The Greenhouse Gas Protocol Part 2: Scopes 1, 2, and 3 Explained

okay so which of my business activities generate greenhouse gas emissions where are they coming from everyday businesses he meant greenhouse gases from activities like driving company vehicles purchasing electricity and purchasing goods the greenhouse gas protocol of the world Resource Institute and the World Business Council for sustainable development categorizes emissions into scopes one two and three scope one emissions are the direct emissions from facility such as emissions from greenhouse gases from fossil fuel combustion or coolant leakage from refrigerators scope to emissions are the emissions from purchase electricity this encompasses the emissions associated with generating the electricity that comes from lots of different fossil fuel sources scope 3 emissions are all of the greenhouse gas emissions including those occurring upstream and downstream in the supply chain as well as employee commuting and many other categories an example of a direct emission you'd measure and report would be the quantity of carbon dioxide generated from on-site natural gas heating in your building the heat is provided through the combustion of natural gas on site of your operation all emissions created on-site are considered direct and are reported under the scope-1 category what about all the electricity I use on-site that also comes from natural gas but it's provided by the utility company you're right if you get electricity from your utility that was generated by natural gas combustion there are associated emissions for you to report however because those are generated off-site they are considered indirect emissions indirect emissions from purchased energy are recorded under the scope to category and often constitute the largest portion of a company's overall emissions okay to clarify then if I know my electricity consumption you can back out the amount of greenhouse gases that went into producing energy I use exactly most companies don't monitor concentration or flow rate of greenhouse gases instead companies will calculate greenhouse gas emissions by applying documented emissions factors to activity information also the source of that electricity generation can differ depending where you are in the United States there are major differences in the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced from burning coal compared to burning natural gas or your energy source may not even generate greenhouse gas emissions directly if it's coming from solar or wind even within the same technology say a power plant using pulverized coal the efficiency can vary quite significantly affecting the amount of greenhouse gas emissions per kilowatt hour produced basically some power plants are more efficient than others even with the same fuel source so these differences must be accounted for with different emissions factors furthermore electricity losses through transmission and distribution also vary widely depending on the region what if some of my electricity comes from solar and some of it comes from the local grid those clearly have different emissions levels so how could I report that to reflect my environmentally conscious decisions excellent point in that case greenhouse gas emission reporting platforms such as GDP would require two values under your scope to emissions a market-based estimate and a location based estimate this calculation would require an emissions factor specific to your location since regionally electricity generation sources vary significantly these two calculations can be used to quantify the amount of emissions a company is avoiding by purchasing renewable energy these purchases are usually secured by Power Purchase Agreements or PPA s in the United States and guarantees of origin or gos in Europe what about all the energy that goes into our product itself we have a complex supply chain involved in making up from these are again considered indirect emissions but they are categorized as scope 3 emissions generated from the supply chain either upstream or downstream of your company are reported in the scope 3 category there are 15 different subcategories under scope 3 missions under the greenhouse gas protocol calculating these emissions is a complex and detailed task because of the numerous priorities and processes that are involved wow that sounds like a can of worms calculating scope 3 is a difficult task but by focusing on the most energy intensive activities involved in your supply chain we can estimate at least your major scope 3 emissions there are some important benefits to quantifying scope 3 emissions and we'll discuss this in our next video

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