New guidance helps companies curb emissions from the electricity they buy
Companies will be able to measure and report their emissions from purchased energy more accurately via new guidance released on 20 January by the World Resources Institute (WRI).
Emissions from purchased energy, or Scope 2 emissions, account for about 40% of global greenhouse pollution, even though many corporations have been investing more heavily in renewables. Investment in renewable energy expanded to $310bn in 2014, compared with $60bn a decade ago, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Companies buy half of all electricity consumed to fuel offices, distribution centres and data centres. WRI worked with more than 200 companies, including Apple, Walmart, Mars, Google and Facebook, plus utilities and government agencies in 23 countries to develop the guidance.
The GHG Protocol Scope 2 Guidance, as it is known, is the first major update of WRI’s Corporate Standard since 2004. Although more than 85% of businesses reporting to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) had adopted that guidance, many have struggled to account accurately for emissions from purchased energy, particularly renewables, WRI says.
This is because the mechanisms that let corporate consumers choose a low carbon grid-delivered energy supply vary by electricity market. Some companies can work with their suppliers to buy low carbon energy or...