Concepts and definitions

Ammonia (NH3)

Ammonia is primarily generated from using fertilisers in agriculture. Ammonia causes eutrophication and acidification.

Biomass carbon dioxide (CO2-bio)

Biomass CO2 emissions are caused by biomass burning, such as wood, biogas, sewage sludge and renewable fraction of waste. One half of the total amount of biomass CO2 derives from the wood industry and its black liquor burning process and the other half is caused by wood burning to energy.

Carbon monoxide (CO)

Carbon monoxide has an indirect radiative forcing effect by elevating con-centrations of methane and tropospheric ozone. Carbon monoxide is pro-duced from the partial oxidation of carbon-containing compounds. It is widely used in the chemical industry.

Fossil carbon dioxide (CO2-fos)

Carbon dioxide is the most important greenhouse gas. CO2 emissions are mostly caused by burning fossil fuels. In emissions into air by industry statistics, peat is included into fossil fuels. A majority of the fossil carbon dioxide emissions are released in heat and power production.


The industrial classification divides units into industry classes based on their main economic activity. The main economic activity is the one that produces a majority of the unit's value added. The classification used is the Finnish national classification (TOL) derived from the statistical classification of economic activities in the European Community (NACE).

Methane (CH4)

Methane is generated when organic matter such as manure, waste water sludge or biodegradable waste is fermented under anaerobic conditions. Methane emissions from landfill sites are the most important single source of CH4.

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)

Nitrogen dioxide is an indirect greenhouse gas that forms ground level ozone. It also causes acid rain and eutrophication of soil and water. Nitrogen dioxide is produced during combustion, especially when burning takes place at high temperatures. It is also released during certain industrial processes.

Nitrous oxide (N2O)

Nitrous oxide is an ozone depleting substance. Despite its low emission volumes, its greenhouse gas impact is over 300 times bigger per unit weight than, for example, that of CO2. The most important sector causing N2O emissions is agriculture and more specifically soil emissions caused by nitrous fertilising.

Particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10)

Particulate matter sized under 2.5 and 10 micrometer per diameter. These tiny particles are released in burning processes, traffic and some industrial processes. Particulate matter have adverse health effects.

Resident principle, national territory principle and bridging items

The statistics on emissions into air by industry, which are accordant with the regulation on environmental accounting, also contain Finnish citizens' emissions from land, water and air transport and from Finnish fishing vessels operating abroad. The emissions by foreign citizens from land, water and air transport on Finnish territory are subtracted from the emissions into air by industry.

This resident principle approach is different from that used in the greenhouse gas inventory, which only contains the emissions generated in the territory of Finland regardless of the nationality of the individual causing the emission (national territory principle). The difference between the greenhouse gas inventory and the statistics on emissions into air by industry is recorded in the bridging table for each emission component.

The bridging table contains data on Finnish citizens' emissions from land, water and air transport and from Finnish fishing vessels operating abroad, and on emissions by foreign citizens from land, water and air transport in Finland.

Sulphur dioxide (SO2)

Sulphur dioxide is produced from the burning of fossil fuels and the smelting of mineral ores that contain sulphur. When sulphur dioxide combines with water, it forms sulphuric acid and acid rain. Acid rain can cause deforestation, acidify waterways and corrode building materials.

Volatile organic compounds excl. methane (NMVOC)

NMVOC is a generic name for organic compounds that easily vaporise in the atmosphere. Volatile organic compounds are released, for instance, in burning processes and when using solvents. Ozone is formed when nitrogen oxides (NOx) and NMVOCs react in the presence of sunlight.

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Emissions into air by industry [e-publication].
ISSN=2323-7600. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 27.6.2016].
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