EcoLogistics Self-monitoring tool

EcoLogistics Self-monitoring tool is developed through the “EcoLogistics: Low carbon freight for sustainable cities” project.
It is a calculation tool developed for cities to estimate their greenhouse gas emissions from urban freight transport. It allows the assessment of baseline and target scenarios wherein specific technologies or strategies are hypothetically implemented. The tool also acts as a monitoring tool for cities to make meaningful comparisons over time and with other cities in terms of urban freight emissions.

Freight transport is at the core of today’s global economy; in emerging regions such as Asia, the logistics industry accounts for 15 to 25 percent of GDP. Globally, urban freight represents up to 25 percent of urban vehicles and takes up to 40 percent of motorized road space.

Today global freight transport accounts for 36 percent of the total transport-related emissions and the figure is expected to be at least equivalent to passenger transport by 2050 (ITF Transport Outlook 2019).  While nearly 70 percent of freight is shipped by sea, road transport is by far the dominant source of global freight emissions: it made up 62 percent of the freight transport emissions in 2015, however its emissions are predicted to rise by 40 percent by 2030 and nearly double by 2050 (Smart Freight Center).

Against this backdrop, it is imperative for cities to understand the emission contributions of different activities, monitor progress and take effective action to decarbonize freight transport. Existing solutions like high efficiency fuel technologies, modal shift and eco-driving have the potential to reduce GHG emissions from urban freight.

Benefits for cities to use the tool

The EcoLogistics Self-monitoring tool serves as a calculation tool for local governments to estimate, evaluate and track their urban freight emissions over time. The benefits of a city using the tool are:

  • Estimate city-wide GHG emissions from urban freight transport and understand the emission contributions of different logistics activities
  • Use collected data to establish a baseline and set targets in line with cities’ climate change goals
  • Use emissions and carbon intensity as performance indicators in target-setting and track progress over time
  • Assess the potential emission savings of various scenarios and help city leaders to make informed decisions and actions that lead to emission reductions
  • Make meaningful comparisons with other cities in terms of urban freight emissions and share experiences
  • Access and contribute to knowledge and good practice examples
  • Become a source of inspiration to other cities

How to use the tool?

The EcoLogistics Self-monitoring tool contains step-by-step guidance and tailor-made advice to help you collect data and complete the emission calculation. Use the guides to understand the data sources, calculations and issues considered in determining the approach employed in the tool.

Excel-based tool

The self-monitoring tool is an open, Excel-based tool. Download and start your calculation now.

Tool user guide

This guide provides guidance on how to use the tool in connection to the databases and the most basic questions of emission calculations. Download now: Short version | Detailed version.

Base methodologies

The calculation methodology behind the self-monitoring tool is consistent and is mainly based on the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC) and Global Logistics Emissions Council Framework for Logistics Emissions Accounting and Reporting (GLEC Framework). Generally the methodologies for estimating transport emissions can be categorized as fuel-based and activity-based approaches.

Fuel-based approach

Fuel-based approach uses the fuel consumption data and converts fuel use into GHG emissions with defined emission factors. This method calculates emissions based on the amount of fuel sold within the city boundary. The data on the amount of fuel sold can be obtained from fuel dispensaries or fuel sales tax receipts.

Activity-based approach

If access to fuel consumption data is limited or incomplete, a calculation using the activity-based approach may be recommended. This approach seeks to quantify emissions within the city, including the trips that begin, end or within the city. This requires information on vehicle kilometers travelled for each vehicle type, vehicle occupancy, information on vehicle fuel efficiency or emission intensity factors, which are applied in multiple steps. The component variables can be disaggregated.


IKI EcoLogistics is a project implemented by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. The ICLEI World Secretariat is responsible for project management and coordination. ICLEI South America Secretariat and ICLEI South Asia Secretariat are the implementing partners. Despacio, the Smart Freight Centre and the Zaragoza Logistics Center are technical partners for this project.

The project is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) through the International Climate Initiative (IKI).

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ICLEI – Local Government for Sustainability makes this tool and the data it contains available on its web site to enhance public knowledge and promote a better understanding of urban freight transport emissions accounting. ICLEI, however, does not guarantee the accuracy of data included in this tool and does not accept responsibility for consequences of their use. The materials in the tool come from a variety of sources, collected and maintained for different purposes.

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