anthropogenic GHGs from six sectors and for all years from the base year or period up to the most recent year (x-2).

EU members have reporting obligations also under the EU GHG monitoring mechanism.

  • Energy

  • Industrial processes

  • Solvent and other product use

  • Agriculture

  • Land-use change and Forestry

  • Waste

Greenhouse gas inventories in brief

CO2, CH4, N2O,HFC’s, PFC’s and SF6

1990/1995 - 2006

Leena Raittinen, Statistics Finland

Importance of inventories

  • The GHG inventory is an essential link between science and policy-making in climate change mitigation.

  • The inventory produces the information needed in assessing

    • the effectiveness of the measures taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and

    • the advancement of each party in fulfilling the obligations to the Convention.

  • Accurate, consistent and internationally comparable data on GHG emissions are essential for the international community to take the most appropriate action to mitigate climate change, and ultimately to achieve the objective of the Convention:

“…stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.”

Leena Raittinen, Statistics Finland

Requirements for reporting

To promote the provision of credible and consistent GHG information, the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC has developed standardised requirements for reporting national inventories.

  • Strict reporting format - inventory submissions comprise two parts:

    • Common reporting format (CRF) tables - a series of standardised data tables containing mainly numerical information, submitted electronically.

    • National inventory report (NIR) - a comprehensive description of the methodologies used in compiling the inventory, the data sources, the institutional structures and quality assurance and quality control procedures.

  • Strict timelines - schedule of reporting:

    • EC Commission preliminary data by 15 January, final data by 15 March

    • UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol by 15 April each year

    • 6 weeks delay ==> loss of eligibility to use Kyoto Mechanisms!

  • Strict requirements on methodologies:

    • The inventories are based on IPCC methodologies and guidelines, which include requirements on QA/QC, uncertainty estimation, etc.

Leena Raittinen, Statistics Finland

Greenhouse Gas Inventory, based on the

Statistics Act, protocols, agreements

and contracts

Finnish Forest




data sources










Land-use change


and forestry


Annual Inventory


Statistics Finland

submissions to EU,

trading registry

National Entity

UNFCCC and Kyoto

Energy, Industrial processes









Advisory Board:

Relevant ministries, the Energy Market Authority,

Finnish Environment Institute, Finnish Forest Research

Institute and Agrifood Research Finland

Finland’s national system for GHG inventory preparation and reporting

Leena Raittinen, Statistics Finland

Quality management is implemented in a structured way

  • The inventory unit (Statistics Finland) bears the responsibility and has the resources for the co-ordination of the quality management measures for the parties of the national system and for the quality management of the GHG inventory at the national level.

  • The expert organisations contributing to the production of emission or removal estimates are responsible for the quality of their own inventory calculations.

  • Quality co-ordinator steers and facilitates the QA/QC process.

  • Experts of all calculation sectors implement and document the QA/QC procedures.

  • Issues related to QA/QC are discussed in

    • the meetings of the inventory working group (participants from all institutes participating in the inventory preparation, 4-7 meetings per year)

    • the bilateral quality meetings between the inventory unit and the expert organisations (once a year).

  • An electronic quality manual including e.g. guidelines, plans, templates and checklists is in place and available to all parties of the national inventory system via the Internet.

Leena Raittinen, Statistics Finland

“Quality is the degree to which a set of characteristics fulfils requirements”

(e.g. ISO 9001, EFQM)

Defining quality

  • According to the established quality management standards and frameworks, quality is defined as a relation between expectations and outcomes.

  • In the context of GHG inventories, high quality provides that both

    • the structures of the national system (i.e. all institutional, legal and procedural arrangements) for estimating GHG emissions and removals and

    • the inventory submissions (i.e. outputs, products)

      comply with the requirements, principles and elements rising from the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol, IPCC guidelines and the EU GHG monitoring mechanism.

Leena Raittinen, Statistics Finland

Inventory process

Leena Raittinen, Statistics Finland

QA/QC process

Leena Raittinen, Statistics Finland

Inventory principles - framework for quality

UNFCCC reporting guidelines (FCCC/SBSTA/2006/9)

  • Transparency

  • Consistency

  • Comparability

  • Completeness

  • Accuracy

  • Timeliness

  • Continuous improvement

EU greenhouse gas monitoring mechanism, Decision 280/2004/EC

IPCC Guidelines

Leena Raittinen, Statistics Finland

Quality planning includes setting of quality objectives and planning the QC and QA procedures

  • Quality objectives are based upon and refined from the inventory principles. They are concrete expressions of the standard aimed at in the inventory preparation. The objectives’ aim is to be appropriate and realistic while taking account of the available resources and other conditions in the operating environment. Where possible, the quality objectives should be measurable.

  • QA/QC plan is a checklist that specifies the actions, the schedules for the actions and the responsibilities needed to achieve the quality objectives. In addition, it includes the review procedures intended for verifying that the quality objectives are met and ensuring that the inventory represents the best possible estimate of emissions and sinks given the current state of scientific knowledge and data available.

Leena Raittinen, Statistics Finland

Quality objectives for the latest (2006) inventory (1/2):


  • Archiving of the inventory is systematic and complete.

  • Internal documentation for the calculation supports the emission and removal estimates.

  • The CRF tables and NIR include transparent and appropriate descriptions of the emission and removal estimates and their production.


  • The time series are consistent.

  • The data have been used in a consistent manner in the inventory.


  • The methodologies and formats of the inventory meet the requirements for comparability.


  • The inventory covers all the emission sources, sinks, gases and geographic areas.

Leena Raittinen, Statistics Finland

Quality objectives for the latest (2006) inventory (2/2):


  • Estimates are systematically neither over nor under true emissions or removals.

  • Calculation is correct.

  • Inventory uncertainties are estimated.


  • The inventory reporting reaches its receiver (EU/UNFCCC) within the set time.

    Continuous improvement

  • Review feedback is considered in a systematic way.

  • The improvements promised in the National Inventory Report (NIR) are carried out.

  • The inventory is improved in a systematic way.

  • The quality control (QC) procedures meet the requirements.

  • Appropriate and sufficient quality assurance procedures of the inventory are in place.

Leena Raittinen, Statistics Finland

Quality control (QC) procedures aim at attainment of the quality objectives

  • QC procedures are performed during inventory calculation and compilation according to the QA/QC plan.

  • Quality control measures aim at the attainment of quality objectives and include

    • routine checks of the integrity, correctness and completeness of data

    • identification of errors and deficiencies

    • documentation and archiving of inventory data and quality control actions.

  • In addition to these general QC checks, category-specific QC checks including technical reviews of the source categories, activity data, emission factors and methods are applied on a case-by-case basis focusing on key categories and on categories where significant methodological and data revisions have taken place.

Leena Raittinen, Statistics Finland

Quality assurance (QA) comprises a planned system of review procedures

  • QA activities of the inventory recorded in the QA/QC plan are performed at the inventory evaluation stage

  • Reviews are performed after the implementation of QC procedures to the finalised inventory

  • The inventory QA system comprises evaluations and reviews to

    • verify that data quality objectives were met

    • determine the conformity of the procedures taken

    • identify areas where improvements could be made

      i.e. to assess the quality of the inventory and the inventory compilation and reporting process.

Leena Raittinen, Statistics Finland

QA actions differ from one another in their viewpoints, purposes and timings

  • Basic review of the draft GHG estimates and the draft report (November - December)

    • The inventory working group, the inventory unit and the advisory board examine the reporting before the submission.

  • Internal self-evaluations (January - February)

    • Experts in their specific calculation sectors and the inventory unit at the level of the whole inventory examine the actual activity and results attained and compare them with the quality objectives set and the QA/QC plans made.

  • Peer reviews

    • Sector/category specific projects, bilateral collaboration

  • UNFCCC inventory reviews

    • According to the UNFCCC review process.

  • Data verification

    • Sector/category specific procedures and data.

Leena Raittinen, Statistics Finland

QA/QC process contributes to the improvement of the inventory

  • In the improvement stage conclusions are made on the basis of the realised QA/QC process and its results

  • The bilateral quality meetings between the inventory unit and the expert organisations are held in January - March

    • The findings of internal self-evaluations, UNFCCC review feedback and other accumulated information on the quality of the inventory are discussed.

    • Inventory development needs and projects that need additional resources are identified and included in the inventory improvement plan to be considered in the advisory board of the inventory.

    • In addition, the conditions (resources, schedules, procedures, support needs) for the inventory work are discussed.

  • The main findings and conclusions are communicated to the parties to Finland’s greenhouse gas inventory system for decision-making concerning the next inventory round.

Leena Raittinen, Statistics Finland

Experiences and conclusions

  • Systematic development of inventory quality management system since 2004.

  • Pillars of the inventory quality management system:

    • common conceptual framework

    • process approach.

  • Quality management needs resources, time and competence.

  • Positive experiences and good results

    • The latest UNFCCC review report: good compliance with the requirements.

  • Areas of focus in future:

    • development of efficiency and effectiveness of the quality management

    • preparation for the post-Kyoto period (after 2012)

    • ‘soft is hard’.

Leena Raittinen, Statistics Finland

Thank you!

Leena Raittinen, Statistics Finland

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