Emissions Reporting Guidance for Low-Carbon Electricity Purchases

GHG Protocol

by | Jan 21, 2015

GHG ProtocolThe World Resources Institute has published new guidance for companies to measure emissions from purchased electricity.

The first major update to the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard responds to the rapid growth of renewable energy and other major shifts in the electricity market, WRI says.

The GHG Protocol Scope 2 Guidance provides a consistent, transparent way for companies to show how different types of electricity purchases count toward their emissions targets, and will inform corporate decisions on what kind of energy should power their business.

Applications include:

  • Corporations can compare electricity procurement choices based on their emissions profile and set science-based GHG reduction targets;
  • Utilities can calculate and disclose accurate carbon footprint performance to customers; and
  • Industry associations can use the guidance to set sector targets and compare performance of different actors within a whole sector.

Four years in the making, the Scope 2 Guidance was developed in consultation with over 200 representatives from companies, electric utilities, government agencies, academics, industry associations and civil society groups in 23 countries.

The accompanying report offers case studies of 12 companies that have already used the new guidance, including Mars, Facebook, Google and EDF Energy. The EPA has also been part of the process and supports the new guidance.

Going forward, CDP, The Climate Registry and other reporting programs will require thousands of companies to provide additional information about their scope 2 emissions using the new GHG Protocol guidance. In 2014, 86 percent of Fortune 500 companies responding to the CDP used the GHG Protocol.

Last year WRI published Agricultural Guidance, which is said was the first globally harmonized framework for businesses, providing them with a comprehensive view of their agricultural emissions.

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